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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Charitable Giving
11:45 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Are We Too Charitable With Charities?

Cover of "With Charity for All" by Ken Stern.

  There are 1.1 million charities in the US and they raise around $1.5 trillion a year. But former NPR Chief Executive Ken Stern thinks we don’t ask enough about the charities we give to. What should we be asking? Ross Reynolds talks with Ken Stern about his new book, "With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give."

11:44 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Homeschooling Gains Ground In Washington

Students dissect fish as a homeschool project.
Flickr Photo/Bill Townsend

  There are now 1.9 - 2.5 million home-schooled students in the United States. And this year, over 16,000 children are homeschooled in Washington state.

Parents give many different reasons for homeschooling their children: religious or moral convictions, for instance, or concerns about safety in the public school environment. Dissatisfaction with the academic standards of public schools is another reason cited by some parents.

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12:17 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

House Democrats Want To Rev Up The Gas Tax

House Democrats are proposing to raise the gas tax by 10 cents, to 47.5 cents a gallon, within five years, to pay for a $10 billion transportation package. The plan was introduced earlier this week by State Representative Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who chairs the House Transportation Committee. 

Ross Reynolds talks to Clibborn and  Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat representing the 35th District, which includes all of Mason County and parts of Thurston, Kitsap and Grays Harbor counties.  He’s one of two Senate Democrats to join with Republicans to form a majority coalition this legislative session.

12:16 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

A Man, A Woman And A Gun: Seattle Noir Festival

Jean-Luc Godard used to say that all you needed to make a noir film was “a man, a woman and a gun.” Many movies still use that basic premise, but how do the Film Noir movies hold up some 60 years later?

Ross Reynolds talks with the "Czar of Noir" Eddie Muller about the notoriously dark film genre, the role it plays in film today and the noir festival that kicks off in Seattle tonight.

Read more
12:12 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Congresswoman DelBene Talks Sequestration, Immigration And More

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, performs a mock swearing in for Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., right, with her husband Kurt DelBene, center, on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, in Washington.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene was elected in November to represent Washington's 1st District. How has she spent her first few months in office? Ross Reynolds sits down with Congresswoman DelBene for an update on what she has been working on and her thoughts on gun control, marijuana legalization, immigration and looming federal budget cuts.

State Budget
12:07 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

How Will Sequestration Impact Washington State?

Unless lawmakers in the other Washington can come to an agreement, the US is facing $85 billion of automatic spending cuts. How will sequestration hit us here in the Evergreen state?

Ross Reynolds talks with Governor Jay Inslee's budget director, David Schumacher, about how the looming federal budget cuts will impact Washington state.

News Savvy
12:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Conversation News Quiz!

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

Have you been listening to The Conversation this week? Ross Reynolds tests the knowledge and power of recollection of one lucky listener in the second ever Conversation News Quiz.

Gaming Industry
12:05 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Consoles Vs Phones: What Is The Future For Video Games?

Sony rolled out their next generation video game console, the PS4, this week. But gaming has steadily been moving away from consoles to phones. What’s the future for video games? Ross Reynolds talks to Universtiy of Washington Professor Ken Rufo.

News From Olympia
11:44 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The State Of State Politics: Austin Jenkins Breaks Down This Week's News

Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

Today marks the last day for policy bills to leave committee in the state Legislature. That means the House and the Senate will swap bills and decide which ones to send to the governor.

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Musical Maladies
12:29 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

The Science Of Songs You Can't Escape

I just can't get you out of my head!
Flickr Photo/hobvias sudoneighm

It sounds shocking, but earworms are an epidemic that affect at least 90 percent of people as often as once a week. That’s according to a Goldsmiths University study. But before you go logging onto WebMD, fear not! These earworms are more commonly referred to as songs, regular old songs — often radio hits or catchy grooves that burrow deep within the human brain. For instance, maybe you've been visited by this hungry earworm:

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Sexuality & Politics
11:53 am
Thu February 21, 2013

House Bill Would Regulate Conversion Therapy

Rep. Marko Liias speaks during the debate before a House vote on gay marriage Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
Credit AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

A new House bill proposed by State Representative Marko Liias would establish a panel to investigate the effects of sexual orientation conversion therapy -- also known as 'straight camp' -- for minors in Washington state. Liias is one of several openly gay legislators in Washington, and he said in a press release that conversion therapy has “no basis in science or medicine, and it is vital that we bring together the proper health experts to better understand the impacts.”

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Politics & Government
11:44 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon To Resign

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon at the Boeing 787 assembly facility in Everett, Feb. 17, 2012. The Daily Herald reported he announced his resignation during his "state of the county" speech, Feb. 21, 2013. His last day will be May 31.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

The Everett Herald reports Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon will resign, effective May 31. Reardon has been dogged by allegation he misused county funds and  had his staff anonymously harass critics. Ross Reynolds talks with Everett Herald reporter Scott North about Reardon's announcement.

8:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Jared Diamond: Learning From Traditional Societies

Professor Jared Diamond lecturing at Maria Theresia College, Belgium, November 2008.
groucho Flickr

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond joins Ross Reynolds in front of a live studio audience. For decades he has studied Papua New Guinea cultures. He writes about what we can learn from traditional social organizations in his new book "The World Until Yesterday." Below are highlights from the interview.

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8:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

How Children Succeed: Paul Tough

Author Paul Tough discovered that character traits, like curiosity, are emerging as markers of childhood success.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Meyer

Coming up on The Conversation, February 20 at noon.

Why do some children succeed and others fail? Paul Tough went looking for the answer to that question, and in the process learned the answer is changing. He joins Ross Reynolds for a conversation about childhood success.

12:20 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Weighing The Impact Of The Feminine Mystique With Stephanie Coontz

Billington(left), National Organization for Women (NOW) founder and president Betty Naomi Goldstein Friedan, NOW co-chair Barbara Ireton, and feminist attorney Marguerite Rawalt (right).

Fifty years ago Betty Friedan published "The Feminine Mystique." It's been called one of the most important books of the 20th century. Stephanie Coontz is the author of a book about the impact of "The Feminine Mystique." It's called "A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s." Coontz says she was 19 when the book was published and she heard about it from her mom. Ross Reynolds talks with Coontz about the impact and importance of the book that many say sparked the second-wave feminist movement.