Speakers Forum | KUOW News and Information

Speakers Forum

Thursday, 11:00 p.m. - midnight on KUOW

Sarah Vowell, Gloria Steinem, Michael Pollan: you can't make it to every lecture in town but you can hear plenty here. We record talks all over the Puget Sound region, from uber–famous intellectuals to lesser–knowns. From soldiers to urban farmers to humorists; we tape it, then air it on Speakers Forum.

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Education Lessons From Finland With Pasi Sahlberg

Jan 24, 2013
Courtesy Pasi Sahlberg

Finland’s public education system consistently ranks among the top in the world in terms of achievement and efficiency. Professor Pasi Sahlberg’s presentation talks about what the United States can learn from Finland, where education policies focus more on professional development rather than standardized tests, and pedagogy above technology. Sahlberg spoke at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on November 14, 2012.

"The Wisdom Of Psychopaths" With Kevin Dutton

Jan 17, 2013
Wisdom of Psychopaths
Courtesy Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

"Psychopath" is a weighted, sometimes terrifying word. But psychologist Kevin Dutton makes the argument that not all psychopaths are violent. In fact, some of their qualities -- fearlessness, confidence, charisma -- set them up for success in today's society. Dutton spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on Oct. 30, 2012.

Chaos, Disorder, Uncertainty: A Recipe To Thrive

Jan 10, 2013
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flickr photo/nrkbeta.no

How can we thrive in an uncertain world? Nassim Nicholas Taleb identifies a category of things that not only depend on disorder -- they thrive on it. For example: human bones get stronger when subjected to stress, and riots intensify when someone tries to suppress them.

Jim Cole / AP Photo

The first same-sex weddings took place in early December in Washington state. Marriage equality has come a long way in Gene Robinson’s lifetime. He was the first only gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom — and he wore a bulletproof vest to his 2003 consecration.

Today, he’s one of the world’s leading spokespeople for gay rights and gay marriage, and he has been married to a man for the last four years. Robinson spoke at Seattle’s Town Hall on December 7, 2012.

Politics In Verse With Calvin Trillin

Dec 27, 2012
Calvin Trillin
AP Photo/Richard Drew

America's deadline poet Calvin Trillin presents this talk about the 2012 presidential election -- in verse. With wry humor, Trillin discusses politics, campaigns and poetry, including the frustrating difficulty of trying to rhyme words with presidential candidate names. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on December 10, 2012.

Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt
courtesy/Wikipedia

Clay Jenkinson assumes both sides in a debate between two of the country's greatest presidents: Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. Jenkinson is a historian who commonly lectures as different historical figures. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on December 1, 2012.

Thomas Jefferson: Success, Power And Vision

Dec 13, 2012
Thomas Jefferson
Courtesy/Wikipedia

Jon Meacham's new biography of Thomas Jefferson paints the founding father as the most successful political leader of early America, and possibly all of US history. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" discusses Jefferson's passion for his nation in the country's fledgling years and reviews the man's genius and his faults.

Meacham spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on November 28, 2012.

What Hospitals Don't Tell You

Dec 7, 2012
Stethoscope
Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

Medical mistakes are now the third highest cause of death in the United States, writes Dr. Marty Makary. As a surgeon, Makary has witnessed the power of medicine firsthand. But he's also been shocked by the errors that can have tragic circumstances: wrong limbs amputated, children getting the wrong doses of medicine because of bad handwriting, surgical sponges left inside patients.

Makary advocates for a culture that holds hospitals and doctors accountable for these mistakes in order to bring about positive change in this system. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on November 15, 2012.

Ignite Seattle's Quest To Enlighten Us, Quickly

Nov 29, 2012
Flickr photo/Randy Stewart

"Enlighten us, but make it quick."

That's the premise of Ignite Seattle, a regular worldwide event where presenters get five minutes and 20 slides to get a point across. Speakers at this month's event touch on a variety of topics, including artistry, forgiveness and the environment. One woman even talks about a fear of public speaking.

Ignite Seattle took place at Town Hall on November 8, 2012. The talk was moderated by The Seattle Times columnist Monica Guzman.

StoryCorps' Dave Isay And The Love Of A Good Story

Nov 22, 2012
Flickr photo/ALA

If there's one tradition that's never faded away in our history as people on this earth, it's storytelling. StoryCorps is a massive oral history project whose mission is to record, preserve and share the stories of Americans from all background and beliefs. It was founded in 2003 by radio documentary producer Dave Isay. People tell their stories in mobile booths all around the country, and selected stories air nationally on NPR. Isay spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on February 7, 2012.

Tracie McMillan
Photo/Bart Nagel

As a kid, Tracie McMillan's favorite food was Hamburger Helper. Until she got to college, she considered people who ate "good food," snobs.  She became interested in how food and class relate in America while reporting on poverty.

Marvel Comics covers
Wikipedia

Nearly half a century ago, a diverse group of characters began to capture children's hearts: Spider-Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, The X-Men. The epic Marvel universe has been a massive force in pop culture, inspiring countless books, films and becoming a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

The Joy Of Math With Steven Strogatz

Nov 1, 2012

How does Google search the Internet? How many people should you date before getting married? And how should you arrange your mattress to get the maximum wear out of it?

"How Children Succeed" With Paul Tough

Oct 22, 2012

Character, not IQ, is the most important predictor of a child's success. That's what Paul Tough argues in his new book, "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character."


Tough uses research in neuroscience, economics and psychology to advocate a new way of thinking about children's success. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on September 20, 2012.

"The Last Great Senate" With Ira Shapiro

Oct 18, 2012

The US Senate just isn't what it used to be. Political insider Ira Shapiro longs for the 1960s and 1970s, where lawmakers passed landmark civil rights legislation, debated the Vietnam War and held Nixon accountable for Watergate. Shapiro's book, "The Last Great Senate," chronicles those golden years and provides a vision for the future. He spoke at Town Hall on September 24, 2012.
 

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