Previously on Forum

exas abortion provider Amy Hagstrom-Miller looks on as Nancy Northup, President of The Center for Reproductive Rights speaks to the media outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC

After President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, NPR reported that some reproductive health centers and OB-GYN offices experienced an increase in inquiries about long term birth control. That increase reflects concern that the Affordable Care Act may be repealed or altered, making some birth control more expensive or harder to come by. Add in the Republican threat of defunding Planned Parenthood and Trump’s pledge to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices and many people are wondering about the future of reproductive rights under a Trump administration.

Rachel Carson on her porch in Southport, Maine, 1955.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring,” her groundbreaking exposure of the environmental harms posed by the mosquito-killing pesticide DDT. Informed by her alarm over the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, Carson’s work challenged prevailing assumptions about chemical safety and helped birth the modern environmental movement. A new PBS documentary premiering on January 24 examines Carson’s writing, research and the challenges she faced as a woman taking on one of the country’s most powerful industries. We preview the film.

More Information on the Documentary

California governor Jerry Brown talks about new efforts to cope with climate change during a panel discussion at the 18th annual Milken Institute Global Conference on April 29, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s new $122.5 billion budget proposal, released on Tuesday, reflects a cautious approach. With the state projected to run a $1.6 billion deficit, Brown said it was time to be prudent in spending on areas like education, child care and housing. Brown also warned of future economic downturns and a changing political climate in D.C. The governor also asked California legislators to approve the state’s cap and trade program in hopes of solidifying its financial success. In this hour, we’ll analyze Brown’s proposed budget and the future of California’s fiscal state.

Youssef Cohen gets checked by a nurse before underdoing cancer treatment on March 16, 2016 in New York City.

This year, more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. More than 600,000 Americans are expected to die of the disease. That’s the backdrop with which the White House launched the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative last year. Its goal is to achieve a decade’s worth of progress in the battle against cancer in only five years. Led by Vice President Joe Biden who visited San Francisco earlier this week to discuss the ambitious project, Moonshot calls on doctors, nurses, researchers and patients to identify what is really needed to gain ground on the big C. This hour, we’ll find out where the Moonshot stands one year in and discuss its future under a Trump administration.

Resources Recommended by Our Guests:


Zadie Smith’s latest novel “Swing Time” follows the lives of two biracial girls who dream of becoming dancers, though only one has enough talent to succeed. The two take very different paths into adulthood, one becoming a personal assistant to a pop star, while the other slips back into poverty. Smith, whose debut novel “White Teeth” was widely celebrated, joins us to talk about her writing, her own multiracial background and why the results of America’s presidential election resonate so personally for her even though she is English.

Information on Zadie Smith’s Book Passage Appearance

Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City.

President-elect Donald Trump is scheduled to hold his first press conference since July on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. EST. He will likely face questions about the Affordable Care Act, his cabinet picks, his family’s business interests, and U.S. intelligence reports that Russia conspired to elect him. We’ll review the issues raised and Trump’s responses.

President Barack Obama walks through the Colonnade at the White House January 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Tonight, from Chicago, President Barack Obama delivers his farewell speech to America. Not only will Obama’s address be a moment for him to reflect on his eight years in the Oval Office, it will also be an opportunity for the public to do the same. From promises that sank, to those that soared and everything in between – tell us – what will Obama’s legacy be for you?

Mentioned on Air

Kati Marton poses for a portrait.

It sounds like a Hollywood thriller: Noel Field was a Harvard graduate and rising star in the State Department in the 1930s. He was also a Russian spy. In her new book, “True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy,” journalist Kati Marton examines how Moscow seduced and later betrayed the idealistic young Field. With tensions over Russia’s hacking of the U.S. election heating up, Marton joins us to talk about Field’s dramatic story.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to workers at Carrier air conditioning and heating on December 1, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

President-elect Trump has said he’ll withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiate NAFTA and impose new tariffs on imports from China and Mexico. He has also called out U.S. companies like General Motors and Carrier for moving jobs abroad. His positions signal a radical departure from a long-standing bipartisan consensus on the value of free trade, which proponents say benefits workers and consumers alike. We discuss the potential economic impacts of the Trump administration’s trade policies.

U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) attends a meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Capitol Hill, November 29, 2016 in Washington, DC.

On Tuesday the Senate plans to hold its confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for United States attorney general. The longtime Alabama senator faces criticism for having prosecuted civil rights activists and for his frequent opposition to immigration reforms like paths to citizenship and visa programs for foreign workers. But his supporters say Sessions brings strong experience to the role: he’s been a senator for 20 years and served as a U.S. attorney and as the attorney general for Alabama. We take a closer look at Sessions’ background and at his potential appointment as head of the Department of Justice.

UC Berkeley students walk through Sather Gate on the UC Berkeley campus April 17, 2007 in Berkeley, California.

The UC Board of Regents will weigh a proposal later this month to raise resident tuition by 2.5 percent, or about $300. Out-of-state students would see a tuition increase of 5 percent, and most students would face fee hikes. Similar increases are proposed at Cal State University. Proponents say the increases will fund more faculty, programs and financial aid. But opponents say that the state should do more to find alternative sources of funding. We discuss the proposal.

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Uche Nnadi poses for a portrait.

One stereotype of the tech industry looms large — that it is filled with hoodie-wearing, 20-something white males. Indeed, African Americans make up only 1 percent of the workforce at Facebook, Yahoo, Airbnb, and Google. That “tech bro” stereotype and the statistics that support it were partly what motivated photographer Helena Price to start “The Techies Project.” The website features portraits of workers underrepresented in the tech sector: racial minorities, women, people aged 50 years or older and those without a college degree. In this hour, we’ll talk to Price and several other tech workers about their experiences being minorities in the industry and hear their thoughts on how tech can solve its diversity problem.

Images from The Techies Project

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