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Most Recent Episodes

Historian Taylor Branch Discusses Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we talk to historian and MLK scholar Taylor Branch about the iconic minister and his lasting impact on the civil rights movement. Taylor is the author of "America in the King Years," a trilogy detailing MLK's life and the civil rights era. The first volume, "Parting the Waters" was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. We also talk with a curator from the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Live from the Nation's Capital: Political News Roundup

In a special broadcast from WAMU in Washington, D.C., Forum sits down with a panel of journalists to talk about the latest political news and get an update on the transition to a Trump administration.

New PBS Documentary Explores the Private and Public Lives of Rachel Carson

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 contributed to the birth of the modern environmental movement. A new PBS documentary, scheduled to premiere on January 24, examines Carson's writing, research, family life and the challenges she faced as a woman taking on one of the country's most powerful industries. We preview the film.

New PBS Documentary Explores the Private and Public Lives of Rachel Carson

Reproductive Rights Under a Trump Presidency

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 That increase reflects concern that the Affordable Care Act may be repealed or altered, making some birth control more expensive or harder to come by.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.

The 'Cancer Moonshot,' One Year After Takeoff

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. It's 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.

Gov. Brown Submits Cautious Budget for 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.

Author Zadie Smith Contemplates Race, Identity and America's Future

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.

Trump's First News Conference as President-Elect

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.

The Secret Life of 'Stalin's Last American Spy'

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.

Looking Back on Eight Years of President Obama

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?

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