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Best Steve Scher podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
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Interviewer and journalist Steve Scher holds in-depth conversations with authors, thinkers and artists about social. scientific and cultural issues. Series 2 of the podcast is supported by Town Hall Seattle.
 
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Why does baseball still survive, even thrive in America. Maybe because it is a game that makes you think about the big ideas of agency, of personal responsibility, hits and misses, of judgement calls. Baseball is a philosophers game. Baseball inspires poets and scribes to wax on about some essential baseball-ness that reflects larger values. Ma ...…
 
I was born in the mid-1950’s. My generation has been stuck with many labels, boomers, hippies, yuppies to name just a few of the polite ones. Me, I think of myself as part of the space age generation. We talked about space flight from primary school to high school. We grew up watching the race to the moon unfold on television. I remember watchi ...…
 
Neal Stephenson is the award winning speculative fiction, science fiction writer. His work is steeped in math, philosophy, technology and science. His latest book is a meditation on living in a digital world, perhaps forever. It is called, “Fall; or, Dodge in Hell.” Neal Stephenson speaks at Town Hall 7:30, Monday June 3rd 2019. Some tickets we ...…
 
Rachel Louise Snyder’s book, “No Visible Bruises” is a revisioning of the global epidemic of domestic violence. It upends many myths and misunderstandings about what is commonly called “domestic violence.” It explores the ways even the language we use to talk about it doesn’t fully capture its insidiousness. The 2018 UN Commission on the Status ...…
 
health, according to Dr. Sandro Galea, isn’t going to actually occur, for individuals or societies, if we stay focused at that level of attention and care. Health should be considered how everyone lives in their neighborhoods, the opportunities that exist in education and employment. Sandro Galea is an innovator in epidemiology. He is Dean and ...…
 
Mary Norris, “Greek To Me: Adventures of The Comma Queen.” I really hope my punctuation is perfect on this post. After a career of carefully editing so many accomplished writers, language and punctuation remain a joy to Marry Norris, renowned New Yorker Copy Editor.Her first book, “Between You and Me: Confessions of A Comma Queen,”was nominated ...…
 
Who will win in the fight for access and control? Here is Hedrick Smith’s documentary. Our Democracy is broken. Gerrymandering, dark money in politics, and voter suppression undermine the promise of one person, one vote. But Documentarian Hedrick Smith argues in his new film, “Winning Back Our Democracy,” grassroots activists are having some su ...…
 
Who will win in the fight for access and control? Here is Hedrick Smith’s documentary. Our Democracy is broken. Gerrymandering, dark money in politics, and voter suppression undermine the promise of one person, one vote. But Documentarian Hedrick Smith argues in his new film, “Winning Back Our Democracy,” grassroots activists are having some su ...…
 
Do we remember what happened in our past, or do we construct a fiction out of fragments? Can we trust our memories to be accurate and truthful? Scholar and writer Siri Hustvedt talks about truth and memory and the value of imagination in tying them together. What we think happened in the past, even just a few moments in the past, and what actua ...…
 
A conversation with the ethologist and author, Frans De Waal. Frans de Waal is a Dutch born primatologist and ethologist. He is a professor of Primate Behavior in the psychology department at Emory University in Atlanta. He does much of his science at America's oldest and largest primate center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He i ...…
 
Arne Duncan served as President Obama’s Secretary of Education. Duncan’s assessment of the nation’s efforts to educate children and of his own tenure in federal office is “How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education.”By Steve Scher.
 
A Retablos collected by Octavio Solis Octavio Solis is an award winning working playwright immersed in the culture and politics of our time. His plays tell the stories of rural America, of Latino America, of border America. His community of artists is telling stories that reveal the changing culture of the nation and the continuing connections ...…
 
An extended walk through Seattle’s Chinatown/International District with scholar Marie Wong. “Building Tradition: Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels”is the Seattle University professor’s historical examination of this vibrant Seattle neighborhood. The interview came out of an assignment for Seattle Magazine, published in the D ...…
 
An extended walk through Seattle’s Chinatown/International District with scholar Marie Wong. “Building Tradition: Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels” is the Seattle University professor’s historical examination of this vibrant Seattle neighborhood. The interview came out of an assignment for Seattle Magazine published in the D ...…
 
Through their wealth, philanthropists influence society. Is that fair? As it is currently set-up, Rob Reich says it isn’t. Reich (pronounced “reesh”) is a professor of political science and faculty co-director for the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford. He has written “Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democrac ...…
 
Love the ease of Uber or Lyft? Many of us do. Be aware, these businesses are rewriting the rules of work. ( here is my full length interview. If you want to skip around, an annotated list is below) Uber has disrupted the taxi industry around the world. But its way of doing business may be reshaping other industries. Alex Rosenblat is a technolo ...…
 
Peter Sagal. Author of “The Incomplete Book of Running” and host of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” Peter Sagal became a serious runner in his forties when he trained for and ran his first marathon. He has written a very funny and very serious book about the big ideas behind his attraction to running. Peter Sagal is host of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell M ...…
 
Journalist Chris Hedges is very worried about the future of the planet and the country. So he has embarked on a trip to spread the word. “America: The Farewell Tour,” his latest book, is his reporting on a nation he sees in the late stages of decline. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a best-selling author, a professor in the ...…
 
Ancient Skulls Harvard Geneticist David Reich is at the cutting edge of answering one of the age-old questions: Where did humans come from? Genomics is as critical to our understanding of human development as language, archeology and writings. Perhaps even more so. The data is replicable, the science is hard and it is moving fast. Reich is one ...…
 
Biologist Thor Hanson with his Bee Tube. People need bees. Since the first wasp got a taste for pollen 125 million years ago, bees and flowers have co-evolved in a way that brings almonds and apricots to our tables. But honeybees, as well as the less well known but equally critical miner, leafcutter, sweat and mason bees are in trouble, getting ...…
 
“The Tangled tree: A Radical New History of Life,” looks new scientific understanding that tangles up human understanding of the tree of life. Award winning science writer David Quammen says maybe life is more like an elaborate topiary.By thehouseofpodcasts.
 
Seattle is a Bee City-one of 70 in the nation that promote strategies to expand habitat for native pollinators. Pollinators, don’t forget, do all the real work towards feeding the planet. No fruit without the bee. As Joe Strummer sang, “you want to get the honey, don’t go killing all the bees.” Honeybees are in decline. You’ve heard, yes. But i ...…
 
The next time you fear for the state of the union, turn your attention to small cities across America. James Fallows and Deborah Fallows say it is in Erie, Pennsylvania and Fresno, California that a brighter American future is being forged. The Fallows new book, Our Towns: A 100,00 mile journey into the heart of America, reads like a call for h ...…
 
Marijuana legalization for recreational and medical use is spreading from state to across the US. The Trump administration is saber-rattling over the trend, threatening to reinvigorate federal restrictions. Hard to stamp out a weed, though. Use of Marijuana has been trampled in the past, yet it finds a way. Historian Emily Dufton tracks the ris ...…
 
There are plenty of ways to analyze the rise of civilization. The development of weapons and tools, the beginnings of language, the notion of counting, the demise of large predators, the change in climate, the rise in agriculture, a trading mindset, shipbuilding and roadbuilding all surely played a part. It is something to contemplate over a gl ...…
 
What approach to the future will help ensure that the 10 billion people expected to be on the planet in 30 years have enough to eat, enough energy, enough water and a livable climate? Charles Mann has been thinking about two different approaches to the future. Prophets think we are doomed unless we cut back on our consumption and spread the bou ...…
 
At Length features interviews by Steve Scher with artists, authors and scholars visting Town Hall Seattle Our irrational behavior interferes with our best efforts to curb spending and increase saving. Dan Ariely has come up with some rules of thumb that can help us make better decisions. Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend ...…
 
At Length is a podcast featuring interview with visiting scholar and authors to Town Hall Seattle. How far removed is Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, from the Czars of old and the Soviet Premiers of the past century? What is the source of his grip power in Russia? What happened along the path to democracy envisioned after the end of the S ...…
 
Nancy Pearl, the only public librarian featured as an action figure, has written her first novel. “George and Lizzie” is a funny, acerbic look at an always troubled, always promising marriage. We talked at Bryant Corner Cafe in the Northeast Seattle neighborhood of Ravenna-Bryant. Nancy and I had another podcast for a year or so called That Sta ...…
 
Air Force Major Margaret Witt (Ret.) sued the Military over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which prohibited discrimination against closeted homosexuals but barred openly gay, lesbian, trans or bisexual individuals from service. Her decision to confront the 17 year policy helped overturn the military’s treatment of gays and lesbians and ushered in a new ...…
 
Classic cover of a classic book Don’t Reject Science Fiction or Books That Take You Outside The Box or Why Nancy Hates Categorizing Books! Again we are dealing with the basic issue that rankles Nancy Pearl. When you put books into categories or label books as this but not that, too many readers skip over wonderful reading experiences. She knows ...…
 
Nancy and Steve had the opportunity to spend some time with King County Librarian Aarene Storms and a great group of young readers at the Teen Pizza and Books group at the Lake Forest Park Library meeting room. You should drop by. The next one at the Lake Forest Park Library is scheduled for June 7th. By the way, there are numerous reading grou ...…
 
Professor Marieka Klawitter Over the last few years, the debate in America over the rights of people of different gender identities has become a key civil rights issue. Professor Marieka Klawitter is the final speaker in the UW’s Equity and Difference series. Her widely published research, focuses on poverty, family savings and the economic imp ...…
 
Stewart O'Nan's newest novel. “In post-World War II Jerusalem, a concentration camp survivor becomes involved in the underground resistance movement against the British.” That is the straightforward description of Stewart O’Nan’s newest novel, “City of Secrets.” Brand, the camp survivor navigates between loss and hope in violent Jerusalem. Stew ...…
 
Last week we talked about books that make us happy. For balance, we take up books that make a reader sad, that take the reader into the darkest places of the human experience. Here are some books that are such an emotionally tough read, they might best be read In the sunny days of summer. The Bryant Corner Cafe is a warm and cozy place. The sun ...…
 
We have had some remarkably wonderful spring days here in Seattle. Record April high's in the 80's have put smiles on our faces and have us thinking happy thoughts and reaching for books that make us happy. We have tasked ourselves, those of us sitting around the table at the Bryant Corner Cafe and those of basking in the weather in our homes, ...…
 
Toure Toure, the writer, TV commentator and social critic, was the Signature Speaker at the University of Washington lecture series on Equity and Difference . Steve spoke to Toure about his work, including his book, "Who is Afraid of Post-Blackness: What it is Like to Be Black In America Now." Here is a short excerpt from the interview. For the ...…
 
Nancy and Steve talk about two books that look at the history of the American civil rights movement. But one book sparks another suggestion. Carry Me home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution,” by Diane McWhorter. Nancy says that if you are going to read one book about how young people challenged Jim Crow in ...…
 
What are the norms for public and private behavior in these modern times? Well, different norms for different occasions, sure. Different norms for different people too, of course. And too often different norms depending on the color of our skin. That last notion, pointing to the prejudice we carry around inside ourselves, is the most insidious ...…
 
Why do we know the name of an early 20th century Russian mystic? Why is it that the story of Rasputin has become a mini-industry of myth and folklore, well into the 21st century? Here is a That Stack of Books Extra, an author interview about a forthcoming book. Steve Scher talked to historian Douglas Smith at Folio, the new independent library ...…
 
When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980, 57 people were killed. What were they still doing in harm's way on the mountain, after months of warnings by scientists and rumblings from the volcano? Steve Olson has gone back to tell their stories in his new book, "Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens." We spoke at Town Hall, in Seat ...…
 
The political season is in full throttled shout now. So we figured this might be the time to pick up some books to put our American system into some context. A few of the books we discussed in this episode. All The King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren Advise and Consent, Allan Drury Lincoln, Gore Vidal Burr, by Gore Vidal America, by John Stewart ...…
 
Steve had the chance to talk to a few Northwest based writers who have new books on the way. That prompted Nancy to share a few new books by Northwesterners that she is reading right now too. “Lovecraft Country,” by Matt Ruff. Nancy says Ruff takes the thriller into new and surprising territory. This story begins as a very realistic novel, set ...…
 
The rigors of the mystery test our panel. We debate authors, series, and definitions. And we have quite a list. Before we got started on our mysteries, Nancy Decided to add to our stack of sad books. “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams “The House of Mirth,” Edith Warton “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White “When Breathe Becomes Air,” by Pau ...…
 
School reform could succeed in the U.S. if the cultural paradigm is flipped and urban schools led by strong leadership among principals, community activists and students are acknowledged as leaders in promoting quality education. University of Chicago scholar Dr. Charles M. Payne talks with Steve Scher about real reform. Dr. Payne spoke in Seat ...…
 
You get that dreaded phone call from your loved one, who tells you, “I have cancer.” How do you share the pain and the fear? Nancy is off this week and we have an interview Steve did with a northwest author. In a sense it is following up on last week's episode about romance and love. Here is a true love story. For writer Abbe Rolnick, the love ...…
 
Why aren't Indians often heard in mainstream America? Scholar K. Tsianina Lomawaima says it’s because of the simple but challenging reality that this country is built on Native lands. The recipient of the UW Distinguished Teaching Award talks to Steve Scher about American Indians, citizenship, identity and strength. Professor K. Tsianina Lomawa ...…
 
What is the difference between a love story and a romance? Which do you prefer? We sat down at the Bryant Corner Café to talk about love. Valentines Day had everyone thinking about it, but we got into a pretty substantive discussion about the difference between love stories and romances. Finally, different kinds of love, between different peopl ...…
 
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