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Thursday September 17, 2009

Obama Announces New Approach for Missile Defense

President Obama has announced that the U.S. will shelve a controversial plan to build a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, in favor of a new approach.  We examine the implications with Jonathan Marcus, the BBC’s diplomatic correspodent in London.

Are Americans Illiterate When It Comes to Science?

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Authors Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum say yes, and in their new book they argue that many things need to change to get the US back on course. They say scientists need to be better communicators — they need to get into politics, onto Capitol Hill, and into classrooms. They point to the late Carl Sagan as an example of the kind of scientist who brings people into the field.  Chris Mooney is our guest.

Chris Mooney’s recommended links:

Driving While Distracted

If you find yourself in the state of Maine, you may want to think twice about multitasking behind the wheel — eating, applying make-up, reading a map, and more. That’s because Maine has just passed the country’s first law targeting distracted driving. We speak to Lt. Christopher Grotton with the Maine State Police.

Government Sees No Exit from the Housing Market

Many analysts fear that there is no easy, near term exit out of the housing market for the federal government. More than 80% of new home mortgages made this year depended on some government support; the government is spending over a trillion dollars this year to keep long term interest rates low; and an $8,000 tax credit helped motivate many people to buy homes this year. All this may have stabilized the housing market, but can the market work without the government? We’ll speak with Wall Street Journal reporter Deborah Solomon.

Summer Jazz Harvest

As summer draws to a close, Here and Now’s jazz aficionado James Isaacs reviews some of the best releases of the season, including music by the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Christian McBride, and Fred Hersh.

Music from the show

  • Peter Dixon, “Nagog Woods”
  • Fred Hirsch, “Desafinado”
  • Jimi Hendrix, “Crosstown Traffic”
  • The Funk Brothers, “Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  • Christian McBride, “Theme for Kareem”
  • The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, “I Can’t Get Started”
  • Christian McBride, “Brother-Mister”
  • Christian McBride, “Theme for Kareem”
  • Fred Hersch, “Desafinado”
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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

January 22 Comment

The Playwright Behind ‘Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike’

Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning comedy is currently being performed in 27 regional theaters across the U.S.

January 22 25 Comments

EdX CEO Lays Out Disruptive Vision For Higher Ed

Anant Agarwal believes MOOCs — massive online courses — can be a disruptive force for good in higher education.

January 21 22 Comments

What Happens When Your Sibling Makes More Than You?

Sociologist Dalton Conley explains what it means for family dynamics when one sibling is significantly richer or poorer.

January 21 2 Comments

Obama’s Proposal On Inequality: Is It Enough?

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz offers his take on the president's plan and whether it goes too far or not far enough.