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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.




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...


Forum From the Archives: Chef Bryant Terry Curates a Feast of Food and Self-Discovery in ‘Black Food’

Bay Area-based chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry is back with another cookbook — but this time it’s not just his recipes. He’s created “a communal shrine to the shared culinary histories of the African diaspora,” as he writes in the introduction to “Black Food.” Bringing together a number of contributors who share recipes, stories and artwork — plus Terry’s signature playlists to go with the recipes — “Black Food” aims to be a feast not just for your tastebuds, but your eyes, ears...


What Science Tells Us About the Mysteries of Long Covid

Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health announced funding of more than $1 billion for research into the prolonged health consequences of COVID-19 infections. Since then, reports of what’s called long covid have only risen. Symptoms range from fatigue to coughing to chest pain and even to nerve pain. We’ll get the latest science on long covid, hear how often it occurs and what are its symptoms, and learn what’s being done to tackle it.


The Science Behind the Thanksgiving Spread

Thanksgiving might be our most traditional meal, but what do we really know about all the processes that suck up raw ingredients and spit out turkeys, potato flakes, and jellied cranberry sauce into the modern supermarket? This hour on Forum, we’ll discuss the science and engineering behind some of America’s most iconic foods. We’ll talk Thanksgiving favorites, new flavors and beyond.


'The Generation Myth' Calls for Ceasefire on the Generation Wars

You’ve heard it all before: Boomers have all the money, millennials are the unluckiest generation, gen z are changing the nature of work (and scaring their bosses). But a lot of generational analysis is really just fake science, argues social researcher Bobby Duffy in his new book “The Generation Myth: Why When You’re Born Matters Less Than You Think.” Duffy joins us to debunk stereotypes around generational trends, and illuminate the real challenges facing different generations.


From Cable Cars to Automated Vehicles: ‘Moving San Francisco’ Explores the City’s Public Transportation Evolution

The documentary "Moving San Francisco" guides viewers through a history of public transit in a region rife with innovation. From the iconic cable cars that climb the city's hills to the fleet of ferries on the bay to ride-hailing services, how people traverse the Bay Area has evolved with the times. And transit systems are still evolving - navigating issues of equity and affordability are as much part of the conversation as trying to regulate new technology. We'll talk with the makers of...


New Memoir from Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs Reflects on the People Who Shaped Him

Overcoming adversity has been the hallmark of Michael Tubb’s eventful life. When he was six, his father was sentenced to a near-life term in prison. At 22, Tubbs was elected to Stockton’s city council while still a student at Stanford. At 26, he became the city’s youngest and first black mayor. Along the way he founded programs to help underserved youth get to college, taught in high school, and introduced Universal Basic Income to the city. It has not all been easy as he reflects in his new...