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Columbia Forum


The 24th annual Columbia Forum season offers an exciting, fun and thought-provoking series of eight speakers. The events are held at the Columbia Memorial Hospital Community Center, in Astoria.


When Financial Incentives Go Awry in Health Care

Dr. Susan Tolle • September 19

       Dr. Tolle is Director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University.  Her last appearances at Columbia Forum in 1994 occurred during Oregon's debate of the Death with Dignity initiative.


How does print journalism thive?

Richard Meeker • October 8

Meeker is publisher of Willamette Week, the  39-year-old Portland alternative newspaper.  As The Oregonian has shrunk its newsroom, WW's small news staff gains new prominence with a succession of major stories.


Where was Dismal Nitch?

Jim Sayce • November 12

 Dismal Nitch was the site of Lewis & Clark's most harrowing adventure. At this location across from Astoria, the expedition was pinned to the Columbia River bank by raging weather. The site's location has been the object of speculation among historians. Sayce is the Washington Historical Society liaison to Lewis & Clark National Historical Park.


Tom McCall reconsidered

Brent Walth • January 

 As McCall's biographer, Walth is author of Fire at Eden's Gate, arguably Oregon's finest political biography. He is managing editor of Willamette Week.


Ice core diaries

Julia Rosen • February 10

A PhD candidate in the Ice Core Laboratory of Oregon State University, Rosen examines ice cores from the Arctic to learn about how Earth's climate has changed. Her article on this topic appeared in the Winter issue of OSU's Terra magazine.


Laser tecnology, Landslides, and the Missoula Floods in the Portland Region

Bill Burns & Dan Coe • March 6

The Missoula Flood defined the topography of the Columbia River Gorge and created the Astoria Canyon off our shore. Researchers in the Oregon Department of Geology and Minerals, Burns and Coe have used laser technology to gain insight on the Missoula Flood's imprint in our region


Slavery on trial in the Oregon Territory

Greg Nokes • April 10

Nokes new book, Breaking Chains, examines the historical record of slave holding in pre-statehood Oregon. He traces that impact to the Oregon Constitution.

Why some bridges fall down

Dr. Chris Higgins • May 29

Collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis and widely reported problems on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco are recent reminders of the importance of these structures. This presentation will describe these and other bridge failures and what we learned from them, as well as the contributions of bridge engineering research and practice to help explain why most bridges don't fall down.

Chris Higgins is a professor of structural engineering at Oregon State University.  



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