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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Hedreen Development
11:21 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Union Tries To Block Downtown Hotel Deal

Hotel development on the site of Seattle's Greyhound station is getting pushback from a union.
Flickr Photo/Matthew Rutledge

There are plans in the works to build a huge convention hotel on the site of Seattle’s Greyhound bus station. But the developer behind the hotel is threatening to cancel the project unless a union trying to block the project at city hall relents.

The union says the hotel would bring too many low-wage jobs to downtown Seattle. Ross Reynolds talks to Mark Stiles, a reporter at the Puget Sound Business Journal, who has been covering the story.

Outdoor Safety
11:43 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Wilderness Survival Guide

Flickr Photo/Dois Espressos

With the summer sun, more people are hitting the trails and enjoying the outdoors. But just because the weather is nicer doesn’t mean the wilderness is any safer. Lee Callahan shares what it was like to get lost in the woods at night. Then Jason Knight, co-founder of Alderleaf Wilderness College, talks to Ross Reynolds and callers about how to survive out in the wilderness.

Listener Call-In
11:39 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Is The Minimum Wage Too Low?

Correction 7/24/13:  In the original broadcast of this interview we misstated that Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant advocates a minimum wage of $21.72 an hour. According to her campaign representative Devin Matthews, Sawant is calling for a $15.00 dollar minimum wage. 

A recent economic survey showed it costs over $52,000  for a one parent and one child family to live a modest lifestyle in Seattle. Would raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour bring more people closer to earning a living wage? Or would a $15.00 minimum wage just discourage employers from hiring? Ross Reynolds talks to Felix Salmon, financial reporter for Reuters, about the case for each side, and callers share their opinions on if we should raise the minimum wage.

Dog Allergies
11:33 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Hypoallergenic Dogs: Myth Or Fact?

White House

Last week when we were talking about dogs in bars, restaurants and grocery stores the conversation turned to people who are allergic to dogs. One woman called to say her dog was hypoallergenic. But is that a real thing? Veterinarian Dr. Karen Hoffman reveals the truth to Ross Reynolds.

11:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Digital Dementia

Got a question? Ask Google. Can’t remember a name? Go to your smart phone. But are digital conveniences making us more forgetful? Tom Stafford psychologist at the University of Sheffield in the UK says no. He explains why our brains are just actually adapting.

Copper Theft
11:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Copping Copper: State Struggles With Illegal Scrap Metal Trade

Flickr Photo/Grant Hutchinson

Copper wire theft is a persistent problem. Most recently it put out the lights for property owners along Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway. Why is copper such a valuable thing to steal? And where is it being sold? Jay Sternoff is the legislative liaison for the Washington Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. He talks to Ross Reynolds about the world of stolen copper.

Urban Foraging
11:31 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Foraging For Food

Rebecca Lerner's book "Dandelion Hunter"

Rebecca Lerner is the Dandelion Hunter. She’s a forager for wild plants for food and medicine, twine and paint, soap and incense. Ross Reynolds walked around the University of Washington campus with Rebecca to see what they could find. Her new book is called "Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness."

Veterans Affairs
11:21 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Bill To Protect Veterans Against Discrimination

United States Congress

If you are a veteran looking for a job in Washington state, employers can’t refuse to hire you because of your military status. That’s because of a 2006 law protecting veterans against discrimination. But in most states that’s not the case. United States Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06) wants to change that. Ross Reynolds talks to Representative Kilmer about how his bill would protect all veterans and service members from employer and housing discrimination nationwide.

Mayor's Race
11:16 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Meet Mayoral Candidate Peter Steinbrueck

Mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck at KUOW
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ballots for the August 6 primary election go out today. Former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck hopes to lead the nine-person race and have a shot for getting elected mayor in November. Ross Reynolds talks to Steinbrueck about what he would bring to the mayor’s office.

11:12 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Getting Fresh With Ross and Sheryl

Flickr Photo/La Grande Farmers' Market

What’s fresh at the farmers market this week? Raspberries! Sheryl Wiser from Puget Sound Fresh program at the Cascade Harvest Coalition tells Ross Reynolds how to buy 'em, and some good things to make with them.

Trayvon Martin Remembered
11:09 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Prayer Vigil For Trayvon Martin

Saturday George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Rallies and protests opposing Zimmerman’s acquittal have popped up across the nation. Today in Seattle the Greater Mt. Baker Missionary Baptist Church is holding a prayer vigil for Trayvon Martin. KUOW’s Liz Jones talks to Ross Reynolds live from the event.

11:05 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Hallucinating With Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks' book "Hallicinations"

 Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. They’ve also been associated with spiritual enlightenment and disease. They can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. Ross Reynolds talks with noted writer and neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks about hallucinations and his book by the same name.

Mayor's Race
10:58 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Seattle Mayoral Candidate Mary Martin

Seattle mayoral candidate Mary Martin
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Meet Socialist Worker’s Party candidate for mayor of Seattle, Mary Martin. She says the next mayor of Seattle must defend the working class. What exactly would she do as mayor to protect the working class? Ross Reynolds talks to her about that and what else she would bring to the mayor’s office.

Asian-American Advocate
10:54 am
Tue July 16, 2013

The Legacy Of Kip Tokuda

  Former State Legislator Kip Tokuda passed away this weekend. The South Seattle Democrat served four terms in the House of Representatives. He was a champion for Asian-American rights, co-founding the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation to encourage young people for leadership roles in politics and nonprofit organizations. Ross Reynolds discusses his legacy with Jill NiShii, a longtime friend and former mentee of Tokuda.

Seattle City Council Race
9:41 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Surprise, Seattle! City Council Members Are Up For Election, Too

The crowded Seattle mayor's race is sucking up a lot of attention, so you may be surprised to know there are contested City Council races on your primary ballot as well. 

Four incumbent City Council members are up for re-election: Nick Licata, Sally Bagshaw, Mike O'Brien and Richard Conlin.

Read more