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28/06/2009: Part 2

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 28 June 2009

THE FORUM, the ideas programme with BRIDGET KENDALL.

Kenyan environmentalist WANGARI MAATHAI on the link between culture and environmental degradation.

American geneticist JANE PETERSON on the bacteria living within us.

Former Yugoslav novelist DUBRAVKA UGRESIC on the power of old ladies.

  • In the Studio

    In the Studio

    From left to right: Bridget Kendall, Dubravka Ugresic and Jane Peterson

  • Gallery


    Pictures taken during the recording (by Tim Jokl)

    View the pictures...
  • About the Guests

    Africa’s first female Nobel Laureate, Kenyan environmentalist WANGARI MAATHAI, explains why she believes African leaders should encourage the uptake of old traditional farming methods and land management in their pursuit of renewed prosperity. She highlights the potential role of rural women in such a transformation not least by planting trees through The Green Belt movement set up by Wangari herself to halt the environmental degradation of the land.

    Following on from the success of the Human Genome Project, the American geneticist JANE PETERSON talks of the new challenge to decode the genetic sequences of the bacteria inside us all. The Human Microbiome Project, initiated and led by Jane is now well underway. Focusing on five main areas of the body, she reveals how we have billions of different microbial colonies living within us and disruptions to these may trigger various diseases.

    Former Yugoslav novelist DUBRAVKA UGRESIC, in her latest novel, uses the hideous mythical Slavic witch, Baba Yaga, to contemplate contemporary society’s ageing female population. Though old women can seem invisible, like Baba Yaga, they may turn out to be a more formidable force than we realise.

  • 60 second idea to change the world

    DUBRAVKA UGRESIC says that as the German philosopher Nietzsche announced more than one hundred years ago that God is dead, humankind should stop wasting its collective energy believing in ‘him’. Instead, all God’s temples, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Orthodox and others, plus church institutions and church representatives, should give up their material possessions to help the millions of starving children the world over.

    Listen to this idea...


    Baba Yaga, full of bugs, planting trees. By Emily Kasriel


    Nobel prize-winning physicist FRANK WILCZEK on why the truth is in the ether.

    Philosopher SUSAN NEIMAN on Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Novelist and activist ARUNDHATI ROY on how India’s poor have become excluded from power.



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