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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3:46 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Every (Other) Breath You Take

Marine microbes are not as cute as sea otters, but they do produce about half the oxygen on the planet.  Meaning you have microscopic marine microbes to thank for every other breath you take.  And University of Washington oceanographer Ginger Armbrust just received a multi-million dollar grant to study marine microbial ecology from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.  

Ross Reynolds talks with Professor Armbrust about the latest science on the microbes that we can thank for every other breath.

Seattle Mayor
3:42 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

In This Corner, Ed Murray: Another Hat In The Ring For 2013 Mayor Race

Seattle’s Democratic State Senator Ed Murray is running for mayor of Seattle. Ross Reynolds talks with Sen. Murray about the challenges of being Seattle's mayor and what sets him apart from the other candidates.

Climate Change
12:07 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Landslides And Climate Change: Lessons From Alaska For Seattle

Near the edge of Alaska's Malaspina Glacier, erosion is so rapid that even the bear trails can't keep up and forests wash into the sea.
Credit Ground Truth Trekking

Landslide season has begun. That's when we hear stories about houses sliding down Seattle's famously steep slopes. But according to geologist "Hig" Higman, landslide season is about to get even hairier.

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12:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

The Big Flatline: Oil And The No-Growth Economy

Jeff Rubin was a high-flying economist at a major Canadian investment bank, until he decided to write a book about how high oil prices were going to flatten the global economy.  Ross Reynolds talks Jeff Rubin about the steadily mounting demand for cheap oil in a world of dwindling supply.

12:37 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

US Senators Want To Bust The Filibuster

You don't need a majority to gum up the US Senate. With 41 votes, you can call in a filibuster. Republicans defend the filibuster, but Democrats hate it. That's why Democratic senators want to loosen the filibuster's hold around the senatorial throat.

Julian Zelizer is a political commentator and a history professor at Princeton University. His books include "Arsenal of Democracy" and "Jimmy Carter." Zelizer sits down with Ross to tell us how a few senators want to bust the filibuster.

Human Trafficking
12:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Seattle: A Hotspot For Human Trafficking

A red light - a symbol of prostitution.
Credit Flickr photo/Mr Jaded

Seattle is a hotspot for computer software, gourmet coffee and unfortunately, human trafficking. The victims work as prostitutes, domestic servants and mail-order brides. That blight on the city's reputation is a sore spot for Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles. She gives Ross an update on Washington's efforts to fight human trafficking.

Alternative Energy
12:00 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Harvest The Wind With Philip Warburg

A Wind Turbine in Washington
Credit Flickr photo/Ethan O'Connor

If you've driven through Eastern Washington lately, you've probably noticed the wind turbines. For some, they're a blight; for others, they look like the future. To Philip Warburg, that future looks bright. He writes about it in his book, "Harvest the Wind: America's Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence and Climate Stability." He'll try to blow away Ross Reynolds with his story of wind's power.

11:52 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Medicating Children

Credit Pink Sherbet Photography / Flickr

Kids and drugs don't mix, unless you're talking about antipsychotic medication. Then they go together like peanut butter and jelly.

From 2001 to 2007, the number of preschool-age kids on such drugs increased by almost half. Between 1996 and 2005, school-age kids using anti-depressants increased even more. Experts disagree on whether we're overmedicating our youth.

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Baseball History
11:06 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Baseball: A Mirror For America

University Heights Baseball Team, Seattle, circa 1920s
Credit Seattle Municipal Archives

What does Baseball history tell us about America? That we’re a nation of scandals and corrupt leadership, of racial prejudice and cold economic calculus. But we’re also a nation of humility and redemption. William Woodward teaches American history at SPU and preaches the gospel of baseball all over Washington state. The narrative he sees  in baseball gives him hope – not just for America, but for the human condition. Professor Woodward gives Ross Reynolds his pitch.

Artist Interview
1:21 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Becoming Dale Chihuly

Chihuly as a child, 1942.
Courtesy Chihuly Studio

Dale Chihuly was born in Tacoma, attended the University Of Washington, and went on to revolutionize glass art.  His work is displayed all over the world, though it has been many years since he has blown any glass himself. Ross Reynolds talks to Dale Chihuly about his life and his work.

Home Improvement
12:20 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Get Paid To Weatherize Your Home

Lots of people want to help pay to weatherize your home. But that money can be hard to get. Navigating all the public utility rebates and incentive programs — what a headache!

In Seattle, there's a program called  Community Power Works to help.  It's a partnership between the feds and the city of Seattle. And it's only here until the federal stimulus money runs out. Ross talks with the program's manager, Joshua Curtis.

12:00 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Fighting Infertility

In the popular television series Jon and Kate Plus 8, a couple suffering from infertility used artificial insemination to have children. What they didn’t plan on was the set of twins that arrived after the first treatment, and after the second treatment, a set of sextuplets.

Fertility research is now showing that the risk of accidental multiple births is dramatically decreasing. It’s estimated that one in five couples in the US struggle with infertility, and more and more treatment options are becoming available.

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Gun Laws
11:59 am
Fri November 30, 2012

King County Prosecutor Aims For Tougher Gun Penalties For Kids

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg is pushing for tougher penalties for kids that commit crimes with guns in Washington state.  Under current rules a judge can call for detention for up to 30 days for the first gun offense.  Under the proposed change, juvenile offenders would get a mandatory 10 days in detention after the first offense.

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11:51 am
Wed November 28, 2012

The New Front Page: 21st Century Journalism And What It Means For You

Claudia Rowe
Author's LinkedIn Profile

What happens when the demand for profit by media companies drives news coverage? Seattle reporter Claudia Rowe joins Ross Reynolds to talk about the changing landscape of journalism in 2012. She’s been in journalism for more than 20 years, writing most recently for The New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Public Transportation
11:48 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Is Seattle's Mass Transit Massively Bad Or Massively Good?

Has your riding experience truly been easy?
Oran Viriyincy Flickr

Do you have complaints about the RapidRide bus service? Or are you loving the WiFi? Ross Reynolds talks to listeners about the state of their mass transit commute. How’s your bus, train, ferry commute going these days?