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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Government Surveillance
11:51 am
Wed July 31, 2013

NSA: America’s Most Secret Agency

National Security Administration campus in Fort Meade, Md.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

For 31 years journalist James Bamford has been writing about the National Security Agency and the threats he sees it posing to our privacy. Even after all the recent revelations about NSA spying on citizens, the agency knows much more than you think. The NSA listens in while Ross Reynolds and Bamford discuss the role of government surveillance.

Farmers Market Shopping
11:46 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: Blueberries

Courtesy of Sheryl Wiser

Heading to the farmers market this week? Pick up some blueberries! They are the world’s super fruit, high in antioxidants and other nutrients. Ross Reynolds talks to Sheryl Wiser of the Puget Sound Fresh program at the Cascade Harvest Coalition about what to do with blueberries.

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Academic Publishing
11:38 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Scholars Want To Embargo Dissertations

Many Ph.D. candidates have been putting their dissertations online when they’re done. But that means academic publications are less interested in publishing their research, since it’s already out there. So some academics are embargoing their dissertations until they’re published in an academic journal, a process that can be lengthy. Is this holding back the dissemination of knowledge? Ross Reynolds talks to Lynn Thomas, the chair of the history department at the University of Washington.

Public Health
11:30 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Anti-Smoking Cuts Pose Risk To Public Health

Flickr Photo/David Grant

Washington state is cutting back funding for the smoking cessation hotline. That means some people will only be able to call once. Are stop-smoking hotlines effective? Will this cutback lead to more smoking and higher public health care costs down the line? Ross Reynolds gets the answers from Dr. Abigail Halperin of the UW Tobacco Scholars Program in the UW School of Public Health.

Listener Call-In
11:32 am
Tue July 30, 2013

The Conversation Heads To Summer Camp

Flickr Photo/dierken

Summer camp can be a magical place for kids, full of craft time, first kisses, freedom from parents and sleeping under the stars. Of course, it can also mean snakes, mean kids and wedgies. Did you go to summer camp? Did anything memorable happen? Can you still sing your old camp song? Break out the s’mores, gather around the fire and we’ll swap stories.

Pot Investment
11:27 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Potreprenuers Get Ready For A New Kind Of Drug Deal

Flickr Photo/Benoit Deniaud

With recreational pot legal in Washington state, the marijuana business is moving from back alleys to storefronts. Former Silicon Valley banker Brendan Kennedy wants to lead the way in the new pot economy. He is CEO of Privateer Holdings, a cannabis-focused venture capital fund. He’ll explain to Ross Reynolds why he sees it as a $50 billion legal business.

Aging Population
11:21 am
Tue July 30, 2013

The Dangers Of Senior Assisted Living

Flickr Photo/ma neeks

Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living is the country’s largest assisted living operator, housing approximately 37,000 elderly Americans in more than 400 facilities across the country. Frontline and ProPublica teamed up to investigate reports on the failures of Emeritus. The year-long investigation resulted in a series of articles and a documentary on the dangers of senior care. Ross Reynolds hears from A.C. Wilson, a reporter at ProPublica, about the dark side of senior assisted living.

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Republican Chair Resigns
11:07 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Future Of Wash. State GOP After Kirby Wilbur

State Republican chairman Kirby Wilbur stands atop stairs in his home to explain the caucus process on March 3, 2012. Wilbur resigned Monday from his position in order to work for the Young America's Foundation.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Kirby Wilbur, the head of the Washington state GOP, resigned on Monday and has left the party struggling to find a new leader. As chair he led the Republicans to take greater control of the state Legislature but lost key races for governor and attorney general.

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2013 Elections
10:54 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Primary Election Time: How Are You Voting?

KUOW/Kara McDermott

Ballots are out for the August primary election. How are you voting? Seattle voters will decide on city council and school board positions, a parks levy, and which two candidates will face off in November’s mayoral race. Ballots are due back in the mail or an official ballot return box by August 6. Ross Reynolds talks to callers about what’s on the ballot and how they’ll be voting.

Controversial Books
9:19 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Reza Aslan's "Zealot" Draws Controversy And Comedy

Religions scholar and author Reza Aslan.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been out for less than two weeks, but it’s already created a firestorm for its author, religions scholar Reza Aslan.

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From Parking To Parks
11:37 am
Fri July 26, 2013

The Next Little Thing: Parklets

Seattle is taking parklet inspiration from San Francisco, which has parklets in a variety of sizes, styles and functions.
Flickr Photo/Paul Krueger

Seattle has a new mini-parks program that turns parking spaces into tiny public spaces called parklets. The first few are rolling out this August. Ross Reynolds talks with the person heading up the program for the Seattle Department of Transportation, Jennifer Wieland. 

Conversationalist Of The Week
11:33 am
Fri July 26, 2013

The Conversation News Quiz!

Would a luxury yacht by any other name not be as sweet? Ross Reynolds tests the wits and memory of a loyal listener in this week's edition of The Conversation News Quiz.

Mining Asteroids
11:30 am
Fri July 26, 2013

What Happens In Outer Space, Might Not Stay In Outer Space

Chris Lewicki, president and chief engineer of Planetary Resources.
Courtesy of Chris Lewicki

Last week the President’s plan to fund a mission to land on an asteroid was thwarted when the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology authorized a bill that will specifically prohibit the space agency from moving forward with the plan.

As arguments stall, funding for our government’s space programs in the private sector moves forward. Bellevue, Wash. is the home to one company that plans to not just land on an asteroid but to mine it for resources. Planetary Resources' president and chief engineer is Chris Lewicki. Ross Reynolds sits down with Lewicki to discuss his plans.

Representative Interview
11:27 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Dear Congressman McDermott, How's Work?

Representative Jim McDermott wins for best tie worn at the station this week.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Seattle Democrat Jim McDermott represents Washington’s 7th congressional district. He currently serves as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for writing tax law, and he’s the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Health.  Jim McDermott is currently serving his 12th term in congress and he joins Ross Reynolds for an in-studio interview.

Spending Wisely
11:31 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Spent The Right Way, Can Money Buy Happiness?

Elizabeth Dunn's book "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending"

Money may not buy happiness, but can spending your money wisely make you happier? Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, say yes. She talks with Ross Reynolds about the five principles of delightful spending and her new book "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending."

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