Our Mission

Cambridge Forum hosts free public discussions designed to inspire and engage, so that people can better explore the varied issues and ideas shaping the changing world. CF broadcasts these events via podcasts, weekly NPR shows and through GBH Forum Network on YouTube to audiences locally, nationally and globally.

Cambridge Forum’s purpose is to advance civil discourse through meaningful conversations with compelling activists & intellectuals across the whole ideas spectrum. In this way, CF fosters community with those who care about the salient issues affecting their lives and distributes these recordings, free of cost.

Cambridge Forum furthers understanding by engaging everyday people with thought leaders in lively conversations. Employing vigorous but respectful dialogue on a wide range of important subjects, CF aims to further public understanding and promote a community of informed citizens. It accomplishes its mission by hosting events on timely topics through live audience discussion and shares the content through a range of free media platforms.

Cambridge Forum’s mission has been devoted to exploration and education, amplifying ideas that impact the world and humanity. CF’s enduring principle is to further democracy, by equipping people with the information they need to make better decisions about subjects affecting their lives, and the future of all life on the planet.

Executive Director Mary Stack with Cornel West

About Us

Mary Stack brings a rich and varied background to her role as Executive Director of Cambridge Forum. Her professional background is in network documentary production and journalism.  Her work has appeared on all the major British TV channels and also on NOVA for PBS; her writing credits include The Guardian. She earned a degree in Journalism and a Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester.   

Cambridge Forum was originally founded by Rev. Herbert Vetter in 1967 as a program of the First Parish (Unitarian Universalist) in Cambridge to provide a safe platform from which to examine the Civil Rights Movement and the war in Vietnam. It brought experts, writers, policymakers, and thinkers face to face with a public audience in a lively and engaged dialogue.  Cambridge Forum was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 1999, to better maintain its mission, financially. It remains deeply committed to its civic engagement, and to fostering the principle that an informed public make wiser and more just decisions. In this way, Cambridge Forum strives to contribute to the vision of democracy as a viable, enduring entity.

Contact Us

Our History

Prof. Matthew Meselson and Rev.Herbert Vetter at a Cambridge Forum on the controversial topic “Should we halt recombinant DNA research?

Cambridge Forum was originally founded by Rev. Herbert Vetter in 1967 as a program of the First Parish (Unitarian Universalist) in Cambridge to provide a safe platform from which to examine salient social issues. The Civil Rights Movement and the war in Vietnam were among the most urgent topics initially discussed. From the beginning, it brought expert scholars, writers, policymakers, and thinkers face-to-face with a public audience in a lively and engaged dialogue.

Over its 50+ year history, Cambridge Forum has presented hundreds of public programs in Harvard Square featuring such speakers as Buckminster Fuller, John Kenneth Galbraith, Marian Wright Edelman, Stephen Jay Gould, Jonathan Kozol, Lani Guinier, Paul Krugman, James Carroll, Rabbi Harold Kushner and hundreds more in respectful and meaningful discussions of potentially divisive contemporary issues. Its programs are free in every sense of the word; they are open to the public without an admission charge and based on the principles of free inquiry and freedom of speech. After laying out the topic for discussion in a brief exposition, speakers respond to the comments, questions, and concerns of the public audience. With its emphasis on dialogue, Cambridge Forum fulfills its mission of fostering civic engagement and participatory democracy and exemplifies its underlying principle that an informed citizenry will make wise decisions promoting a just society.

Board of Directors

  • Mary Stack
    Executive Director
  • Jane Sturtevant
    President
  • Wendy Graham-Coco
    Treasurer and Clerk
  • Dave Brinkman
  • Andrew Kimble
  • Urs Gauchat
  • David Leveille
  • Cade Murray
  • Rachelle Quimby
  • Tim Weiskel

Our Network

Cambridge Forum broadcasts a weekly radio show via NPR, and GBH Forum Network uploads our programs to YouTube, thus bringing program recordings to an aggregated online audience of 350,000 in the U.S. and around the world. In addition, the programs are available as podcasts on iTunes (or wherever you get your podcasts).

Cambridge Forum is available free to public radio stations nationwide via NPR’s Content Depot. Cambridge Forum currently airs on these public radio stations:

College Station, Texas
FM/HD-1
Thursdays 7:30-8pm
Sundays 6:30-7am
HD-2 TALK
Saturdays 12:30-1pm
website
High Plains Public Radio is a network of 12 public radio stations serving western Kansas, the Texas Panhandle, the Oklahoma Panhandle and eastern Colorado.
Monday 1pm
website
Public Radio from State University
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Saturday 11:30am
website
Lawton, Oklahoma
Saturday/Sunday 6:30am
website
Public radio for Montana and Northern Wyoming
Wednesday 6:30pm
website
Kodiak, Alaska
HD3 Thursday 3:30pm
website
Spokane Public Radio
Spokane, Washington
occasional
website
Northern California
podcast
website
Alaska Public Radio
Friday 6:00pm
Saturday 10:00pm
website
Utah Public Radio Logan, Utah 
91.5 KUSU-FM Logan
89.5 KUSR Logan
88.5 KUSK Vernal
89.3 KUSL Richfield
88.7 KUST Moab
89.7 KCEU Price
Monday 4:30am
website
NewsRadio 90.7 
University of Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska
Monday 7:30
website
Public Media for Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
International Association of Audio Information Services
Worldwide audio information service for blind
website
Chicago Public Radio
tba
website
Syracuse, New York
occasional
website
Boston
occasional
website
Durham, North Carolina
Sunday 8:30pm
website
Provincetown, MA
Tuesday 12:30pm
Wednesday 5:30am
website
Sunday 10:30am
website
WSCL/WSDL
Delmarva Public Radio
Radford, Virgina
Monday 6:00pm
website
Jamestown, New York
Sunday 10:00am
website
Maine Public Radio:
WMEA-FM  Portland, ME
WMEP-FM  Camden, ME
WMEW-FM  Waterville, ME
WMEH-FM Bangor
WMED-FM  Calais, ME
WMEM-FM Presque Isle, ME
WMEF-FM Fort Kent
WBQF-FM Fryeburg
WBQE-FM Milbridge
WBQA-FM Boothbay Harbor
occasional M-F 2:00
website
talk shows / podcasts
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