Conversation

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 www2.kuow.org and select "The Conversation" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

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Birthing Options
12:20 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The Pros And Cons Of Home And Hospital Births

Where would you prefer to give birth to your baby?
george ruiz Flickr

According to a 2012 study by the CDC, Washington had the seventh highest rate of home births in the country. Overall, home births have been on the rise since 2004. But as of 2009 they still represented less than 1 percent of total births in the United States.

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Gun Control
12:04 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Rep. Mike Hope For Background Checks

Rep. Mike Hope represents Washington's 44th Legislative District.

Despite recent disagreements over gun control proposals in the state legislature, a few Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support one bill that would require background checks for all firearms transactions in Washington.

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Family
12:40 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Tales From Single Or Stay-At-Home Dads

What's your experience as a single or stay-at-home dad?
Dan Pearce Flickr

According to the most recent census, there are more than 1.7 million single fathers in the US and more than 175,000 stay-at-home dads, and their numbers are on the rise. David Hyde spoke to single and stay-at-home dads to ask them what it's like: the highs, the lows, parenting styles, the trials and tribulations of combing a little girl's hair, and even the dating perks.

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Environment
12:21 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

The State Of The Union In Solving Climate Change

The United States doesn't currently have a plan for dealing with the problem of climate change. But President Obama is expected to bring it up in his State of the Union address tomorrow night. What is he expected to say? What’s he likely to do? David S. Roberts of the Seattle-based environmental magazine Grist talks with David Hyde about his predictions on how the president will attempt to tackle climate change.

Science of Politics
12:15 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Is Social Anxiety Impacting Your Political Views?

What shapes your political views?
marsmet481 Flickr

Both state and federal lawmakers have been debating over how to approach immigration reform. Immigrants themselves tend to favor paths to citizenship and educational opportunities for their children. But how do non-immigrants formulate their opinions on the subject? A recent academic study says that maybe our genes play a key role in shaping our political views. According to the research, people with a predisposition to social anxiety and fear are more likely to be critical of the unfamiliar and therefore more likely to support things like anti-immigration policy. David Hyde talks to lead author and political science professor Pete Hatemi to get the details.

Movies & History
12:37 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Frank Rich And Sean Wilentz On The Oscars And African-American History

Anne Hathaway, nominated for best actress in a supporting role for ‘Les Miserables,’ left, and Steven Spielberg, nominated for best picture and best director for ‘Lincoln,’ attend the 85th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.
John Shearer/Invision/AP

David Hyde talks with Frank Rich about the historical significance of Quentin Tarantino’s "Django Unchained" and why Rich thinks it deserves to win an Academy Award for best picture. Then he turns to historian Sean Wilentz who thinks it is not "Django Unchained" but Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" that is the historically accurate and significant film that deserves the Oscar.

Marijuana
12:17 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Puff, Puff, Pass A Sobriety Check? The Science Of Marijuana Intoxication

Fetmano Flickr

State toxicologist Fiona Couper recently stated that violations for driving under the influence of marijuana have not gone up since the passage of Initiative-502. But marijuana legalization is still in its early stages and to be charged with a DUI the driver has to get caught with 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in their bloodstream. David Hyde talks with Dr. Marilyn Huestis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and tries to make sense of the science of marijuana intoxication.  

Gratuity
12:40 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

The Politics Of Tipping

What's your stance on leaving gratuities?
corrine klug Flickr

Is tipping the best way to compensate people? Would you rather people get tipped or get paid higher wages? And is 25 percent the new 20 percent? KUOW’s Ross Reynolds takes your phone calls.

Language
12:20 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Does Changing State Law To Use Gender Neutral Wording Matter?

University of Washington Sociolinguist Crispin Thurlow

Washington state is in the process of changing the language in state law to make it more gender neutral. Policemen are now police officers, for instance, and freshmen will become first-year students. Supporters say the change is needed because language matters. Critics say the changes are a waste of money. Ross Reynolds interviews University of Washington Sociolinguist Crispin Thurlow, and we take your phone calls.

Education
12:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Wash. Teachers' Union President On How To Improve State K-12 Education

Flickr Photo/ccarlstead

This week we’ve been taking a closer look at the battle over how to improve state education.  Today we get another perspective from Mary Lindquist, president of the state’s largest teachers' union, the Washington Education Association.

Technology
12:40 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Is Amazon's Mechanical Turk A Digital Sweatshop?

Jonathan Zittrain
Berkman Center for Internet & Society

The Mechanical Turk was a fake chess playing robot that fooled Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin. Today the Mechanical Turk is a service Amazon provides, linking workers with people who need tasks done. Some pay as little as a penny. Critics call Mechanical Turk a digital sweatshop. Ross Reynolds talks with Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, about working for points, Mechanical Turk and artificial-artificial intelligence.

Immigration
12:20 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Coming To America

Happy participants in the military naturalization ceremony, Yongsan, Korea, Dec. 2008.
US Army Photo by Edward N. Johnson

According to the Migration Policy Institute as of 2011, 13.3 percent of Washington’s population was born in another country. Today on The Conversation, Ross Reynolds hears stories about traveling to the US in search of a new home.

Education
12:10 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Are Republicans Washington's Mavericks In Education Reform?

Education mural at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle campus.
Gates Foundation

Former gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna supported charter schools, and some are arguing that his grand old party is leading the way on education reform while democrats in Olympia simply tout old policy. Ross Reynolds talks with Tacoma News Tribune columnist Peter Callaghan.

Sleep Problems
4:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Does Counting Sheep Work? Tips For A Good Night's Sleep

Arne Coomans Flickr

According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome. Ross Reynolds interviewed Dr. Sarah Stolz, the medical director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Swedish Medical Center.

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Digital Culture
12:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Cory Doctorow On Glee Copyright Issues, Aaron Swartz, And Digital Rights Battles

Cory Doctorow
Joi Ito Flickr

Ross Reynolds interviewed Boing Boing blogger, journalist, science fiction author, and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow. Below are highlights from his interview on The Conversation

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