Best Townhallseattle podcasts we could find (Updated June 2019)
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The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events often present complex topics in a form that can be understood and enjoyed by listeners at many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and the possibilities of our world.
 
The Civics series at Town Hall shines a light on the shifting issues, movements, and policies, that affect our world. These events pose questions and ideas, big and small, that have the power to inform and impact our lives. Whether it be constitutional research from a scholar, a new take on history, or the birth of a movement, it’s all about educating and empowering.
 
The Arts & Culture series enriches our community with imagination and creativity. Whether reinventing the classics for a new audience or presenting an innovative new art form, these events are aimed at expanding horizons. From poetry to music to storytelling, this series leaves our audiences inspired, encouraged, and seeing the world with new eyes.
 
Highlighting big ideas from both recent and soon-to-come events, In The Moment is a rolling Town Hall timeline, with you at the center. Every two weeks, hosts Steve Scher and Jini Palmer rewind through the recent past and fast-forward to the near future, catching you up on events you may have missed and offering a glimpse into the weeks ahead. With hundreds of programs annually, it’s impossible to make them all–In The Moment helps you stay in touch with Town Hall even when you can’t be here, ...
 
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When diplomacy fails and war is unwise, the president calls on the CIA’s Special Activities Division—a highly-classified branch of the CIA and the most effective black operations force in the world. Almost every American president since World War II has asked the CIA to conduct sabotage, subversion, and even assassination. To unveil the secret ...…
 
According to Lee McIntyre, attacks on science have become commonplace. Claims that climate change isn’t settled science, that evolution is “only a theory,” and that scientists are conspiring to keep the truth about vaccines from the public are staples of some politicians’ rhetorical repertoire. McIntyre joined us to present The Scientific Attit ...…
 
Grace Madigan hears from food writer Ed Levine about the inspirations that led him to create his renowned food blog Serious Eats (3:33). Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Charles Fishman about NASA's unsung heroes behind our trip to the moon (12:07). Host Jini Palmer highlights a segment from Lee McIntyre's program about science, evide ...…
 
Many of us find ourselves frustrated with our 40-hour work weeks, wondering about the purpose and practicality of our jobs, and even whether or not work is necessary. We find ourselves questioning our capitalist society’s conception of work—that it’s normal and necessary to commit massive amounts of personal time and emotional energy to our job ...…
 
No one knows more about everything—especially everything rude, clever, and offensively compelling—than John Waters. He joined us for a discussion of his new book Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder. Town Hall invited you to a conversation with Waters, joined onstage by writer David Schmader, that spans the breadth of his incr ...…
 
It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.” Wilson took Town Hall’s stage for a co ...…
 
From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. Journalist George Packer took Town Hall’s stage to relate Holbrooke’s ambitious, headstrong narrative in Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the Americ ...…
 
How can the arts inform new directions for emerging technologies? From the curatorial mind of producer and director Meiyin Wang comes a collaborative exploration of the intersection of technology and the arts: This Is How It Ends. Through a series of performances and panel discussions, Wang introduced us to artists and technologists who are con ...…
 
When Bob Quinn was a kid, a stranger at a county fair gave him a few kernels of an unusual grain. Little did he know, that grain would change his life. Over the years, he began experimenting with organic wheat and he began to discover that through time-tested practices like cover cropping and crop rotation, he could produce successful yields—wi ...…
 
Can arts change our communities like they change our lives? ArtsFund joined us to share pivotal research from their first-ever Social Impact of the Arts Study in King County, and presented a panel of local leaders who provided perspectives on how we can engage the arts to strengthen our region in fields such as youth development and education, ...…
 
Our correspondent Sarah Szczypinski talks with educator and mentor Esther Wojcicki about her strategies for raising successful people (3:06). Chief Correspondent Steve Scher sits down with Neal Stephenson to discuss his new book Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, exploring digital afterlives in the far future (12:18). Host Jini Palmer shares a segment fr ...…
 
Whether we call it domestic abuse, private violence, or even intimate terrorism in America domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime. The World Health Organization deemed it a “global epidemic,” and yet too often it remains locked in silence, even as its tendrils reach unseen into so many of our most pressing national issue ...…
 
Hidden beneath the surface of the web, there is an unseen workforce of proofreaders, designers, and content watchdogs who make the internet seem smart. Co-authors Mary Gray and Siddharth Suri took the stage, joined by GeekWire’s Molly Brown, to shine a light on these laborers in Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global ...…
 
In this special episode, Correspondent Charles Cross talks with John Waters about his transgressive movies, living with stars, and some shared moments in Seattle (1:08). Listen in to what Waters learned along the way and where he's going now—and stay in the know about what's going on in this moment at Town Hall.…
 
Red May is a month-long festival of radical thought and art that brings together speakers and thinkers to explore alternatives to capitalism. This event centered the discussion on investment and expansion in our own city. Here’s what the organizers of Red May have to say about this evening: “You think it’s your home but it’s their investment. Y ...…
 
Denis Diderot is often associated with the decades-long battle to bring the world’s first comprehensive Encyclopédie into existence. But his most daring writing took place in the shadows. Andrew Curran, professor of Humanities and French at Wesleyan University, made his way to Town Hall’s stage to deliver insight from Diderot and the Art of Thi ...…
 
Americans spend more money on health than people anywhere else in the world. Yet, according to physician Sandro Galea, Americans live statistically shorter, less healthy lives than citizens of other rich countries—and these trends show no signs of letting up. Galea joined us at Town Hall with healthcare insight from his book Well for an examina ...…
 
Chief Correspondent Steve Scher joins Rachel Louise Snyder who investigates the language, myths, and information we use to describe domestic violence (5:25). Host Jini Palmer covers a conversation between Executive Director Wier Harman and Town Hall's Founder David Brewster as they discuss Town Hall's past, present, and future (15:51). Get an i ...…
 
According to some, politics as usual is being rejected across the globe and faith in neoliberalism is fracturing beyond repair. Leading political theorist Nancy Fraser, in conversation with Jacobin publisher Bhaskar Sunkara, dissected neoliberalism’s current crisis and asserted that we might be able to wrest new futures from its ruins. Fraser o ...…
 
What do you do when you realize you have everything you think you’ve ever wanted but still feel completely empty? What do you do when it all starts to fall apart? In the summer of 1999, Moby released Play—the album that arguably defined the millennium and catapulted him to superstardom. He joined us for a reflection on the bling and bluster of ...…
 
Leadership is hard. Convincing others—and often yourself—that you possess the answers and are capable of world-affecting change requires confidence, insight, and sheer bravado. Political leader Stacey Abrams took the stage to share her awareness of the experiences and challenges that hinder anyone who exists beyond the structure of traditional ...…
 
Few of us are aware of the extent to which the Greek language has influenced English. Fortunately, lauded New Yorker writer Mary Norris has a passion for all things Greek. She joined us to share excerpts from her book Greek to Me, drawing on a lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. In conver ...…
 
By 1979, we knew nearly everything we understand today about climate change—including how to stop it. The New York Times Magazine devoted an entire issue to Nathaniel Rich’s groundbreaking chronicle of a handful of scientists who embarked on a decade-long scientific struggle to convince the world to act before it was too late. Rich joined us wi ...…
 
Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Sandro Galea about shifting America's perspective of health (3:55). Correspondent Minh Nguyen sits down with Nancy Fraser and Bhaskar Sunkara to discuss the state of neoliberalism in America and the future of addressing social problems with collective solutions (14:02). Host Jini Palmer speaks with Ray ...…
 
Irene Butter is one of the few Holocaust survivors still alive today. She has shared the stage with the Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Desmond Tutu, and other peacemakers—but she has never told her entire story until now. Irene took the stage to discuss her amazing life story with excerpts from her book Shores Beyond Shores. Joined in conversation wi ...…
 
Formerly the domain of fiction, moving human civilization to the stars is increasingly becoming a scientific possibility. And according to theoretical physics professor Michio Kaku, this departure of planet Earth may soon become a necessity. He called us together to explore the process by which humanity may gradually move away from the planet a ...…
 
The numbers are staggering: over the past twenty years in Chicago, 14,033 people have been killed and another roughly 60,000 wounded by gunfire. What does that do to the spirit of individuals and community? Journalist and storyteller Alex Kotlowitz joined us with a deeply intimate collection of chronicles from the lives of individuals who have ...…
 
It takes true versatility for a novelist and playwright to hone their craft and become a master of the short form—and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is just such a master. Ngũgĩ joined us to reflect on works collected in his anthology Minutes of Glory and Other Stories. He outlined the process and inspiration for his stories, from the period of British colo ...…
 
What are the risks from genetically engineered fish to the people and environments of the Pacific Northwest? New Canoe Media tackles this question head-on with their new short film Salmon People. Town Hall joined forces with CAGJ to screen this powerful new film and call together a panel of indigenous and advocacy perspectives—all key activists ...…
 
Correspondent Valerie Curtis Newton talks with Cherríe Moraga about the way physical memory goes along with generational trauma, and the way her writing connects people with family and community (4:40). Chief Correspondent Steve Scher sits down with New Yorker columnist Mary Norris for a deep dive into the Greek alphabet and her trip to the Aeg ...…
 
Longtime Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee would have howled with laughter just a few years ago if he had been told he would soon be devoting himself to decrying the massive social media engine that is Facebook. But despite his career as a mentor of tech leaders and his large shareholdings in Facebook, that’s exactly what McNamee is doing. ...…
 
What happens when a professional therapist needs to seek council of her own? Lori Gottlieb, Los Angeles therapist and writer of the Atlantic column “Dear Therapist,” found herself in exactly this predicament. She joined us to discuss her book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, a candid and humorous account of her experiences that pulls back the ...…
 
Facebook’s algorithms shaping the news, self-driving cars roaming the streets, revolution on Twitter, and romance on Tinder. We live in a world constructed of code—and coders are the ones who built it for us. Acclaimed tech writer Clive Thompson joined us for a Town Hall conversation on Coders, an anthropological reckoning with the most powerfu ...…
 
What can we do to prevent violent extremism and promote peace in the world? For some—such as Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan—the answer comes through understanding. Eikenberry drew on his thirty-five year career in the United States Army to lead a discussion about the role of diplomacy and development in addressing the ro ...…
 
When veteran author Siri Hustvedt discovered her old notebook along with early drafts of a never-completed novel, she found herself caught in a dialogue between her past and present selves. The product of this juxtaposition was Memories of the Future, her new novel that brings together themes that have made Hustvedt among the most celebrated no ...…
 
Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology is revolutionizing science with a powerful approach to predicting and preventing disease. Listen in to a panel of experts as they examine the cross-disciplinary field of systems biology—and explore the ways this collaborative approach can be applied on new frontiers in biology and medicine. Join us for a ...…
 
Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith about hope he felt from the incredible community movements that took place around the time of the 2018 elections (3:45). Correspondent Reagan Jackson sits in with Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o about his early memories of his mother, his exile and time i ...…
 
With a lack of access to mental health services, people with mental illness often get swept into the criminal justice system. But on December 11, 2018 a federal judge approved a landmark class action settlement known as “Trueblood” that addresses this criminalization of mental illness—and has the potential to transform Washington’s mental healt ...…
 
With the U.S. still in the shadow of a potential border wall and the fraught discussions surrounding Brexit still circulating among headlines, journalist and novelist John Lanchester presented us with a satirical and frighteningly timely new novel—The Wall. The story follows Joseph Kavanagh, a Defender on the enormous concrete wall his island n ...…
 
After nearly a decade overseas, acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering—only to find that the slopes he once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption. He embarked on a worldwide journey to see for himself the consequences of climate change across the globe—from Alaska to Au ...…
 
Will advances in artificial intelligence, geoengineering, and bioengineering save or destroy the human race? That’s debatable. KUOW and Town Hall invited you to join us at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute on Sunday, March 24 for the latest event in KUOW’s That’s Debatable series. At this Oxford-style debate, a panel of smart Seattl ...…
 
There are thousands of living languages spoken in the world—and countless literary masterworks written in each of those languages. Translators like Michael Straus offer us a gateway to these incredible works of fiction and literary history. Straus joined us onstage to discuss the process and philosophy of translation, as explored in two of his ...…
 
The viral video of the chimpanzee Mama embracing her friend—biologist Jan van Hooff—one final time before her death touched the hearts of millions. Renowned biologist Frans de Waal captured the essence of that story in Mama’s Last Hug, asserting that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disg ...…
 
The Urban Poverty Forum is an effort to open a dialogue around the systemic issues surrounding urban poverty and to unite a diverse community of care—including faith based organizations, nonprofits, and concerned citizens in addressing problems faced by the poorest among us. For this year’s 13th annual Urban Poverty Forum, Town Hall presented s ...…
 
Grist editor and correspondent Matt Craft talks with journalist Dahr Jamail about his experience exploring different parts of the world to witness climate disruption firsthand (2:17). Chief Correspondent Steve Scher interviews author and poet Siri Hustvedt about trusting our memories, and how our older and younger selves can remember things dif ...…
 
When we see our own moments of character crisis reflected in the world around us, we often find ourselves compelled to help guide others through these dramatic changes. For actress, director, and author Amber Tamblyn, the massive upheaval to break out of her acting career led her to what she calls an Era of Ignition—a phenomenon which she sees ...…
 
Correspondent Katy Sewall talks with John Lanchester about the dream that inspired his frighteningly timely novel The Wall, exploring the purpose of walls as a tool for safety and security, but whose very existence can promote exclusion and "othering" (3:58). Chief Correspondent Steve Scher interviews renowned biologist Frans de Waal about the ...…
 
This special update is all about Town Hall's renovation and reopening. Host Jini Palmer goes on an exclusive tour of the building with Town Hall's executive director, Wier Harman. They discuss the construction delays (Town Hall will open its doors as soon as possible), what's in store, and what you can do to help. Wier talks about compelling To ...…
 
Happily ever after is not by chance. Award-winning marriage researchers and bestselling authors Drs. John and Julie Gottman contend that lifelong happiness happens by choice—the choice each person in a relationship makes to remain open, remain curious, and, most of all, to keep talking to one another. The Gottmans arrived on Town Hall’s stage t ...…
 
In this bonus episode, get an inside look at the past and present of our Global Rhythms series! Host Jini Palmer talks with Spider Kedelsky, the founder of the Global Rhythms series (1:00). He recalls how the music series came to be and shares his experience working with different groups and musicians over the years. Then Jini sits down with Jo ...…
 
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