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KQED's Forum


Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.

Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.


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Forum finds the most interesting stories about where we live, who we are, and charts where our region and world are headed. Hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal invite communities in the Bay Area and California to engage in meaningful conversation in a two-hour live show that informs and challenges listeners with big ideas and different viewpoints.




Parents of Accused Michigan School Shooter Charged for Contributing to Crimes

The parents of a teenager accused of fatally shooting four classmates and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school last week were charged with involuntary manslaughter Saturday. Charges against parents in school shootings are rare. But Michigan prosecutor Karen D. McDonald called the actions of the parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, "egregious" based on evidence that they bought the gun for their son and kept it unsecured. We'll talk about parental criminal liability in...


'What Roe Could Take Down With It' if Abortion Rights End

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in what looks to be the beginning of the end of Roe v. Wade, according to legal scholars. If that is the case, and Roe is reversed, there stands to be a number of ripple effects beyond abortion rights, too. In a new article for The Atlantic, "What Roe Could Take Down With It," constitutional law expert Kimberly Wehle writes that "the logic being used against Roe could weaken the legal...


Electric Vehicle Future Brightens As Charging Infrastructure Set to Expand

With gas-burning vehicles the largest source of California's greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to clean energy sources in transportation is considered key to slowing climate change. In recent weeks California has been allocated a major boost in federal and state funds to expand the electric vehicle charging network. We'll discuss the plans and how much they might move the needle on e-vehicle adoption. We’ll also look at promising new technology to make EV's more attractive and...


Complex Emotions Find Names in 'The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows'

Have you ever felt "slipfast" (a longing to melt into a crowd and become invisible)? Or "scabulous" (proud of a certain scar on your body)? Those are some of the many words John Keonig has created for emotions we've felt all our lives but lacked words to describe. We talk to Keonig about why he says there are vast holes in our emotional lexicon and why it's important for humans to develop a richer language to describe our interior lives. Koenig's new book, more than ten years in the making,...


CalAcademy’s Lauren Esposito on Scorpions and the LGBTQ+ Scientists Changing Science

Scorpions might be terrifying to most people. But to scientist Lauren Esposito, they are the foundation of her career, which has taken her from a childhood in El Paso, turning over rocks in search of insects, to eventually land her at the California Academy of Sciences. In addition to discovering new species of these arachnids, she’s also become an outspoken advocate for queer scientists. An ongoing exhibit she curated at the California Academy of Sciences celebrates the contributions of...


High School Basketball Players Have Their Own Professional League Now

For decades, young athletes only had one major route to the playing professional leagues — playing for an NCAA Division I team. Today, however, talented basketball players have a chance to skip college and go professional in leagues like Overtime Elite, which pays its players six-figure salaries while prepping them for a professional career either in the NBA or abroad. Is this a positive trend that allows athletes to monetize their abilities or is it a youth sports culture taken to the apex...


Coronavirus Omicron Variant Arrives in California Amid Concerns Over Global Vaccine Inequities

On Wednesday, officials in San Francisco confirmed California’s first case of the coronavirus omicron variant. The patient in the case had recently traveled to South Africa, whose scientists first identified the omicron variant and tracked thousands of cases among its population. The emergence of the variant has reinforced concerns about low rates of vaccination in Africa and other developing regions, which have struggled to obtain and administer vaccines for their citizens. We’ll talk about...


High Prices, Low Stock, Dim Consumer Holiday Spirit

Retailers hope for a record holiday spending season this year, but for many Americans, prices rising at the fastest rate in 30 years may hamper holiday glee at the checkout counter. Even Christmas trees are up to 30% more expensive than last year. We’ll break down how prices and supply chain issues are affecting consumers, and get some tips on how to save money while beating shortages. And we want to hear from you: How are you changing your shopping habits this holiday season?


Roe v. Wade on the Line as Supreme Court Hears Mississippi Abortion Case

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday morning in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case, brought by Mississippi’s only licensed abortion clinic, challenges a 2018 state law that bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Mississippi officials are asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirms the constitutional right to abortion. Meanwhile, abortion restrictions in states...


What Dorsey’s Exit Means for Twitter’s Future

On Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced -- in a tweet -- that he was leaving the company he co-founded in 2006. His successor, Parag Agrawal, started as a product engineer and climbed Twitter’s ranks to become Chief Technology Officer in 2017. We'll look at Dorsey’s legacy and discuss what the change could mean for the future of the San Francisco-based social media giant as it grapples with challenges like misinformation and finding new users.


Stanford Professor Jo Boaler Explains California's Proposed Math Instruction Guidelines

Earlier this year, California proposed an overhaul of its K-12 math teaching guidelines to address racial and economic disparities in math achievement. The draft proposal recommends de-emphasizing calculus, detracking some students and incorporating data science and equity and inclusion into math instruction. Critics say that the framework, which is an optional set of guidelines and not a new curriculum, politicizes math. We talk to Stanford professor Jo Boaler, a member of the committee...


New Season of 'Slow Burn' Examines the Roots and Legacy of the LA Riots, 3 Decades Later

Thirty years ago, white Los Angeles police officers savagely beat Rodney Glen King, a young Black man who had led them on a high-speed chase through the city. After a jury failed to convict four police officers, despite a graphic videotape of the beating, the city erupted into violence. This season of Slate’s Slow Burn podcast dives into the events of early 1990s Los Angeles and the decades of police brutality and injustice that led to them. We’ll talk with host Joel Anderson about the...


California Politics Roundup

We'll break down the latest news from Sacramento and other political headlines from around the state with guest host Marisa Lagos.


Scientists Scramble to Understand ‘Very High’ Risk Omicron Variant

The World Health Organization today warned that the global risk from the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is “very high”. The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has now been detected in more than a dozen countries. We’ll talk about what we know so far about how contagious the variant is and how effective vaccines are likely to be against it.


Albert Samaha Explores Colonialism and Assimilation through Family's Filipino Immigrant Experience

Albert Samaha is the son of immigrants from the Philippines, a country molded by centuries of Spanish and American colonization and imperialism. His new book “Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes” is part memoir, part family history. Samaha reflects on his Filipino American identity and his family’s immigration experience, comparing the America he grew up in to the America that shaped his ancestors’ homeland. We’ll talk with Samaha about assimilation, Filipino American...


Forum From the Archives: Is Your Pandemic Gray Hair Here to Stay?

The pandemic forced many of us to rethink cultural norms — one being the expectation that people, especially women and younger folks, should color or hide their roots. Amid salon closures and cancelled social events, many people chose to grow out their gray hair, and some are sticking with the look. We’ll talk about why for some the choice to go gray can feel fraught, and why for others it brings a sense of empowerment. And we want to hear from you: Did you decide to grow out your gray hair...


Forum From the Archives: Airports. Remember Them?

Airports are often the first, last, and sometimes only impression a traveler has of a city. Singapore's Changi airport dazzles; Newark Airport in New Jersey offers less delight. SFO leads the way in design with its newly opened Harvey Milk Terminal which boasts Heath tiles in the restrooms, lighting that makes you look less tired, and improved acoustic design. But the airport industry has been challenged by the pandemic, which dropped traveller numbers and put new stresses on airports...


Forum From the Archives: California Health Workers Reflect on COVID Care, Eighteen Months Into the Pandemic

Last December, Forum spoke to four nurses and doctors on the frontlines of COVID care in California. At the time, cases were surging statewide, and no vaccines were available. They described heartbreaking patient deaths, overflowing ICUs and the heavy emotional toll of their work. The same healthcare workers join us again, nine months later, to share what has improved and the profound challenges that remain for those caring for the sickest patients. This segment originally aired Sept. 23.


Forum From the Archives: Gary Shteyngart Tackles the Pandemic Novel In "Our Country Friends"

In his latest book “Our Country Friends,” novelist Gary Shteyngart tackles the pandemic novel. In the book, the protagonist, Sasha Senderovsky, a writer whose star is slowly flaming out, gathers his family and high school friends in a pod at his country home to ride out the early days of the pandemic. Lauded by the New York Times as the “perfect novel for these times and all times,” “Our Country Friends uses the pandemic to explore themes of family, longing, and loss all with Shteyngart’s...


Forum From the Archives: Hollywood Writers' Rooms Still Don't Reflect the Diversity of America

In a new cover story for The Atlantic, writer Hannah Giorgis looks critically at Hollywood’s writers’ rooms and how most of them look nothing like America. Documenting the history of Black writers who have navigated predominantly white writers’ rooms — often confronting implicit and explicit biases — Giorgis reveals the renaissance of onscreen representation they helped bring to television. Still, Hollywood remains an industry dominated by white men, and that continues to impact the hiring...