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Neal Conan

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's live, midday news-talk program. Host Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

From breaking news, science, and education to religion and the arts, Talk of the Nation offers listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

For two hours each Monday through Thursday, Talk of the Nation listeners weigh-in, share their thoughts and ask questions by calling, emailing, messaging through social media.

On Fridays the conversation turns to the topics of science, with Talk of the Nation Science Friday with Ira Flatow, focusing on news and issues about the world of science and technology. For show listings and archives, visit here.

 

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Science
12:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Decoding 'the Most Complex Object in the Universe'

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Your brain has nearly 100 billion neurons, and one of my next guests compares that complexity to the Amazon rainforest. In fact, he says there about as many trees in the Amazon as there are neurons in your brain. Think about what the Amazon looks like for a second.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

With Climate Change, No Happy Clams

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Think for a minute about the victims of climate change. You might envision the polar bear, right? You see a lot of that in the news, atop a block of melting ice or - where there's no ice to grab onto, or the great ice sheet covering Greenland drip, drip, dripping away, or the tiny island of Tuvalu whose people and beaches might soon be swallowed by rising seas.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Looking Back, and Up, at a Seattle Icon

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

We are broadcasting today from the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. And just steps away from this building, right outside is something that should be familiar to anyone who's ever received a postcard from Seattle or taken home a pen or a glass or anything tchotchke of any kind. And it's the Space Needle, built in connection with the 1962 World's Fair. It is an iconic part of the Seattle skyline.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Human Genes Not Patentable, Supreme Court Says

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented. The case involves a dispute over patents held on the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 genes, the so-called breast cancer genes; and tests a company, Myriad Genetics, used to look for mutations to those genes.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Denis Hayes on Being Green

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Anyone who has taken some time on Earth Day to contemplate the planet has my next guest to thank. Danis Hayes was the first national coordinator for Earth Day back in 1970, and if I might insert a personal note, Earth Day back in 1970 was also the anniversary of my first science story I ever did. So this is very interesting, and I'm very happy to have as my guest today Denis Hayes, who is, and as I say, he's head of the Solar Energy Research Institute under President Jimmy Carter.

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Asia
3:19 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

A Superpower And An Emerging Rival: A Look Ahead At China

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In an extraordinary step, President Obama and China's new leader, Xi Jinping, met at a California ranch last weekend to reset relations between the two largest economies in the world and between an established superpower and an emerging rival.

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

India.Arie Returns To Start A New 'SongVersation'

India.Arie reinvents herself on her new album, SongVersation.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:25 pm

When singer-songwriter India.Arie broke through in 2001, her debut album Acoustic Soul went double platinum, and her music and influence continued to gain momentum in the years that followed. Since her debut, she's been nominated for 21 Grammys — and won four — while selling 10 million albums worldwide.

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Science
12:56 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

What Bird Flocks And Fish Schools Can Teach Us About The Future

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:19 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

We've all seen a flock of birds shift direction instantaneously mid-flight, or a school of fish swirl in what looked like tightly choreographed maneuvers. That's called collective behavior and it fascinated and baffled scientists. Why do they do it? How? Telepathy? Now technology is revolutionizing the way researchers can track, visualize and even create swarms, and what they're finding will make you go wow.

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Movies
12:46 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

From 'Casablanca' To 'Toy Story': Famous Farewells In Film

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:17 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And today, film farewells. We consider the great goodbye scenes in movie - boy loses girl for good; hero sets off to certain doom; or a Mother's Day remembrance from Jimmy Cagney.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "WHITE HEAT")

JAMES CAGNEY: (as Cody Jarrett) Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

(EXPLOSION)

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Medical Treatments
12:59 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Life Resumes: Looking Ahead With Suleika Jaouad

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

You may know Suleika Jaouad from Life, Interrupted, the pieces she writes on her cancer on The New York Times Well blog. She's also made time to speak with us over the past year starting last May, about a month after she received a bone marrow transplant. During that conversation, she told us: I feel very hopeful for the future, but I have definitely been humbled by everything I've been through. I don't think of myself as invincible or immortal anymore.

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