Previously on Forum

a teacher at the front of the classroom

Stanford physics professor and Nobel laureate Carl Wieman wants to transform undergraduate education by ending one of its longest-standing traditions — the lecture. Wieman has been interested in effective teaching strategies for years. He used to quiz students after lectures and found that only 10 percent of his students were retaining the material. What works better, Wieman’s research found, is a practice called active-learning, where students pivot quickly from a short lecture to solving a specific problem. Wieman claims these techniques could double what most students learn but are not implemented because universities are too focused on research and tenure instead of effective teaching strategies.

Carl Wieman, professor of physics and the graduate school of education, Stanford University; author, “Improving How Universities Teach Science: Lessons from the Science Education Initiative

white lives matter protest

White supremacists who believe Christianity has been diluted by non-whites are turning to an ancient religion called Odinism, where worshipers embrace ancient Norse gods like Thor and Odin. According to Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, Odinists have been convicted of six cases of domestic terrorism since 2001. Will Carless, a correspondent for Reveal, joins us to explain why the religion is holding wider appeal, particularly for today’s white supremacists.

Read “An Ancient Nordic Religion is Inspiring White Supremacist Jihad” by Will Carless

Will Carless, correspondent, Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting

Doctor with stethoscope

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis on the impact of the final version of the American Health Care Act, passed by Republicans in the House earlier this month. The report estimates that compared with Obamacare, the plan would increase the number of uninsured by 23 million over the next decade. But the analysis also finds that the bill would save the federal government $119 billion in the same time period. In more healthcare news, a push for a single-payer program in California met a setback earlier this week when a legislative report put the annual cost of the program at $400 billion—more than double the entire state budget. We’ll get the latest on national and state efforts to overhaul healthcare.


Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent, Kaiser Health News

April Dembosky, health reporter, KQED’s The California Report

Jared Huffman, Representative, 2nd District of California, which includes six counties including all of Marin and much of Sonoma County

Tommy Caldwell

In 2015, Tommy Caldwell and his climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson made history when they completed the first continuous free climb of the Dawn Wall face of El Capitan in Yosemite. Outside Magazine dubbed the granite face “arguably the most difficult ascent in the history of rock climbing,” and one reporter likened the feat to climbing plate glass. In his new memoir, “The Push,” Caldwell talks about growing up small and uncoordinated, how his dad helped shape him into an extreme athlete, and how he was once kidnapped by armed rebels.

Marvin Mutch served 41 years in prison for a murder he was convicted of when he was 19 years old.

In 1975, when he was 19 years old, Marvin Mutch was convicted of murder. He didn’t leave prison until 41 years later. It took the efforts of students working on a wrongful conviction project and a series of lawyers to finally win his release. A new KQED News documentary, “The Trials of Marvin Mutch,” looks at the circumstantial evidence that landed Mutch behind bars, his life in prison and what his case reveals about the parole system. Co-producers and reporters Adam Grossberg and Alex Emslie join us to talk about the film and what Marvin’s life is like now that he’s free.

More Information

  • Watch the full documentary here starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 24.
  • Listen to the podcast here.

A jail cell

A 14-year-old held in juvenile hall for fours days for poking a caregiver with a candy cane. A youth who spent the night in jail for clinging to a staff member’s leg and not letting go. According to a new San Francisco Chronicle investigation, in 2015 and 2016 California’s foster youth shelters funneled hundreds of children into the criminal justice system for minor incidents that rarely caused serious injury. We discuss the investigation, and the prevalence and effects of the shelters’ reliance on law enforcement in dealing with troubled youth.

Read the Series at

Karen de Sá, investigative reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Climate change denialism, the anti-vaccine movement and the spread of fake news are all symptoms of a growing problem: America’s distrust of experts. That’s according to author and Naval War College professor Tom Nichols. He’ll join us-in studio to talk about his new book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters.”

Tom Nichols, author, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters”; professor of national security affairs, U.S. Naval War College

Gideaon Rachman poses for a portrait.

The surging economic power of China and other Asian nations, coupled with the West’s diminishing influence, is redefining the world order, according to Financial Times commentator Gideon Rachman. He sees events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as signs that the West is adapting to — as opposed to shaping — the global economy. Rachman joins us to talk about America’s loosening grip on world affairs and his book “Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond.” We’ll also talk to Rachman about current U.S. economic and foreign policy as President Trump embarks on his first overseas trip.

a man bends over in pain

The cost of treating back pain in the U.S. exceeds $100 billion each year — and a good chunk of that money gets spent on worthless treatments. That’s according to journalist and investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, who suffers from chronic back pain herself. Ramin’s new book, “Crooked,” pulls back the curtain on the back pain industry and provides strategies for navigating the plethora of treatment options. What questions do you have?

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s Website (mentioned on-air)

When filmmaker Mira Nair shot “Monsoon Wedding,” she didn’t realize the 2001 movie about an Indian family preparing to celebrate an arranged marriage would become a cult classic. Nair has turned the film into a musical, currently playing at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The director, whose credits include “Mississippi Masala,” “The Namesake” and “Queen of Katwe” joins us to talk about her career and her decision to re-imagine “Monsoon Wedding” for the stage.

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