In Ignorance: How It Drives Science, neuroscientist Stuart Firestein writes that science is often like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. Firestein discusses why the hit-or-miss process, the "not knowing" is the true engine of science.
For years, the goal of surgery was to save as much of the amputee's limb as possible. Now, many are opting to amputate more extensively — having healthy parts of their limbs removed — in order to regain more normal, pain-free function with a prosthetic limb.
Relations continue to deteriorate between the United States and Pakistan, a country some described as a nominal ally. A Senate panel voted last week to reduce aid to Islamabad after a doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison. And Pakistan continues to refuse to reopen U.S. supply lines into Afghanistan that it cut in response to American air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the controversial health care law in June. Many legal analysts expect the Justices to strike down parts of the law in a split, 5-4 decision, prompting a debate among legal scholars about what the decision will reveal about the politics of the High Court.
Legendary folk singer and guitarist Doc Watson died on Tuesday, at the age of 89. Long considered one of America's greatest musicians, Watson was blind from the age of one, and taught himself to play music. NPR's Neal Conan remembers the life and career of Doc Watson with a song: "Tennessee Stud."
Steven Rattner now finds himself in the middle of two debates that will be key parts of this presidential campaign. President Obama's former car czar dismissed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claims about the auto bailout as complete fantasy. But Rattner is also among the Democrats who criticized the president's attacks against Romney and private equity as unfair.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Romney rings up the magic number, Barrett and Walker wind up in Wisconsin, and on CNN, the Donald brings up the birther business again. It's Wednesday and time for a...
DONALD TRUMP: Ridiculous...
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Freelance writer and photographer Andy Isaacson rented a 19-foot motor home in the summer of 2011. He enlisted two friends, and together they spent eight days traveling from California to Oregon and back.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, many doctors questioned the value of the PSA screening test for prostate cancer. Yes, it can catch dangerous cancers and save lives, but last week a federal task force recommended against routine PSA tests.
The panel concluded that too often the blood test leads to unnecessary procedures that can leave patients impotent, incontinent or both. Essentially, the panel concludes, that men are better off not knowing. Some experts cheered, others were outraged.