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A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.

A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.
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Seattle, WA


A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.






4518 University Way NE, Suite 310 Seattle WA 98105 206-543-2710


Jane Goodall: 'How is it possible the most intellectual species is destroying its own home?'

Dr. Jane Goodall hasn’t been in one place for more than three weeks since October 1986. That’s when she says she went from being a scientist to an activist for the welfare of wild and captive chimpanzees. She now travels nearly 300 days a year.

Duration: 00:38:56

Feminism’s 'Nasty Women' stand up to Trump

On the night of November 8, 2016, many writers and journalists were preparing pieces on what it would mean for the United States to elect its first woman president. Those works obviously didn’t make it to print.

Duration: 00:49:53

‘No simple contract:’ UW community members read the U.S. Constitution

Twelve years ago the University of Washington Libraries staff started a tradition. They invited UW students, staff, and the general public to join them on a given day to read the U.S. Constitution.

Duration: 01:01:57

If you’re concerned about your tech privacy, buckle up for this challenging talk

If you find yourself checking your phone — a lot — or feeling phantom vibrations, there’s a good reason. Big technology companies (Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook to name a few) want your attention. They want to know what you’re thinking about, what you’re doing, and what you’re likely to do next.

Duration: 00:52:13

The autonomous car revolution could be just around the corner. Yes we can?

Many of us spend large portions of our lives in cars. Many of us are annoyed by other people in their cars. The fact is, human beings behind the wheels of their automobiles are dangerous. In 2015, over 35,000 Americans died in fatal car crashes. With the advent of texting while driving, those numbers are trending up. So one question is, why not just let the computer do the driving? There are environmental, social and economic concerns, as well.

Duration: 00:50:45

How have the rules changed around sex and consent?

This talk by and discussion with author Vanessa Grigoriadis explores the complicated politics of modern sexuality. It pushes the conversation toward the establishment of healthier, more informed attitudes about sex and consent in an often confusing social landscape.

Duration: 00:52:24

'My Family's Slave' wasn’t click bait. It was brutal honesty

The cover article of this year’s June issue of The Atlantic magazine concerned a woman called Lola. “ My Family’s Slave ” was written by Alex Tizon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Filipino-American writer. Lola had lived with the Tizon family and cared for them since before Alex Tizon was born. She had come with them from the Philippines to the United States. To Tizon and his siblings, it had always seemed like she was part of the family, until it didn’t.

Duration: 00:51:06

John Nichols: Trump's inner circle is the 'biggest grifter convention in modern times'

Who are the most dangerous people in America? According to author John Nichols, the answer to that question includes the following: Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Elaine Chao, Kris Kobach and Rex Tillerson. The list goes on to include over 40 members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle.

Duration: 00:50:05

Rock star librarian Nancy Pearl adds her own book to the shelf

Does anyone not know Nancy Pearl? For years she’s told NPR and KUOW listeners what to read with a kind of care and insight that’s made her a household name. There’s also a decent chance her action figure is on your desk or bookshelf right now.

Duration: 00:52:22

Sally Jewell does not mess around when it comes to the environment, or Trump

Chances are you’ve heard the name Sally Jewell in engineering, business, recreational, environmental or political news. Her career has touched on all of those areas, from her early days in the oil fields of Oklahoma to a long stretch in the banking industry; from a successful run as CEO of REI to becoming only the second woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Duration: 00:53:17

R is for resistance: The history of anti-racism movements

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit rebellion, Seattle Public Library hosted a discussion of the factors that create inequality, repression and resistance.

Duration: 00:52:15

Tom Perrotta on his new novel: 'I was trying to write against my own inclination'

Author Tom Perrotta made his name in 1998 when, still unpublished, one of his manuscripts was picked up for movie treatment. The quirky tale told in “Election,” starring Mathew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon, became a surprise hit.

Duration: 00:54:35

‘It’s time for the magic:’ Student writers mark a moment of celebration

Since 1994, the Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers in the Schools (WITS) program brings professional writers into classrooms to help student writers find their voices and hone their skills.

Duration: 00:56:59

What would Frederick Law Olmsted do? The future of public spaces in Seattle

It’s an exciting time to catch up on and get involved in envisioning the great public spaces that will help sustain our growing region. KUOW, The Seattle Public Library and Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development hosted this conversation with national and local experts to help the community at-large better understand the issues and opportunities we face. KUOW’s Posey Gruener moderated the discussion. The speakers include:

Duration: 00:51:33

Find a garden, get a chair and listen to these stories

Last year around this time we presented a gathering of tales from a festival of storytelling at PowellsWood Garden, down in Federal Way, Washington. It was an ear-opening experience, not just for the occasional jet approaching Sea-Tac, but as a reminder of the power of well-told stories.

Duration: 00:49:20

Seattle author Claire Dederer's midlife reckoning

Author Claire Dederer was 44-years-old and living a successful life — literary accomplishment, comfortable marriage, family and home — when something caught up to her.

Duration: 00:56:49

'Weird things keep happening:' What you need to know about the crowd and the core

Yes, you were promised a jet pack. Your disappointment around that may still sting, or you may be more concerned about global warming, or a robot taking your job, or finding affordable housing. Or you might be reasonably concerned that the digital revolution will leave you somewhere on the global trash heap of history. A new book will help you find out what’s happening now and next in technology and maybe how to stay ahead of the curve.

Duration: 00:50:53

More useless research and crazy ideas, please

In 1939 the influential American education reformer Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper’s Magazine titled “ The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge .” In it he promoted the well-funded, free pursuit of scientific inquiry, arguing that great scientists were “driven not by the desire to be useful but merely the desire to satisfy their curiosity.”

Duration: 00:49:35

‘God of Small Things’ author has a new book — after 20 years

When an acclaimed novelist publishes their first new work in 20 years, people take notice. When the first book was Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things,” the interest is especially intense. She was awarded the esteemed Booker Prize for the best novel in the English language in 1997. Roy’s new work is “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.” The novel concerns, as she suggests in the text itself, “the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a...

Duration: 00:54:21

Is independent media 'the greatest force of peace on earth?' Amy Goodman says, emphatically, 'Yes!'

Journalist Amy Goodman has been an influential voice in independent media for the past 20 years. Her efforts to inform, defy and edify resonate with many audiences. She co-hosts the award winning program Democracy Now!, where she is often seen reporting from the front lines of progressive action.

Duration: 00:55:38

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