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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Employment
12:20 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

The New Workforce: Stories Of Temping, Freelance And Temporary Work

Job growth continues to be sluggish, but there’s one big exception: temporary work.  The number of temp and contract jobs has increased by nearly 30 percent since early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association. 

Ross Reynolds takes a closer look at the new temping economy with Steven Greenhouse, the  labor reporter for The New York Times.

Food Labelling
12:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Environmental Activist Mark Lynas On His Support of GMOs

Former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and Mark Lynas meet at Keble Collage, Oxford, England. Lynas was the climate advisor to Nasheed during his presidency.
Presidency Maldives Flickr

This year we could be voting on an initiative requiring labeling of all food that contains genetically modified food, what critics call Frankenfood. Backers have turned in what they say are the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot.

Environmental activist Mark Lynas was an adamant opponent of genetically modified foods. He wrote in 2008, "The technology moves entirely in the wrong direction intensifying human technological manipulation of nature when we should be aiming at a more holistic ecological approach instead."

Mark Lynas was one of the first people to break into fields that scientists had planted with genetically modified test crops — and then rip them out of the ground. Ross Reynolds talks with Mark Lynas about what changed his mind about GMOs.

Stock Market
12:40 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

The Physics Of Wall Street

Wall Street skyscrapers
Credit Michael Aston / Flickr

    

  What can physics teach us about finance? A great deal according to physicist and mathematician James Owen Weatherall. He says markets can be understood, and to a degree even predicted, by using principles of physics. Ross Reynolds talks to professor Weatherall about what physics can teach us about Wall Street.

Standardized Testing
12:20 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

More Seattle Teachers Saying No To Standardized MAP Test

Fill in the bubbles.
Credit Flickr Photo/COCOEN daily photos

    

A group of teachers at Ballard High School in Seattle has come out in support of Garfield High School teachers' refusal to give students the district-mandated Measures of Academic Progress standardized test. The teachers say the test is useless and shouldn't factor in to teacher evaluations. Ross Reynolds talks with educators and education experts on both sides of the issue.

Health Care
12:00 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

What Would The Expansion Of Medicaid Mean For Washington State?

  Medicaid expansion is one of the key decisions state lawmakers in Olympia face this session. Proponents say it would expand coverage to the uninsured, save the state money and boost the economy. Critics say it’s not clear how much the expansions will eventually cost state taxpayers. Ross Reynolds takes a closer look at Medicaid expansion with University of Washington public health-expert Aaron Katz.

Drug Policy
12:20 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Should We Legalize All Drugs?

An artist's rendition of what will happen if we legalize all drugs.
Credit Hieronymus Bosch

So we've legalized pot.

Now some people are asking, if legalization is good enough for pot, why not cocaine? Why not crack? Should we just legalize everything?

Read more
Self Improvement
12:39 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Getting Things Done: How To Clear Your Mind And Increase Productivity

Getting things done starts with knowing what you're not doing.
Justin See Flickr

Getting organized and staying organized can be a daunting task, but author David Allen says there is an easy system you can follow. Ross Reynolds spoke with David Allen back in 2009.

Slavery In The Northwest
12:19 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Charles Mitchell: A Slave In Washington State

By the time Washington became a state in 1889, slavery had been abolished for nearly a quarter century. But there are a few documented cases of slavery in the Washington Territory. One is Charles Mitchell, who was born a slave and brought to the territory in 1853.

How did the 12-year-old escaped slave end up in Washington and why did his slavery cause a fight between Canada and the US? Ross Reynolds talks with storyteller Eva Abram to hear the story.

Cost Of Living
12:12 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Seattle And "The New Geography Of Jobs"

Where you decide to live is more important than your resume in determining your salary. That's according to Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti. He'll tell us about where to live if you want to be healthy and wealthy.

Seattle Mayor's Race
12:40 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Would You Reelect Mayor McGinn?

Should Mayor McGinn get a second term?

Mayor Mike McGinn has a press conference at 12:30 p.m. If he announces a run for a second term would you want him reelected? Ross Reynolds talks to KUOW listeners about how the mayor has done so far and if they would want him back.

Second Amendment
12:20 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

The New Push For Gun Control

Former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former Astronaut Mark Kelly, are launching a new gun control group.  Their specific proposals to combat gun violence include comprehensive background checks for private sales and stricter controls on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. 

What do you think? Is gun control the answer?  Ross Reynolds talks with UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, Second Amendment Foundation spokesman Dave Workman, and Washington Cease Fire executive director Beth Flynn about the latest push for further gun control.

More from KUOW
12:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Not So Extraordinary Rendition? Comparing Bush And Obama Policies

Guards from Camp 5 at Joint Task Force Guantanamo escort a detainee from his cell to a recreational facility within the camp, Oct. 2011.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Kilho Park, DVIDSHUB Flickr

When Barack Obama became president he announced a ban on torture and an end to the CIA’s secret prison network.  But how exactly is the Obama administration handling terrorism suspects detained abroad?  And what’s the difference from the Bush administration?

Ross Reynolds talks with American University law professor, Stephen Vladeck, about how the two administrations compare when it comes to the issue of rendition.

Aging And Health Care
11:30 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Preparing For The Grey Tsunami In Health Care: Economist Dean Baker And Labor Activist Ai’jen Poo

Are you ready for the Grey Tsunami?
Rita T Flickr

By 2030, seniors will make up more than 20 percent of Washington state’s population.  Are we ready to care for the elderly? What’s it going to mean for federal programs like Medicare?  Ross interviews economist Dean Baker and labor activist Ai’jen  Poo.

Marijuana
11:15 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Pot Lobbies Push For License To Grow

Cannabis greenhouse in Oakland, Calif., 2012.
Rusty Blazenhoff Flickr

The Liquor Control Board is currently drafting the rules for how to apply for a license to grow marijuana in Washington state.  Several groups made up of lawyers, lobbyists and farmers have formed, and they’re looking to influence the board’s decisions.

One of these organizations is the Cannabis Business Group. Ross Reynolds talks with their board member, Hilary Bricken, a cannabis business lawyer.

Life Beyond Death
11:08 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Academic Neurosurgeon Says Heaven Exists

Dr. Eben Alexander says our awareness becomes much greater when freed from our physical brain.
Author's Twitter account

Many people say there is a heaven. But few are academic neurosurgeons. Ross Reynolds speaks with Eben  Alexander about a near-death experience he says gave him a glimpse of the afterlife that he outlines in his book, "Proof of Heaven."

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