Talk of the Nation

Mon. - Thurs. from 11am to 1pm (not including Science Friday)
Hosted by: Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation® links the headlines with what's on people's minds, providing a springboard for listeners and experts to exchange ideas and pose critical questions about major events in the news and the world around them. Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Monday through Thursday, host Neal Conan invites callers to discuss areas of topical interest, including politics and public service, education, religion, music, and healthcare. Talk of the Nation goes behind the headlines with decision-makers, authors, thinkers, artists, and listeners around the world, who become part of the conversation by calling 1-800-989-TALK.

Talk of the Nation won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Award in 1994-95 for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," as well as the 1993-94 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for part of NPR's coverage of the South African elections. The program also won the 1993 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on Talk of the Nation.

Visit Talk of the Nation on NPR.org

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Why That Song Gets Stuck In Your Head

Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London are collecting earworms — songs or bits of melody that get stuck in your head. What's yours?
iStockphoto.com

Chances are, you've fallen victim to earworms — pesky songs or melodies that get stuck in your head and just won't get out.

Research suggests that there are psychological reasons why some songs are more likely to stick, including memory triggers, emotional states, and even stress. Some researchers hope to better understand why this happens and figure out what, if anything, music memory can teach psychologists about how to treat patients dealing with memory loss.

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World
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

The Challenges Of Aid Work In Conflict Zones

In Afghanistan and other conflict zones, the military is often first on the ground, followed by diplomats, contractors and journalists. Next, in many cases, are aid workers: People who work for private organizations and strive to remain impartial in some of the world's most dangerous places.

Opinion
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Op-Ed: File Criminal Charges For Hard Hits

The NFL found some two dozen players for the New Orleans Saints took part in a pay-for-hits program that paid bounties for knocking specific players out of games. Those involved likely face fines or suspensions. But lawyer Eldon Ham argues that doesn't go far enough, and proposes criminal charges.

Race
10:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Black Students More Likely To Be Disciplined

A Department of Education study found from 2009 to 2010, black students were 3 1/2 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white ones. Though the reasons are unclear, many argue harsher punishments push many black and Latino students out of schools and into the criminal justice system.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Dark Matter Just Got More Mysterious

Reporting in the Astrophysical Journal, scientists write of a massive collision between two galaxy clusters. By studying the cosmic remnants of that smashup, they say leftover dark matter isn't behaving as current theory predicts. Astrophysicist Andisheh Mahdavi discusses this dark matter mystery.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Can An Early Spring Confuse Nature's Clock?

It's been an unusually warm winter in some parts of the country, with springtime temperatures and very little snow. How is nature responding? Purdue entomologist Tom Turpin and horticulturalist Kristin Schleiter of the New York Botanical Garden discuss how an early spring affects flower buds, beetles and bees.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Planet Or Not, Pluto's Getting A Visitor

The New Horizons Mission blasted off toward Pluto in 2006; it's on course to arrive in Pluto's neighborhood in 2015. Mission leader Alan Stern discusses the journey of the spacecraft, and why he thinks Pluto is still a planet. Plus, the mission to get Pluto on a commemorative stamp.

Science
10:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Gorilla Genome Sheds Light On Human Evolution

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 11:11 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Camilla is a 300-pound female gorilla in her 30s who lives in the San Diego Zoo. Now, what sets Camilla apart from the rest of the troop is that she became the first gorilla to have its entire genome sequenced.

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Food
10:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

How To Get More For Your Bite

When you crunch into a potato chip or take a spoonful of chocolate mousse what you experience is more than just the taste of the food. In her book Taste What You're Missing, Barb Stuckey discusses why truly experiencing food involves all five senses and offers tips on how to get more enjoyment from your next meal.

Health
10:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

A Workout Can Change Your DNA

Reporting in Cell Metabolism, researchers write that when people who lead relatively sedentary lives worked out the DNA in their muscle fibers changed almost immediately. Scientists also found caffeine had the same effect on isolated rodent muscles. Study co-author Juleen Zierath discusses the DNA modifications.

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