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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From Our Listeners
10:00 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Letters: 'The Moment,' Twins And Calendars

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including the moment that changed your life, differences between identical twins, and a proposal for a new calendar.

National Security
10:00 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Defense Cuts To Reshape U.S. Military Strategy

The Obama administration has laid out billions in cuts to the U.S. military over the next decade. Some say the cuts will weaken the armed forces, while others argue it's time to reconsider the type of military presence the U.S. should maintain. NPR's Tom Bowman describes the proposed cuts and their potential implications for future military operations.

Opinion
10:00 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Op-Ed: For Candidates, Private-Public Line Blurry

Politicians often reveal personal stories on the campaign trail. But those revelations often draw criticism from opponents. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat says politicians can and should contest the critiques, but that many have lost the right to complain about them.

Election 2012
10:00 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Demystifying The Role Of Political Independents

Approximately 40 percent of U.S. voters identify as independents, giving them considerable clout with political candidates. Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and George W. Bush campaign strategist Daron Shaw discuss who makes up the independent electorate, and if its influence is sometimes overstated.

Animals
10:00 am
Mon January 9, 2012

FAA Rules May Interrupt Endangered Crane Migration

Operation Migration uses ultralight planes to guide whooping cranes in migration from Wisconsin to their winter home in Florida. But a Federal Aviation Administration investigation has grounded a flock of whooping cranes and an ultralight guiding plane.

NPR Story
10:42 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Winter Wonderland? Wonder No Longer

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:42 am

The winter solstice has come and gone, making it officially winter in the U.S., with cooler temperatures, less sunlight, and, in some places, snow, ice, and frost. A panel of experts discusses the different phenomena that combine to make up the season we call winter, and give tips for how best to appreciate the natural world in wintertime.

Medical Treatments
10:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

One Scholar's Take On The Power of The Placebo

A placebo can take the form of a sugar pill or even a fake surgery. It's often used to test the effectiveness of a trial drug. Ted Kaptchuk, director of Harvard University's Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter, discusses potential applications for the healing power of placebos.

Health
10:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Debate Persists Over Publishing Bird Flu Studies

A federal advisory board has urged scientific journals not to publish the research from two labs that have developed an airborne flu virus. Microbiologist Vincent Racaniello discusses why the move sets a bad precedent. Biosecurity expert D.A. Henderson talks about the risks of publishing the research.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Levitating Fruit Flies To Learn About Space Travel

Physicist Richard Hill and colleagues at the University of Nottingham have a powerful magnet that they have used to levitate fruits, beer and most recently, fruit flies. It's a low-cost way to study the effects of zero gravity on biological systems, Hill says.

Research News
10:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Parasitic Fly Threatens Honey Bee Populations

Honey bee colonies around the United States are in decline, threatened by several different diseases and parasites. John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, describes how a parasitic fly that was thought to prey upon bumblebees may pose a new threat to honey bee populations in the U.S.

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