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Thursday, December 30, 2010

We’ll talk about the most interesting science stories from 2010. And Louise W. Knight talks about her biography of social activist and grassroots organizer Jane Addams. Then Gish Jen discusses her latest novel, World and Town, which tells the story of a widow looking for a fresh start in a new town. Plus, our latest Backstory and Underreported segments!

The Top Science Stories of 2010

Corey S. Powell, editor-in-chief of Discover magazine talks about the best science stories from 2010—from the well-covered oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the undercovered: like boulders that move on their own through the desert and new robot skin.

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The Life of Jane Addams

Louise W. Knight talks about America's most admired and most hated woman: Jane Addams, a leading statesperson in an era when it was rare for women to have that role. Jane Addams: Spirit in Action shows Addams's boldness, creativity, and tenacity as she sought ways to put democratic ideals into action.

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Gish Jen on Her Novel World and Town

Gish Jen discusses her latest novel, World and Town. It tells the story of Hattie Kong, who has lost both her husband and her best friend to cancer. She moves to a new town and meets up with others looking for a new start.

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Backstory: Cote d'Ivoire's Election Troubles

After the results of Cote d'Ivoire's most recent election found the current president, Laurent Gbagbo, losing to Alassane Ouattra, Gbagbo refused to cede power and instead barricaded his opponent in the Golf Hotel. On this week's Backstory, we'll take a look at how a Cote d'Ivoire came to find itself in political chaos. We'll be joined by Adam Nossiter, the West Africa bureau chief of the New York Times, and Matt Wells, a West African researcher with Human Rights Watch.

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Underreported: The Hidden Dangers and High Costs of Dialysis

In 1972, Congress launched the nation’s most ambitious experiment in universal health care: virtually anyone diagnosed with kidney failure, regardless of age or income, was granted comprehensive coverage under Medicare for dialysis. Almost 40 years later, the costs of dialysis are the highest in the Western world--$77,000 per patient--as is the mortality rate. ProPublica's Robin Fields joins us to discuss her two-year investigation into the treatment options that dialysis patients face.

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