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Cover image of KQED's Forum

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.

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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 school shootings, and its potential to prevent gun violence by minors.

27mins

6 Dec 2021

Rank #1

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'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 foundations of many rights Americans value deeply" including laws regulating marriage equality and contraception use, for example. We'll consider the different layers of what's at stake with abortion rights and beyond.

30mins

6 Dec 2021

Rank #2

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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 affordable, and innovative proposals for improving charging, including electrified roads that charge the car while you drive.

55mins

6 Dec 2021

Rank #3

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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, is "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows."

55mins

3 Dec 2021

Rank #4

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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 LGBTQ+ people. Esposito joins as part of our first person series, which profiles leaders and change-makers in the Bay Area. We’ll talk with her about the organization she founded, 500 Queer Scientists, why she’s drawn to studying scorpions, and how she has so far managed to avoid being stung.

20mins

3 Dec 2021

Rank #5

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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 of extremes? We’ll talk about professional high school basketball and what it means for the future of the sport.

35mins

3 Dec 2021

Rank #6

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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 global vaccine inequities and how to expand vaccine access worldwide.

53mins

2 Dec 2021

Rank #7

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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?

53mins

2 Dec 2021

Rank #8

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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 such as Mississippi and Texas are pushing people to travel out-of-state to seek abortion care. We examine the Mississippi case and its potential impact on California.

55mins

1 Dec 2021

Rank #9

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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. 

41mins

1 Dec 2021

Rank #10