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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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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Alan Rickman: From Severus Snape To 'Seminar'

Alan Rickman has played Professor Severus Snape throughout the Harry Potter series.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:16 am

Actor Alan Rickman has played a loving husband, a terrorist leader, a stern professor of the dark arts and even a caterpillar; from Sense and Sensibility to Die Hard to Harry Potter, his talents have made him recognizable to several generations of moviegoers.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Judy Blume: Banned Often, But Widely Beloved

Judy Blume and her son, Lawrence Blume, are working together on a movie version of her novel, Tiger Eyes.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Judy Blume has been channeling the anxieties, dreams and secret thoughts of young readers for more than four decades. With her honest treatment of topics from bullying to puberty, she has won legions of fans around the world. But she's also drawn the ire of critics, who want her frank books banned.

School libraries around the country have banned many of Blume's books over the years, including Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Then Again, Maybe I Won't and Blubber, making Blume a champion for supporters of intellectual freedom for young people.

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Law
12:00 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

What Happens To The Criminally Insane, After Court

This week, John Hinckley Jr. faces a hearing to determine whether or not he can be released from a mental health facility to care for his ailing mother. The case raises questions about the role of the insanity defense and what happens to the criminally insane after they leave the courtroom.

Opinion
12:00 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Op-Ed: Islamists Can Adopt Democracy

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 1:13 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now, The Opinion Page. Today, Egyptians began the long process of electing a new parliament. Millions turned out to vote in the first meaningful election in that country's history. There are close to 50 political parties competing, among them several Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which many regard as the best organized and likely to emerge as one of the big winners. Some regard Islamism as incompatible with democracy.

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Science
12:00 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

IgNobel Prizes Salute The Silly In Science

This year's 21st First Annual IgNobel Prize Ceremony featured the science of sighs, inquiries into the yawning habits of the red-footed tortoise, and songs about the chemistry of coffee. Ira Flatow and Ig master of ceremonies Marc Abrahams present some of the highlights from this year's festivities.

Technology
12:00 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Building 'The Big Roads'

In his new book The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways writer Earl Swift looks at the history and people behind the world's largest public works project — the U.S. interstate superhighway system.

Food
12:00 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Giant Pumpkin, But Forget About Pie

Some pumpkins just aren't meant for the pie pan. Robert Sabin has been growing "Atlantic giant" pumpkins for ten years and says they are more like children than fruit to him. He raises his pumpkins for competition--the heavier, the better.

Health
12:00 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

A Tale Of Two Addicts: Freud, Halsted And Cocaine

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:20 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Science
12:00 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Science Diction: The Origin Of 'Stethoscope'

The first stethoscope, invented by the French physician René Laennec, was simply a hollow wooden or ebony tube. Laennec named the device using the Greek roots stethos, or chest, and skopein, to look at or to observe. Medical historian Howard Markel discusses how Laennec came up with the invention. Unlike the stethoscope familiar to patients today, the original device was a simple tube.

From Our Listeners
11:27 am
Thu November 24, 2011

Those Who Can't Be With Us On Thanksgiving

The son or daughter who can't get away. A nephew who is serving in Afghanistan. Perhaps, the favorite aunt who passed away. Guest host John Donvan talks with listeners about the people missing from their Thanksgiving table, and how they remember absent family and friends.

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