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KQED’s award-winning team of science reporters explores climate change, water, energy, toxics, biomedicine, digital health, astronomy and other topics that shape our lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a trusted news source, KQED Science tackles tough questions facing humanity in our time with thoughtful and engaging storytelling.
 
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A nation-leading workplace safety rule specifically designed to combat the risks of an airborne virus should have been protecting hundreds of thousands of California workers from COVID-19. The Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard took effect 12 years ago — and it anticipated a pandemic. But one year into the pandemic, workers say enforcement is …
 
Isabella Montano Ponce was struggling with depression but it was the inability to talk about it that slowed her recovery. Sometimes my parents call me “crazy” for not controlling my emotions. When it comes to my mental health, I brush it off. It is a very uncomfortable topic in my household. In fact, we rarely speak about it at all. But I can’t rea…
 
In a historic change, California’s youth prisons will stop taking in new offenders in July. In 2023, all state juvenile detention facilities will close and responsibility for youth offenders will shift to counties. The state’s youth lockups have long been plagued by scandals and allegations of mistreatment. The move to smaller, local facilities is …
 
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday that the Biden Administration will seek to reunite hundreds of migrant children with their families -- either in the United States or in their country of origin -- who were separated under Trump-era zero tolerance policies. The pledge comes as officials undertake a massive overhaul of the n…
 
Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders have reached an agreement that could restart in-person learning for the state's youngest students. The hope is to reopen by April 1. Reporter: Guy Marzorati, KQED District Attorney George Gascon won last year promising to upend the tough on crime policies of his predecessor. But prosecutors both in and …
 
Academic learning may be taking a hit, but Bryan Gillette thinks his children are learning important skills in the pandemic. Children’s education has taken a serious turn this past year and most will say for the worse. And for the first few months of this pandemic, I would have agreed as my son’s teacher was MIA and he demonstrated emotional outbur…
 
Writer and cultural critic Rebecca Carroll grew up in an idyllic New England town where no one wanted to talk about race or even see it. She's Black. Her parents were white. Adopted as a baby, Carroll never met another Black person in real life until she was 6. Her new memoir, “Surviving the White Gaze”, recounts episodes from her childhood and ado…
 
The New York Times Opinion’s weekly podcast “The Argument” -- a place for “Strongly-held opinions. Open-minded debates. Only occasional yelling” -- has a new host in politics journalist Jane Coaston. Coaston, who previously reported for Vox and has covered conservatism and the American right for years, writes “things on the program might get awkwar…
 
Lawmakers Reach Deal on Reopening Schools Under the deal, schools that reopen by the end of March stand to get a cut of money earmarked by the state legislature. The deal would not mandate students and staff to get vaccinated before returning to the classroom, nor does it require districts to get approval from teachers unions before returning. Cali…
 
Anxiety is nothing new to Susie Meserve, but the pandemic has turned up the volume and unveiled new outlets for worry. I’ve always had anxiety. As a child, I washed my hands until they bled. I was obsessed with safety, double checking the door lock, convincing myself I’d contracted some horrible disease. When COVID appeared, many people experienced…
 
Many found having a pet to be a lifesaver during the pandemic. As pet adoptions skyrocketed, dogs, cats and other pets became hard to find. One animal adoption agency recorded a 900% increase in requests to foster a dog in the early days of the pandemic. And on the other end of the spectrum, the American Humane Society estimates that up to 10 milli…
 
During a time of stress and great suffering -- such as a global pandemic -- experiencing joy may seem impossible, and even naive or callous. Experts argue, however, that joy is essential even during hard times, even when it feels like the world is on fire or in the face of longstanding problems such as systemic racism. For many people, the pandemic…
 
Millions of people marched to support the Black Lives Matter Movement following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. With that came a call to support Black-owned businesses, which saw an initial surge of new customers, but many are now struggling to stay afloat. Guest: Hank Jenkins, Owner of Plant Provocateur in Los Angeles Governor Newsom s…
 
Michael Ellis has this Perspective on a mammal with one of the most effective defenses in the animal kingdom. A friend asked me if porcupines live in the Bay Area. The short answer is yes. But they are very rare, plus they are mostly nocturnal. I have seen them a few times and only in New Mexico and Canada not here. Perched up in tree branches, the…
 
It's been almost a year since Mayor London Breed has been on Forum. But what a year it's been. She and San Francisco's public health leadership were credited with implementing a shutdown that slowed the progress of the pandemic here. But eventually the virus caught up with us, and measures to control it have decimated small businesses especially do…
 
Reports continue to surface this week of vaccine line-jumpers -- people who, knowingly or not, take advantage of loopholes that enable them to get a coveted COVID shot ahead of those who need one more urgently. In the Bay Area and in Los Angeles, vaccine access codes meant for vulnerable communities of color circulated by text message to some ineli…
 
Southern California’s Inland Empire has been transformed in recent years by the growth of the warehouse and logistics industry. While many argue it's a job creator, those living in the region have major environmental concerns. Guest: Orlando Mayorquin, Journalism Student, Report for CalMatters The L.A. City Council voted 14 to 1 to approve a hazard…
 
YR Media’s Tenzing Chosan has this Perspective on celebrating the new year, Tibetan-style. Depending on your culture, new years are celebrated with different traditions. For me, I celebrate Tibetan New Year — we call it Losar. And it’s a three-day celebration. My family and I usually visit various Tibetan temples and go to a huge potluck to celebra…
 
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a poet, writer, publisher and founder of City Lights Books, died on Monday at the age of 101. "I really believe that art is capable of the total transformation of the world, and of life itself,” Ferlinghetti once said, and his multifaceted career bore that out. As a poet, Ferlinghetti offered what one critic called, a “plain-…
 
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