No longer on air.

The Conversation covers current events in politics, public affairs, culture and science. Host Ross Reynolds opens the phone for listeners to participate in spirited discussions on the issues of the day. 

Twitter: KUOWRoss | Facebook: KUOWRoss

To find stories by The Conversation older than October 15, 2012, go to and select "The Conversation" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

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1:23 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Council On Foreign Relations President Richard Haass On Syria

The Council on Foreign Relations has a big influence on US foreign policy. Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. Richard Haass, president of the CFR, about US options in Syria, the fallout from the Benghazi raid and other troubled spots in the world.

Public Transportation
1:18 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

One-Third Of King County Bus Routes Could Be Cut

Flickr photo/Oran Viriyincy

King County Metro is facing budget cuts up to 17 percent. The cuts could eliminate almost a third of current bus routes. Metro is hosting a public hearing today at 4:00 in Union Station to hear your opinion.

Ross Reynolds speaks with KUOW’s Reporter Derek Wong about the future of our buses.

Online TV
1:15 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

The End Of Traditional TV?

Flickr photo/Steve Liao

More than 5 million US households don’t use traditional cable or satellite options for watching television shows, reports consumer research organization The Nielsen Company. Instead, people stream online.

Low-cost providers like Netflix or HULU are replacing the once beloved boob-tube. Ross Reynolds talks with Monica Guzman, technology columnist for The Seattle Times and GeekWire about how Americans are watching TV.

Toy Toxins
1:09 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Are There Hidden Toxins In Your Child’s Toy?

Flickr photo/Salma Rashad

Over 5,000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals like lead or cadmium according to a list compiled by the Washington Toxic Coalition. Under Washington’s Children’s Safe Products Act, companies are required to report any use of 66 chemicals named in the act.

Ross Reynolds gets one perspective from Erika Schreder, Science Director of the Washington Toxics Coalition.

Tuition Increase
11:20 am
Mon May 13, 2013

UW Student Group Backs Tuition Increase For Faculty Pay Raise

Flickr Photo/Dmitry Alexeenko

A student advisory group at the University of Washington says it's time for faculty to get raises after a 4-year wage freeze. But if state lawmakers don't fund a raise, the Provost’s Advisory Committee for Students would support a 3 percent tuition increase to pay for it. Evan Smith, who is the President of the Associated Students of the University of Washington, tells KUOW's Ross Reynolds why he supports a tuition increase.

News From Olympia
12:13 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Olympia Update With Austin Jenkins

Washington state capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

Ross Reynolds gets a preview of next week's special legislative session from Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins.

News Savvy
12:08 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Conversation News Quiz!

Don't just walk the walk, take the quiz!
Flickr Photo/An Untrained Eye

What is short and sweet and fun all over? This week's Conversation news quiz! Tune in and hear a listener play for the chance to be crowned the Conversationalist of the Week!

Listener Call-In
12:04 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

The Best And Worst Advice From Mothers

The best advice from Mom is probably the advice I didn't follow.
Flickr Photo/Kevin Dooley

Mother’s Day is Sunday! Ross asks listeners about advice from their mothers.

11:57 am
Fri May 10, 2013

National Train Day: An Update On Northwest Rail Lines

Guests fill the main waiting room of the King Street Station during a reopening April 24, 2013. The historic waiting room at Seattle's King Street rail station has been restored to look exactly as it did when it opened in 1906 with its ornamental plaster ceiling, Corinthian columns, mosaic floor tiles and a massive bronze chandelier.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Tomorrow is Amtrak’s National Train Day, a holiday that was started back in 2008 to celebrate US passenger trains. Here in Seattle, the King Street station was recently renovated with the help of funds from the federal government. But starting in October, the feds are cutting funding to Amtrak lines that are less than 750 miles long. The effects of the change will be felt here. Ross gets the details from Ron Pate of the state Transportation Department’s rail division.

We also hear from Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason about the Sounder Train and Light Rail projects. Plus, Ross talks trains with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton.

Health Care
4:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

How You Should Plan For The Costs Of Dementia

"As my wife held her mother's hand yesterday, it struck me how much Alzheimer's disease is like the season of autumn." - John (photographer)
Flickr Photo/mtsofan

Dementia care expenses totaled $109 billion in 2010, more than either cancer or heart disease. The research, conducted by the RAND Corporation, predicts dementia costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double by 2040.

Ross sits down with Dr. Jim Leverenz, investigator at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, to talk about how families can plan.

4:04 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

How Does Washington State Help Workers With Developmental Disabilities?

Poster for an exhibition of photographs, video and writing by disabled students, 1984.
Flickr Photo/Tony Hall

Washington State’s Developmental Disabilities Administration helps people with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome find work. The DDA serves nearly 9,000 adults over the age of 21.

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Pat Brown, director of the University of Washington’s employment program. Ross also talks with Doug Wilson, a sales manager at Copiers Northwest, who employs people with developmental disabilities and Shawn Christensen, a man with cerebral palsy who works at Regal Cinemas in Renton.

Education Inequality
4:00 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

It Was The Best Of Education, It Was The Worst Of Education

Flickr Photo/Jamil Soni Neto

Overall, the United States has more top-performing students than any other developed nation. That’s according to new research by the Economics Policy Institute. Our problem, however, is a massive education gap.

Ross talks with Professor Hal Salzman from Rutger’s School of Planning & Public Policy about why this is and what should be done.

Drug Abuse
12:06 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Students Abuse "Study Drugs" Despite Dangerous Health Risks

Is Adderall a must-have for finals week?
Flickr Photo/Alex Dodd

Nearly 35 percent of students are abusing stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin or Vyvanse. That's according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The stimulants are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but they're also being used by students attempting to focus.

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Cora Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Listener Call-In
11:59 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Do You Care About The Private Lives Of Public Officials?

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford gives his victory speech after winning back his old congressional seat in the state's 1st District on May 7, 2013, in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt

Yesterday, Mark Sanford was elected congressman from South Carolina’s 1st District. Last time Sanford was in the public spotlight, it was for an affair he had with a woman from Argentina. Sanford certainly is not the first public official to make a comeback following a scandal. Do you care about public officials’ private lives? Ross Reynolds takes your calls.

More from KUOW
11:54 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Can The Next Bangladesh Factory Disaster Be Prevented?

Workers bury unclaimed bodies from the garment factory building that collapsed in April in preparation for a mass burial on May 1, 2013, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

The death toll from last month's Bangladesh clothing factory collapse is now over 800 people. The scale of the disaster has prompted many people here in Washington to question our role as consumers.

Ross Reynolds talks with Morgan Currier, a senior at University of Washington and member of the coordinating committee of United Students Against Sweatshops, Paul Guppy, vice president for research at the Washington Policy Center, and Kristen Beifus, executive director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition.