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.

‘My Beloved World’ By Sonia Sotomayor

Mar 27, 2014
Sonya Sotomayor's book, "My Beloved World."

Sonia Sotomayor is the 111th justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. She’s also its first Hispanic and third female justice. In her memoir, “My Beloved World,” Sotomayor details her childhood struggle with diabetes, her family life and her drive to become a lawyer.

Sotomayor spoke at Town Hall on March 10, 2014. The talk was moderated by Eric Liu.

‘The Science Of Self’ With Jennifer Ouellette

Mar 20, 2014
Jennifer Ouellette's book, "Me, Myself, and Why."

What defines us? What determines our identity?

Jennifer Ouellette explores how eye color, likes and dislikes, and even hatred of cilantro construct our individual identities. She underwent personality tests and genome sequencing to determine the slight variations that set us all apart.

Ouellette is a blogger for "Scientific American" and the author of “Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self.” She spoke at Town Hall on February 25, 2014.

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's book "Double Down."

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin are the authors of "Game Change," the best-selling story of the 2008 presidential election that was turned into an HBO movie.

In their new book, “Double Down: Game Change 2012," they apply their political knowledge to the 2012 presidential race. They go beyond the headlines to offer an account of a hard-fought campaign on both sides.

They spoke at the First Presbyterian Church on November 12, 2013, in an event sponsored by Town Hall.

ced.berkeley.edu

In a way, Majora Carter’s dog is partially responsible for the existence of a Bronx park. More than a decade ago, Carter was pulled by her dog into a vacant, trashed lot and onto the banks of the Bronx River. After securing a USDA Forest Service program grant, Carter worked with community groups over five years to build the award-winning Hunts Point Riverside Park.

Carter is an urban revitalization strategist who examines the connection between urbanization and the environment. She spoke at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on January 22, 2014, as part of the UW Graduate School lecture series.

‘Dog Whistle Politics’ With Ian Haney López

Feb 27, 2014
Ian Haney Lopez's book "Dog Whistle Politics."

Dog whistle politics means using language that appeals to one group of people but may have coded meanings to another. For example, one reason Ronald Reagan did so well with white voters was because he told stories of the “welfare queen” – a woman with “eighty names, thirty addresses, [and] twelve Social Security cards [who] is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”

Ending Our ‘Big Fat Crisis’ With Deborah Cohen

Feb 20, 2014
Dr. Deborah Cohen's book, “A Big Fat Crisis."

Candy by the cash register, 24-hour drive-throughs and constant food advertisements have all contributed to America’s obesity epidemic. More than one-third of Americans are obese, and natural scientist Dr. Deborah Cohen has some new ideas for solving this problem.

In her new book, “A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Influences Behind the Obesity Epidemic — and How We Can End It,” Cohen argues in favor of government regulation of unhealthy foods and stricter restaurant guidelines. She spoke at Town Hall on January 22, 2014.

‘The Boy Who Shot The Sheriff’ With Nancy Bartley

Feb 13, 2014
Nancy Bartley's book "The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff."

In 1931, Asotin County Sheriff John Wormell was shot and killed by a 12-year-old boy. Herbert Niccolls, Jr., was almost hung by a lynch mob before he was sentenced to life in prison.

Journalist Nancy Bartley is the author of “The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff: The Redemption of Herbert Niccolls, Jr.” The book reveals Niccolls’ troubled past and early Washington state history. She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on January 7.

Online Reputation As Currency With Joshua Klein

Feb 6, 2014
Joshua Klein's book "Reputation Economic."

In today’s world: Avis discounts car rentals based on its Twitter followers; Carnival Cruise Lines offers upgrades based on Klout scores; Amazon is this-close to pricing goods based on a customer’s online reputation.

Online reputation is replacing currency, technology Joshua Klein argues. How will this affect our future interactions with each other and with businesses? Klein is the author of “Reputation Economics: Why Who You Know is Worth More Than What You Have.” He spoke at Town Hall on January 9.

Nuclear Weapons Today With Joseph Cirincione

Jan 30, 2014
KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel

The Cold War might be over, but the nuclear weapons and the threat of destruction remains.

Joseph Cirincione is the president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He’s also the author of “Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late.”

He spoke at Town Hall on January 14 about today’s most pressing international security issue — and the steps governments are taking to make the world safer.

Inside The Teenage Brain With Daniel Siegel

Jan 23, 2014
Daniel Siegel's book "Brainstorm."

The teenage brain can be a mystery to adults. UCLA psychiatry professor Daniel Siegel debunks myths about adolescence to show how teens learn new skills, connect with others and demonstrate limitless creativity.

Siegel is the author of “Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.”

He spoke at Town Hall on December 13, 2013, in a lecture presented by ParentMap.

Dave Isay On The 'Ties That Bind'

Jan 16, 2014
Dave Isay's book "Ties That Bind."

Ten years ago, Dave Isay began StoryCorps by building a soundproof booth in Grand Central Terminal. People arrived in pairs to interview each other about their lives.

Today, StoryCorps airs stories weekly on NPR, and more than 30,000 interviews have been recorded and archived in the Library of Congress. Isay has also compiled some of the stories into books. His most recent is called “Ties That Bind: Stories of Love & Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps.”

He spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on December 17, 2013.

In 1963, one of the most controversial books of the twentieth century was published. “Eichmann in Jerusalem” presented Adolf Eichmann not as a sociopath — but as an ordinary person who simply believed his actions were normal. The author of this book, political theorist Hannah Arendt, refers to this theory as the “banality of evil.” Arendt was a Jew who fled Germany in the early 1930s. 

Yale professor Seyla Benhabib offers an overview of the controversy surrounding Arendt’s book, and what lessons it can teach us about humanity. Benhabib spoke at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on October 24, 2013 as part of the Graduate School lecture series.

Julia Serano's book "Excluded."

Julia Serano has challenged exclusion in the feminist and queer movements for years. As an activist and trans woman, Serano was shocked to see some people challenge one type of sexism while ignoring — and sometimes furthering — others.

In her new book, "Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive," Serano calls for a new, inclusive approach to battling sexism. She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on December 4.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Dec 20, 2013
Joshua Greene's book "Moral Tribes."

As humans, we’re designed to work together with certain groups of people while fighting off others. In modern times though, our tribes have been forced closer to others, sparking clashes. What is a practical way to solve these problems? And how can different tribes move forward together?

Psychologist Joshua Greene traces the roots of morality and conflict in his new book, “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them.” He spoke at Town Hall on November 15.

Five Minutes Onstage At Ignite Seattle

Dec 19, 2013
Flickr Photo/Randy Stewart

What would you say if you had five minutes onstage and a captive audience?

That's the premise of Ignite Seattle, a regular worldwide event where presenters get five minutes and twenty PowerPoint slides to get a point across. Speakers at November’s event touched on a variety of topics, including living in two cities, superbugs, and little-known facts about "Hamlet."

Ignite Seattle 22 took place at Town Hall on November 20. The talk was moderated by Seattle Times columnist Monica Guzman.

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