September 22, 2022
September 16, 2022
Reflecting on My First Year.
Mass extinctions litter the history of life on Earth, with about a dozen known in addition to the five largest ones — the last of which, at the end of the Cretaceous Period 66 million years ago, killed off the dinosaurs and 70% of all life on Earth.
A new study, led by scientists at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, concludes that most of these mass extinctions had one thing in common: They occurred after mega-eruptions that spewed volcanic lava and toxic gases for hundreds of thousands of years, and some for as long as a million years.
It’s no surprise that seats in Poulomi Saha’s course, Cults in Popular Culture, fill up fast. Cults have long fascinated Americans, who had no shortage of docu-series about them to binge-watch while isolated during the pandemic. Popular ones include “Wild Wild Country,” on the Rajneeshpuram community in Wasco County, Oregon; “The Vow,” about the Nxivm “self-improvement” group, and “Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults.”
September 8, 2022
September 1, 2022
Checking off one of its key goals, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) imaged its first exoplanet — a young, gas giant planet six to 12 times more massive than Jupiter orbiting a star 350 light years from Earth.
How has climate change become a security issue? Geographer Brittany Meché argues that contemporary anxieties about climate change refugees rearticulate colonial power through international security. Through interviews with security and development experts, her research reveals how the so-called “pragmatic solutions” to climate change migration exacerbate climate change injustice.
UC Berkeley's Alumni and Parents Weekend at Homecoming is scheduled for September 23–25, 2022, and the College of Letters & Science invites you to join one of our events this year:
Friday, September 23
August 30, 2022
Amidst the last few weeks of summer break, campus is abuzz with preparation for the start of the fall semester. But in all that bustle, staff, faculty, graduate students and postdocs are taking time for the important work of coming together for inclusiveBio (iBio), a day of conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology.
August 25, 2022
What year are you, and where are you from?
I’m a first-year student. I’m Sri Lankan, but I’ve lived my whole life in Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates.
August 24, 2022
Charles Yu, discusses his 2020 book, Interior Chinatown, which goes inside the mind of a young Asian American man trying to make it in Hollywood. Incoming UC Berkeley students read the book over the summer as part of On The Same Page, a program from the College of Letters & Science, so that they’d have something in common to talk about throughout the year — socially, in classes and at events designed to explore the book’s themes.
August 23, 2022
August 22, 2022
Berkeley News: What year are you and where are you from?
Clarissa Arceo: I transferred from Cerritos College in Norwalk, California. I grew up in Huntington Park, California.
The latest images of Jupiter from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are stunners.
Captured on July 27, the infrared images — artificially colored to make specific features stand out — show fine filigree along the edges of the colored bands and around the Great Red Spot and also provide an unprecedented view of the auroras over the north and south poles.
One wide-field image presents a unique lineup of the planet, its faint rings and two of Jupiter’s smaller satellites — Amalthea and Adrastea — against a background of galaxies.
August 17, 2022
The Division of Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce the appointment of Debarati Sanyal(link is external) as director of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research(link is external) (CIR) effective July 1, 2022.
August 16, 2022
It’s entirely possible, maybe even likely, that during some slow day at the lab early in her career, Jennifer Doudna, in a moment of private ambition, daydreamed about making a breakthrough that could change the world. But communicating with the world about the ethical ramifications of such a breakthrough? “Definitely not!” says Doudna, who along with Emmanuelle Charpentier won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 for their research on CRISPR gene-editing technology.
While still in high school, Xinyi Liu worked briefly in a lab at Beihang University in Beijing and was surprised to see Chinese researchers routinely using Google Translate to generate the first English draft of scientific papers. Translation is a must if scientists want to submit to high-profile journals, almost all of which are in English.
This year's recipient of the AC Excellence in Teaching Award is Brandi Summers, Associate Professor for Geography. Prof. Summers won the award for her class 70AC, "The Urban Experience: Race, Class, Gender and the American City".
In Berkeley Talks episode 148, Robert Full, a professor of integrative biology and founder of the Center for Interdisciplinary Biological Inspiration in Education and Research at UC Berkeley, discusses how nature and its creatures — cockroaches, crabs, centipedes, geckos — inspire innovative design in all sorts of useful things, from bomb-detecting, stair-climbing robots to prosthetics and other medical equipment.
August 10, 2022
Over the past two years, the United States has experienced an enormous surge of anti-Asian violence. According to a new report from the Brookings Institute, 1 in 6 Asian Americans reported personally experiencing a hate crime in 2021.
In a stark display of their economic power following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its allies deployed an array of sanctions aimed at curtailing Russia’s access to global financial markets and industrial supply chains. These unprecedented economic sanctions are intended to diminish the resources Russia has available to prosecute its war. While the moves have demonstrated a high degree of allied cooperation, they have also heightened debate about the relative effectiveness of economic measures aimed to induce peaceful behavior or to deter hostilities vs.
The University of California, Berkeley’s 2022-23 admissions season was like no other, marked by a lawsuit and subsequent court ruling that threatened to drastically reduce the number of first-year students offered admission for fall 2022.
Ultimately, state legislation signed in March allowed UC Berkeley to offer admission to more than 19,700 prospective freshmen and transfer students for the new academic year — the same target number it had originally planned for.
Four UC Berkeley professors have been selected to be the inaugural Matrix Faculty Fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year: Gašper Beguš, Assistant Professor of Linguistics; Puck Engman, Assistant Professor of History; Ethan Katz, Associate Professor of History; and Salar Mameni, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies.
August 8, 2022
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a new COVID-19 therapeutic that could one day make treating SARS-CoV-2 infections as easy as using a nasal spray for allergies.
The therapeutic uses short snippets of synthetic DNA to gum up the genetic machinery that allows SARS-CoV-2 to replicate within the body.
August 7, 2022
Sana Desai is a third-year pre-medical student at UC Berkeley studying Integrative Human Biology and English. Here, she shares how her experiences shaped the topics she chose to study and her current projects.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am a student, a biologist, a writer, a singer, a gender equality advocate, a teacher, a sister, a daughter, and a friend.
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was insulted on the Capitol steps in July 2020, it was a brief media sensation. But what does being called an “effing bitch” mean for how we think about political speech?
August 1, 2022
The last couple of years have been the economic equivalent of driving through a mountain pass in a blizzard. Never mind predicting the next turn — investors and policymakers barely know where they are at any given moment.
Sometimes new economic data only add to the confusion: Preliminary gross domestic product figures released last week showed the US economy contracting at a 0.9% annual rate in the second quarter — while consumers kept splurging on services and workers were enjoying one of the hottest job markets in decades.
In Berkeley Talks episode 147, a panel of scholars discusses UC Berkeley professor Darieck Scott’s new book Keeping It Unreal: Black Queer Fantasy and Superhero Comics, which explores how fantasies of Black power and triumph in superhero comics and other genres create challenges to — and respite from — white suprema
July 31, 2022
Congratulations to Jessica Schirmer for being one of five individuals selected as a 2022 Dissertation Grant winner.
Jessica Schirmer is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She studies social policy and inequality in the United States. She is particularly interested in using social science to identify new political and institutional possibilities to advance democratic accountability, opportunity, and mobility through policy reform.
In the catacombs of the Bancroft Library, in a chilled, climate-controlled vault, is a 1,300-page document that tells the horrors of Manuel de Lucena’s life and death as a clandestine Jew during the Spanish Inquisition. In black ink on old parchment, scribes some 400 years ago penned the details of his lengthy imprisonment and his coerced testimony, along with the interrogation and torture of other Jews implicated in the investigation.
July 28, 2022
- Novartis-Berkeley Translational Chemical Biology Institute combines Novartis expertise in chemical biology and medicinal chemistry with Berkeley’s expertise in covalent chemoproteomics and chemistry methodologies
- Research collaboration aims to unlock intractable drug targets, discover new therapeutic modalities, and accelerate discovery of new medicines in human diseases
July 26, 2022
A dense, collapsed star spinning 707 times per second — making it one of the fastest spinning neutron stars in the Milky Way galaxy — has shredded and consumed nearly the entire mass of its stellar companion and, in the process, grown into the heaviest neutron star observed to date.
Weighing this record-setting neutron star, which tops the charts at 2.35 times the mass of the sun, helps astronomers understand the weird quantum state of matter inside these dense objects, which — if they get much heavier than that — collapse entirely and disappear as a black hole.
July 14, 2022
BERKELEY, CA — Wealth inequality exceeds historic records in the United States, as can be clearly seen in the research done by Gabriel Zucman, Associate Professor of Economics at the UC Berkeley Department of Economics and Faculty Director of The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality at UC Berkeley.
July 13, 2022
IT WAS THE summer of 1942 and a secret group of senior theoretical physicists at the University of California, Berkeley — dubbed the “luminaries” — took the historic first steps toward the design and manufacture of the world’s first nuclear weapon, the atomic bomb.
July 11, 2022
In 2019, astronomers observed the nearest example to date of a star that was shredded, or “spaghettified,” after approaching too close to a massive black hole.
That tidal disruption of a sun-like star by a black hole 1 million times more massive than itself took place 215 million light years from Earth. Luckily, this was the first such event bright enough that astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley, could study the optical light from the stellar death, specifically the light’s polarization, to learn more about what happened after the star was torn apart.
Armando Lara-Millán, assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Sociology, has earned the 2022 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association.
July 7, 2022
Oliver O’Reilly, whose 30-year career at UC Berkeley is characterized by a deep passion for teaching and student success, will be the campus’s new vice provost for undergraduate education starting this Friday, July 1, officials announced today. O’Reilly has been interim vice provost for undergraduate education during the past year.
I’m an Afro-Latinx, non-binary, queer, trans poet and activist. I want to be a scholar that troubles academia.
I want to reveal social inequities and conduct research that lifts the veil off the nebulous of white supremacy and post-colonial oppression. I want people to care about Central California’s rural areas and the farmers that feed us, because that’s where I’m from.
July 4, 2022
The Great Immigrants is a program created by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, hosted every Fourth of July. The program is meant to honor the legacy of their founder Andrew Carnegie by recognizing an extraordinary group of immigrants who have made notable contributions to the progress of American society. This year Karen Nakamura, Professor of Anthropology, here at UC Berkeley, was selected as one of the 34 honorees.
July 2, 2022
How did you end up where you are today?
I was originally born at a refugee camp in Laos that no longer exists today. My parents were refugees from Laos who wanted to come to the states to give my sisters and I a better opportunity than they had growing up. Although I was quite young when we moved to the states, I definitely felt the pressure of coming from a refugee family because I had to pull my weight at an early age so we can have stability.
Tell us about yourself!
“Hi, I’m Jazalyn Cruz and I am a third year student at UC Berkeley, studying media studies and design. I come from a tight-knit family of five who has taught me the importance of hardwork, to take advantage of all opportunities, and to prioritize self-care.
June 29, 2022
In today’s individualistic and polarized socio-political landscape, public service may not be at the top of everyone’s minds. But two research centers at UC Berkeley are hoping to turn that around, thanks to a $750,000 grant from California Volunteers, a state office tasked with recruiting young Californians to engage in public service.
The premise is simple, and it seems like common sense: If Republicans and Democrats could come together for good faith dialogue, the conversations would reduce tensions and ease the corrosive polarization that threatens U.S. democracy.
June 28, 2022
Author and scholar Howard Besser ’75, inspired by UC Berkeley’s enduring legacy of impassioned student movements, has made generous gifts in support of future change makers. In March 2021, Besser donated $1 million to establish the Howard Besser Program for Anti-Authoritarianism and Social Movements. Later that year, Dr. Besser expanded his impact with a $2 million bequest to create The Howard Besser Early Career Chair in Anti-Authoritarianism and Social Movements.
Coming from a long line of Iowa farmers, David Savage always thought he would do research to improve crops. That dream died in college, when it became clear that any genetic tweak to a crop would take at least a year to test; for some perennials and trees, it could take five to 10 years. Faced with such slow progress, he chose to study the proteins in photosynthetic bacteria instead.
June 27, 2022
Ten years ago this week, Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published the results of a test-tube experiment on bacterial genes. When the study came out in the journal Science on June 28, 2012, it did not make headline news. In fact, over the next few weeks, it did not make any news at all.
June 23, 2022
The Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce Professor Stephen Best as the new director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, effective July 1, 2022.
June 22, 2022
Robert Knight, a UC Berkeley professor of psychology and member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI), and his wife Donatella Scabini have
June 16, 2022
Tell us about a professor who inspired you.
Professor Wen-hsin Yeh taught the first Chinese history class I ever took. I was so moved that before I even completed her class, I changed my major to Asian studies. More importantly, she encouraged me to expand my horizons beyond just books, and to study abroad for a year at Beijing University. That experience transformed my personal and professional life.
If, as astronomers believe, the death of large stars leave behind black holes, there should be hundreds of millions of them scattered throughout the Milky Way galaxy. The problem is, isolated black holes are invisible.
Now, a team led by University of California, Berkeley, astronomers has for the first time discovered what may be a free-floating black hole by observing the brightening of a more distant star as its light was distorted by the object’s strong gravitational field — so-called gravitational microlensing.
As a Parkland shooting survivor, Kai Koerber understands the urgency of mental health awareness. As an advocate, entrepreneur and data scientist, he has a vision and a plan to make a difference.
Note to readers: This story contains historical images of lynchings.
We’d like to wrap up 2021–2022 by congratulating all of the current Cal Bears and recent alums who received nationally competitive scholarships this academic year, as well as those who submitted strong applications for the more than 25 scholarship programs our office supports.
This year’s recipients are:
June 14, 2022
Alumna Addy Spiller '00 Economics, a long-time supporter of the Economics Department through the Charter Hill Society for the Social Sciences, shares in a Q&A why she chose to support CHS in a leadership role as an honorary chair and what she appreciates about her Berkeley experience.
June 11, 2022
A team led by UC Berkeley astronomers has for the first time discovered what they believe to be a free-floating black hole located between 2,280 and 6,260 light years away from Earth.
It’s an incredibly rare discovery, since black holes are invisible. The team of researchers, led by Cal graduate student Casey Lam and astronomy professor Jessica Lu, found the object through gravitational microlensing, in which the brightening of a more distant star is the result of the strong gravitational pull of the object.
June 9, 2022
A remarkable international community of economists and economics students gathered in Berkeley June 3 and 4 to celebrate the achievements of Berkeley scholar David Card, who shared the 2021 Nobel Prize in economics.
Among those who joined in the celebration were Card’s two co-winners: Guido W. Imbens of Stanford University and Joshua D. Angrist of MIT.
June 8, 2022
June 5, 2022
For many Southeast Asian refugees, the current violence in Afghanistan and Ukraine is like an instant replay of a painful history that few can forget.
If little is taught about the Vietnam War — a misnomer, because the war was not confined to Vietnam — even less is known about Cambodia and the U.S. intentional destruction of that country to secure a supposedly honorable exit from Vietnam in April 1975. What followed was a genocide that decimated almost a quarter of Cambodia’s population and rendered hundreds of thousands of families and individuals stateless: I was one of them.
A major Hollywood studio sent UC Berkeley back to the 1940s at the end of May for a motion picture that was filmed on campus.
The set, which included old cars and costumes, was constructed over two days in an area near Sather Tower, Wheeler Hall and Physics North, a 1924 building designed by John Galen Howard and known as LeConte Hall until 2020.
For Trinh T. Minh-ha, learning isn’t about accumulating knowledge.
“This has been something that my students very much appreciate,” said Trinh, a longtime UC Berkeley professor of gender and women’s studies and of rhetoric who retired in 2020. “But also, I have had students who agonized with me over the whole semester because of this.
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Dania Matos; Em Huang, director of LGBTQ+ Advancement & Equity; Benjamin E. Hermalin, vice provost for the faculty; Stephen Sutton, vice chancellor for student affairs and Eugene Whitlock, chief people and culture officer sent the following message to the campus community on Wednesday:
This month is Pride Month, a time to celebrate UC Berkeley’s queer and trans students, staff and faculty: We celebrate you, your thriving and your contributions to the campus community.
As a child in the Philippines during the 1970s, Joi Barrios-Leblanc remembers singing songs that glorified the country’s president Ferdinand Marcos, and his U.S-backed regime of martial law that turned the government into a one-man dictatorship that killed, tortured and incarcerated thousands of its citizens.
In Berkeley Talks episode 141, a panel of scholars discuss the work of Roman Vishniac, a renowned Russian American photographer who took thousands of photos over seven decades and across three continents.
Although Vishniac’s genres were diverse, he’s best known for images that he took of Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust.
May 26, 2022
A chance discovery on her first day at the University and Jepson Herbaria in 2005 changed Kelly Agnew’s life, leading her down a rabbit hole of Civil War battles and prison camps, gold rush settlements, the exploits and foibles of California’s earliest botanists, the founding of the Sierra Club and ultimately the establishment at UC Berkeley of the largest plant collection at any public university in the world.
The California Language Archive’s (CLA) new website was unveiled this week!. Professor Andrew Garrett (Director) praised the hard work of Ronald Sprouse (IT Specialist), Zachary O'Hagan (Manager), and Anna Björklund (graduate student assistant), who were tasked with the project.
May 23, 2022
Nikki Jones, H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Professor and Department Chair, African American Studies at UC Berkeley, reflects on the Buffalo massacre. Listen to the WTOP interview
On May 10, 2022, Dr. Lisa DeNell Cook, UC Berkeley alumna, was confirmed to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She is the first Black woman to serve on the Fed in its 108-year history. As governor, Cook will take part in setting U.S. monetary policy and stabilizing the national financial system.
May 20, 2022
In the mid-1990s, Quirina Geary was a cashier at a Safeway store in Madera, California, and a young mother of two. While raised in a tribal community in California’s Central Valley, she did not speak her ancestral Mutsun language and wanted to fix that.
Intimidated, yet determined, she headed along with her sister, Clara Luna, to UC Berkeley to attend Breath of Life, a biennial workshop in which California Native Americans pair up with linguists and other scholars to revitalize Indigenous languages by sharing personal histories, knowledge and archival materials.
May 18, 2022
Halfway through Anjika Pai’s junior year of high school, Donald Trump began his U.S. presidency. As one of the few Indian Americans in the pastoral community of Jamison, Pennsylvania, Pai braced herself for an onslaught of xenophobia.
“People’s bigotry around that time was out on full display, and there was nothing I could do to make them like me because of the way I look, as a brown person,” she recalls.
UC Berkeley graduate student Justin Lee beat out nine other talented contestants at this year’s Grad Slam competition, taking home the top prize for his three-minute talk on how genetic engineering could be used to stop COVID from replicating inside the body.
The annual contest, now in its seventh year, challenges grad students to sum up their research in three pithy and jargon-free minutes that a non-research audience can understand.
May 17, 2022
Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Dania Matos sent the following message on Monday, May 16:
Dear Black leaders on campus,
The news of the anti-Black mass shooting in Buffalo this weekend is shocking and horrific. I imagine many of you felt deep sadness or anger as you watched the news unfold. I know I did. I still do.
May 12, 2022
Scientists have captured the first image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy, discovered by UC Berkeley professor emeritus Reinhard Genzel and UCLA professor Andrea Ghez.
May 11, 2022
Undergraduate students typically start their university years expecting the greatest challenges will come in the classroom or the lab, but the Class of 2022 also had to work through a pandemic, natural disasters and historic social turmoil.
May 10, 2022
It was fall 2019 when Katherine Snyder, an associate professor of English at UC Berkeley, first taught her course Climate Fiction. Wildfires were blazing across California, prompting a series of public safety power shut-offs across the state.
May 3, 2022
New research on the ownership of about 800,000 properties in Dubai co-authored By Gabriel Zucman, Director of The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality at UC Berkeley offers a unique window into cross-border real estate investments. Read more
Six UC Berkeley’s faculty members were elected today to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
The six were among 120 members and 30 international members elected at the conclusion of the academy’s 159th annual meeting. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.
There are now 151 Berkeley faculty members in the academy.
The newly elected members are:
Nine UC Berkeley faculty members, seven of whom are L&S faculty, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), bringing the total number of living AAAS members at Berkeley to about 275. This year, the following L&S members were elected:
Wendy Brown, Berkeley professor emerita of political science and currently the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey
May 2, 2022
Wendy Brown, Professor Emerita in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, speaks to the New York Times about campus culture. Read more
The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) is pleased to announce a $1,000,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation in support of a 4-year project with the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI). This grant will support APARRI in its mission to advance the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific American religions and to ensure the legacy of Asian Pacific Americans within the American religious and racial landscape.
April 29, 2022
As a kid growing up in Orange County, UC Berkeley biology professor Randy Schekman remembers collecting a jar of dirty pond scum from a nearby riverbed, sliding it under the lens of his toy microscope and being transfixed by the tiny, cellular world he saw.
That fascination led Schekman to an illustrious career: a Berkeley biology professorship and a 2013 Nobel Prize for groundbreaking research on cellular membranes.
UC Berkeley Dean of Social Sciences Raya has been announced as a new member of The Social Science Research Council Board of Directors. Read more
April 27, 2022
The College of Letters & Science is well represented on the 2022 UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award list.
April 26, 2022
In Episode 8, "The Man Who Upended the Universe," UC Berkeley physics professor, Nobel Laureate, and astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter speaks with Alan Alda for an engaging conversation. From the Clear + Vivid Podcast:
After making the astonishing discovery that what he and his fellow cosmologists thought they knew about the universe was wrong, Saul Perlmutter began a course at his university explaining why catching mistakes is at the heart of science. It's also a lesson in life for the rest of us.
April 24, 2022
In episode 139 of Berkeley Talks, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), gives the UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group‘s 28th Annual Lecture on Energy and Environment. In the March 31, 2022 talk, Ogunbiyi discusses how to drive a just, inclusive and equitable transition to affordable and sustainable energy for all, and how the Russia-Ukraine war is affecting energy markets around the world.
April 20, 2022
For the third year in a row, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco is partnering with Science at Cal at UC Berkeley to host "Dia de la Ciencia,” an event that gives the Spanish-speaking public an opportunity to interact with scientists from different fields and have a closer experience with real scientific activities! This event will be a virtual event showcasing six UC Berkeley scientists.
You can hear Hari Srinivasan’s confident voice in his academic research papers, his Daily Californiannewspaper articles and in his poetry and essays. But in person, you’re not likely to hear him speak.
That’s because the UC Berkeley psychology major’s ability to vocalize is severely limited due to regressive autism and a neurological disorder known as oral-motor apraxia.
It closed many doors to him. But not at Berkeley, and certainly not now.
April 19, 2022
UC Berkeley graduate schools and programs scored high in the 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings recently released by U.S. News & World Report. Among them, the departments of English, history, sociology, and psychology scored #1. Graduate programs in biological sciences, clinical psychology, and mathematics came in third as well. Graduate programs in political science and economics each placed fourth.
April 14, 2022
Julia Bryan-Wilson, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Director of the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center has curated an official collateral exhibition for the upcoming Venice Biennale, entitled Louise Nevelson: Persistence.The Biennale is one of the most prestigious art exhibitions in the world; there are only 30 official collateral events, and to be chosen is a huge honor and career highlight.
Amitav Ghosh, novelist, and essayist who is an award-winning author of several books of fiction and non-fiction will be in conversation with Dr. Kum Kum Bhavnani and Dr. Sugata Ray on April 23rd from 3-4:30 PM. Drawing from writings and against the backdrop of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, Ghosh will discuss how the history of resource exploitation and the extractive mindset is directly connected to the deep inequality around us today.
Andrew Dillin, the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair in Stem Cell Research and a Howard Hughes Medical investigator in UC Berkeley’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, shared the 2022 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences for work on the aging process.
April 13, 2022
In Berkeley Talks episode 138, Harry Edwards, a renowned sports activist and UC Berkeley professor emeritus of sociology, discusses the intersections of race and sport, the history of predatory inclusion, athletes’ struggle for definitional authority and the power of sport to change society.
“You can change society by changing people’s perceptions and understandings of the games they play,” Edwards said at a March 1 campus event sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI) and Cal Athletics.
April 11, 2022
April 6, 2022
Dr. Julia Schaletzky, Executive Director of CEND, IVRI, and the Drug Discovery Institute, has been chosen as a speaker at the upcoming TEDxBerkeley Event for her talk: "Overcharged and Underserved - Blind Spots in Healthcare".
April 4, 2022
In this Berkeley Voices episode, Bree Rosenblum, a professor of global change biology at UC Berkeley, talks about why we need to stop blaming each other for the environmental crisis that we’re in, and instead confront its root causes and expand our ideas of what it means to be human on our planet. “I really think that if we’re not addressing culture at a really deep level, that we cannot address climate change,” said Rosenblum. “Do we want humanity to mean what it has meant in the past, or do we want to create a new meaning for our species and for our purpose?”
Over the two decades paleontologist Kevin Padian taught a freshman seminar called The Age of Dinosaurs, one question asked frequently by undergraduates stuck with him: Why are the arms of Tyrannosaurus rex so ridiculously short?
Payal Hathi, a PhD student in Demography and Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and a Research Fellow at r.i.c.e., co-authors a major scientific article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
March 31, 2022
Today, postdoc J.J. Zanazzi was announced as a 2022 51 Pegasi b Fellow by the Heising-Simons Foundation. J.J. will complete his fellowship at UC Berkeley in the group of Eugene Chiang. The 51 Pegasi b Fellowship provides exceptional postdoctoral scientists with the opportunity to conduct theoretical, observational, and experimental research in planetary astronomy. J.J. will be the third 51 Peg Fellow (all hosted by Chiang) to take up residence at Berkeley since the fellowship’s inception in 2017.
On April 11 make sure to watch the 2022 Berkeley Grand Slam! Cheer on Berkeley graduate students (most of them from L&S!) as they showcase their research in a series of three-minute talks and vie for the “Berkeley Finalist” title. Attendees will get to vote on who wins the “People's Choice” award.
March 30, 2022
For 25 years, UC Berkeley biologist Robert Dudley has been intrigued by humans’ love of alcohol. In 2014, he wrote a book proposing that our attraction to booze arose millions of years ago, when our ape and monkey ancestors discovered that the scent of alcohol led them to ripe, fermenting and nutritious fruit.
A new study now supports this idea, which Dudley calls the “drunken monkey” hypothesis.
March 28, 2022
April 5th, 4:30pm-6pm
310 Banatao Auditorium
March 18, 2022
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that a drug once widely used to wean alcoholics off of drinking helps to improve sight in mice with retinal degeneration.
The drug may revive sight in humans with the inherited disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and perhaps in other vision disorders, including age-related macular degeneration.
March 15, 2022
As a Russian immigrant experiencing economic woes, Sofia Liashcheva expressed herself through art. As a UC Berkeley student, she speaks out against the war in Ukraine: “There is no excuse for the war, and I will do what I can to speak out against it. Because I stand with Ukraine.”
March 14, 2022
Paul Pierson, an influential UC Berkeley scholar and author focused on the challenges confronting American democracy, has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS).
“People have been discussing the idea of a graduate program in Cognitive Science at Berkeley since at least the early 90s,” says Terry Regier, a Professor of Linguistics and a previous director of the Cognitive Science program. This long-hoped-for goal will finally come true, in the form of a PhD designated emphasis (DE), thanks to support from the Social Science Division, the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences (ICBS), the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, and a generous gift from Metta Murdaya ‘97 (Architecture and Cognitive Science).
In the last three weeks, Russia’s political ambitions in Ukraine have escalated into a full-fledged invasion and war. As politicians attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, thousands of soldiers and hundreds of civilians have likely been killed, and more than two million people have fled the country into neighboring Poland, Hungary, Romania, and other countries. The conflict has upended international relations, raised questions about the dependence of the United States and Europe on Russian fossil fuels, and strained infrastructures of refugee assistance and resettlement.
In episode 136 of Berkeley Talks, UC Berkeley psychology professor Jack Gallant discusses functional brain mapping for understanding health, aging and disease.
March 3, 2022
Mentoring and support program activates students’ potential for success in biology, at Berkeley, and in life. This video illustrates the history and impact of the Biology Scholars program — and the importance of the community and legacy it creates.
March 2, 2022
In episode 135 of Berkeley Talks, UC Berkeley political scientist George Breslauer and economics professor Yuriy Gorodnichenko discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — what his motivations are and how they compare to Adolf Hitler’s and Joseph Stalin’s, if the invasion was avoidable and what should be done about it.
“I was born in 1991, when Ukraine declared its independence and the Soviet Union collapsed. I grew up in a rural area of western Ukraine in the Ivano-Frankivsk region in a home built by my grandparents. My parents and grandparents still live there. This is the place I call my home, no matter where I live.
March 1, 2022
When two neutron stars spiral into one another and merge to form a black hole — an event recorded in 2017 by gravitational wave detectors and telescopes worldwide — does it immediately become a black hole? Or does it take a while to spin down before gravitationally collapsing past the event horizon into a black hole?
Ongoing observations of that 2017 merger by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, an orbiting telescope, suggests the latter: that the merged object stuck around, likely for a mere second, before undergoing ultimate collapse.
February 28, 2022
To honor Black History Month 2022, we asked Black members of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health community what the month means to them. The answers we received were thoughtful, nuanced, emotional, and joyful. Click through the links to see our participant’s full thoughts on Black History Month, Black Lives Matter, Black experience in health care, and what UC Berkeley and Berkeley Public Health can do to amplify Black voices.
February 25, 2022
Physicists searching — unsuccessfully — for today’s most favored candidate for dark matter, the axion, have been looking in the wrong place, according to a new supercomputer simulation of how axions were produced shortly after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.
February 24, 2022
We are sad to report that Professor Emeritus Leo Bersani died on February 20, 2022.
Ukraine has been in the headlines since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 and the public may be understandably tired of hearing more about Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the occasion now is far more serious. Not for Ukraine. For the free world. Indeed, what may happen in Ukraine is likely to determine the future of global security and order. Let’s start with the facts and ask a few basic questions to understand the stakes:
February 18, 2022
Four UC Berkeley assistant professors have been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, one of the most prestigious honors given to early-career scientific researchers.
The four are among 118 new 2022 fellows announced this week by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowships recognize young scholars whose “achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada,” the foundation said in an announcement.
February 17, 2022
At UC Berkeley, neuroscientist Dr. Daniela Kaufer and now UCSF post-doc Kimberly Long — along with UCSF and San Francisco VA scientists Radiologist Dr. Linda Chao and Psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Neylan — may have provided a convincing reason why some people are resilient to trauma and others are susceptible.
February 16, 2022
As a young boy in Portsmouth, a naval town in southern England dating back to Roman times, Andrew Stewart kindled his fascination with the ancient and medieval realms. While archaeology started off as a childhood hobby, it quickly blossomed into a career that has taken Stewart around the world, shedding light on human history.
February 15, 2022
What’s wrong with antitrust policy for regulating the tech sector? In his new book, Innovation Matters: Competition Policy for the High-Technology Economy, Richard Gilbert, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at UC Berkeley, argues that regulators should be considering the effects of mergers and monopolies on innovation, rather than price.
February 8, 2022
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Catherine P. Koshland announced today the reappointment of Michael R. Botchan as Dean of the College of Letters & Science Division of Biological Sciences. Botchan has held this position since 2016 and is a professor of Integrative Biology and Molecular and Cell Biology.
February 4, 2022
Many of today’s marine invertebrates, including sponges and jellyfish, have chromosomes with the same ancient structure they inherited from their primitive ancestors more than 600 million years ago, according to a new study.
The surprise finding is a reminder that evolution is conservative — it keeps things that work well, like the organization of genes on a chromosome — and provides a key link between creatures alive today, including humans, and our very distant ancestors.
Between 1910 and 1970, about 6 million Black Americans moved from the rural South to cities in the North, the West and other parts of the United States. It’s known as the Great Migration.
Musicians who moved to these cities became ambassadors, says UC Berkeley history professor Waldo Martin, not only for the music of the South, but for the culture from which the music emerged. And the music was made and remade, and continues to be today.
February 3, 2022
The American philosopher, Judith Butler, has been awarded the Catalonia International Prize for their influential work in fields such as political philosophy and ethics.
The jury considered their "activism and thinking inspiring," showing "that life counts," Catalan president Pere Aragonès said during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Aragonès also highlighted "the revolution and transformation their work has had on feminist philosophy, their activism for lesbian and gay rights, and their support for the queer community."
Gross domestic product is a useful metric of a nation’s economic success, but what you’d also like to know is who reaps the benefit when it grows — the rich, the poor, the middle class or everyone. During the pandemic, for example, we know that government benefits helped the poor, while stimulative monetary policy pushed up stock prices and benefited the rich in particular. What was the net result?
February 2, 2022
Professor Alex Filippenko has been awarded the American Astronomical Society’s 2022 Education Prize “for his passionate and wildly popular teaching of non-science majors; his mentoring of hundreds of teaching assistants and undergraduate research students; his dedication to public education through lectures, TV documentaries, and video courses; his textbook and other popular writings; and his leadership in saving Lick Observatory, a prominent California observatory that faced defunding in 2014.”
February 1, 2022
In observance of Black History Month, we celebrate the rich array of organizations and resources created by and for the Black community at Berkeley. Berkeley Diversity has created this comprehensive site with news stories, events, and resource guides that amplify Black Excellence on our campus.
UC Berkeley economists have launched a powerful new web tool that allows users to track, almost in real time, how economic growth and public policy affect the distribution of income and wealth among classes in the United States.
January 27, 2022
NASA’s latest and snazziest mission, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), launched on Christmas Day, deployed its 21-foot-wide mirror a mere two weeks ago and reached its orbital destination earlier this week. With a flashy new telescope now nearly a reality, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are chomping at the bit to start observing.
Nine members of the UC Berkeley community – including eight faculty and one staff member — have been elected American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellows, one of the most distinctive honors within the scientific community. The 2021 class of AAAS fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers and innovators who are being recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.
Haley Willis, a 2019 graduate of UC Berkeley, is on the visual investigations team at the New York Times and a co-producer of Day of Rage, a documentary about the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.
January 23, 2022
To engage students in course materials, educators often turn to cutting-edge tools. As technology progresses, new methods offer an increasingly wide array of options for professors. Forms of communication and inquiry have indeed transformed, but what if a form that dates back thousands of years can provide students with new insights? What if practices from the past can aid us in understanding the future?
January 19, 2022
A Conversation with Marshall Scholar Jonathan Kuo
January 18, 2022
Michigan State University economist and professor Lisa D. Cook today was nominated by President Joe Biden to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. If confirmed, Cook will be the first Black woman to serve on the board in its 108-year history. Professor Cook is an economist at Michigan State University who has researched racial disparities and labor markets.
January 12, 2022
Dear Campus Community,
I am pleased to announce that Benjamin E. Hermalin has been chosen to serve as our next executive vice chancellor and provost following a competitive national search that attracted a large number of highly qualified candidates. Ben will begin transitioning into the role over the next several months, with his appointment effective on July 1, 2022.
All of human experience - our perceptions, thoughts, feelings, desires, plans and actions - reflect the coordinated activity of a complex network of hundreds of distinct areas and modules within the brain. Disorders of these brain networks that occur during development, aging, or due to neurological disease, can have profound effects on quality of life. Therefore, understanding how information is represented and processed in this network during daily life is a major challenge for medicine.
January 11, 2022
UC Berkeley economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas was named the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the most prestigious and influential positions in the sphere of global economics.
January 7, 2022
A recent study links anxiety behavior in rats, as well as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans, to increased myelin — a substance that expedites communication between neurons — in areas of the brain associated with emotions and memory.
January 6, 2022
Astronomers have long suspected that massive stars become red supergiants at the end of their lives, hiccup a few times and then explode in a classic supernova visible across the universe. But no one had ever seen this scenario play out in a single star.
Now, thanks to coordinated observations by numerous ground- and space-based telescopes, astronomers have recorded such a sequence for a star about 120 million light years from Earth and, before it collapsed and exploded, about 10 times the mass of the sun.
January 5, 2022
Three UC Berkeley astronomers have been named 2022 Fellows of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), an accolade the society instituted in 2020 to honor members for extraordinary achievement and service.
December 22, 2021
UC Berkeley is proud to announce its inaugural class of Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation Ph.D. scholars. The university received $1.78 million to support this pilot program, providing three years of incoming cohorts of six graduate students with two years of funding.
December 20, 2021
L&S Student Spotlight: Carson McNealy ‘23
Majors: Nutritional Science (Rausser College of Natural Resources) and Psychology (College of Letters & Science)
Nearly four decades after UC Berkeley alumnus Steven Sidener, Class of 1982, earned his economics degree, his legacy will carry on to impact generations of Berkeley graduate students. Sidener passed away in August 2020 at the age of 62, just 8 days shy of his 63rd birthday. Shortly after, the Department of Economics received a $10.5M estate gift that will extend Sidener’s enduring connection to the university and department.
The graduating class of 2021 shared a single emotion: preservation. Being able to survive the most recent years strengthened the class and created a sense of connection and family between its members.
During Saturday’s commencement, the host, campus Associate Dean of Students Alfred Day, recognized the original settlers of the Berkeley area, the Huchiun. He acknowledged everyone benefits from the land in the Berkeley area and that it is the responsibility of the UC Berkeley community to acknowledge these original residents and their current prosperity.
December 17, 2021
I am distressed to share the news that the distinguished historian of modern France and our former colleague Tyler Stovall passed away unexpectedly on Friday, December 10, at the age of sixty-seven.
December 16, 2021
A Q&A with two scientists aiming to overcome limits in computing power and energy efficiency by designing new microchips
Our laptops and smartphones are compact yet powerful because of silicon microelectronics, also known as microchips or chips, the tiny brains behind the digital brawn of almost every modern device.
But such modern convenience comes at a cost. By 2030, about 25% of the world’s energy – most of which is produced by burning carbon-rich fossil fuels – could be consumed by electronic devices if nothing is done to make them more energy efficient.
December 15, 2021
Robert L. “Bob” Powell passed away on December 13, 2021. He passed peacefully in his home, in the company of friends.
Dear Colleagues and Friends in the College of Letters & Science,
As the fall semester comes to a close, I am writing to say thank you and congratulations, and to wish you a restful and joyous winter break.
Varsha Sarveshwar '20, a UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science alumna, has received one of the world's most prestigious honors for academic excellence—the Rhodes Scholarship.
December 13, 2021
The world reveres Chien-Shiung Wu as a groundbreaking nuclear physicist who made a startling find 65 years ago. But to me, she was Grandma — and I long to know more about her private universe.
December 9, 2021
According to the new report, the world’s richest people now own 11% of global wealth, marking the biggest leap in recent history
The 2022 World Inequality report, authored by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, also found that wealth inequality had a strong correlation to carbon emissions and climate change goals. The poorest half of the population in rich countries is already at (or near) the 2030 climate targets in terms of emission rates, but that’s not the case for the top 50%.
December 8, 2021
Nikki Jones, a celebrated scholar and professor at UC Berkeley, was appointed the H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Professor and Department Chair for African American Studies in the College of Letters & Science.
December 7, 2021
Congratulations to our fellow community members in the College of Letters & Science recognized as 2020 and 2021 Excellence in Advising and Student Services Awards winners!
December 3, 2021
Raffaella Margutti is an associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley's College of Letters & Science, Division of Mathematics & Physical Sciences. In 2021, Margutti was awarded the 2022 New Horizons in Physics Prize, awarded every year to early-career scientists by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
December 1, 2021
Sarafina Nance, a Ph.D candidate in astrophysics at UC Berkeley, examines exploding stars to better understand the composition, evolution and fate of the universe. An avid science communicator, she wrote a children's book about astronomy, hosted the digital series Constellations and has a deal to publish her memoir Starstruck.
November 30, 2021
The months-long rainy season, or monsoon, that drenches northwestern Mexico each summer, reaching into Arizona and New Mexico and often as far north as Colorado and Northern California, is unlike any monsoon in the world, according to a new analysis by William Boos, UC Berkeley associate professor of earth and planetary science and first author of a paper detailing the findings that appeared last week in the journal Nature
November 24, 2021
Jenina Yutuc is a Fung Fellows Honors student, majoring in interdisciplinary studies and minoring in global poverty & practice. Here, she shares her experiences as a second-year fellow, her honors team project, and her ambitions and reflections as an aspiring architect.
Chris Gould is a junior transfer in the Fung Fellowship Conservation + Tech track studying economics. Here, he shares his experience in the Army, goal to become a CPA and vision to combat the environmental crisis.
November 22, 2021
Monarch butterflies and their close relatives thrive on poisonous milkweed, thanks to genetic mutations that block the effects of the plant’s toxins while allowing the poisons to accumulate in the caterpillar or adult insects as deterrents to hungry predators.
Turns out some of those insect-eating predators evolved similar mutations in order to feast on monarchs.
November 19, 2021
In 2015, as a Ph.D. student at UC Santa Cruz, Juniper Harrower was planning to go back to Costa Rica, where she’d been working in the cloud forests to study patterns of forest regeneration. But then she learned something — something heart-wrenching — that would change the path of her research.
“Scientists had just found out that Joshua trees were really impacted by climate change and could be gone from the National Park within 100 years,” said Harrower. “When I read that, it was such a gut punch.”
At the recent Times Higher Education Teaching Excellence Summit, UC Berkeley Dean of Arts + Humanities Sara Guyer spoke in a session on "The value of critical thinking in a post-pandemic world." Guyer spoke to the importance of critical thinking as a core value at Berkeley, "especially in th
A sacred Jewish object called a mezuzah that is in the collection of UC Berkeley’s Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life will soon be hung in the official Washington, D.C., residence of Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff.
Carissa Samuel is a Health + Tech fellow studying Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) with a minor in Dance and Performance studies. Here, she shares more about her personal and professional interests and why she chose the Fung Fellowship.
Alan Munoz is a recent UC Berkeley graduate with a BA in Political Economy. As an alumnus of the Fung Fellowship, having been a part of the program for two years, he shares what he’s been doing after graduation and how the fellowship shaped his professional interests in public health and design.
In Berkeley Talks episode 128, a panel of artists, organizers and academics discuss UC Berkeley professor Eric Stanley’s 2021 book, Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable, which interrogates why, in a time when LGBT rights are advancing in the U.S., anti-trans violence continues to rise.
November 16, 2021
As opponents of critical race theory continue to gather at school boards across the country protesting its use in classrooms, it has become evident that the study of racism in America continues to be seen, by some, as trivial.
For Peter Nelson, stepping foot on the UC Berkeley campus last January as a new faculty member, after 3 1/2 years on the San Diego State University faculty, was a return to his alma mater, where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology.
November 11, 2021
Few groups of animals encapsulate the extremes of longevity more than fish. While coral reef pygmy govies survive for less than ten weeks, Greenland sharks can endure more than 500 years. So when a team of biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, wanted to explore the genetics of aging, they grabbed their fishing gear.
November 4, 2021
The Government of Japan announces Professor Alan Auerbach as one of two recipients of the 2021 Autumn Conferment of Japanese Decorations.
Alan Auerbach is the Robert D. Burch Professor of Economics and Law Director, Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance.
Berkeley neuroscientist Yang Dan will help conduct an ambitious $9 million project exploring how the circuitry in the brain progressively goes awry in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
November 1, 2021
Bathsheba Demuth (Ph.D. '17) has been awarded the John H. Dunning Prize by the AHA for her book Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait (W.W. Norton, 2019). Demuth is currently an Assistant Professor of History & Environment and Society at Brown University. The John H.
Alumnus Bobby Lee (Ph.D.
October 26, 2021
For the eighth straight year, UC Berkeley tops the list of the world’s best public universities and remains the fourth-best university overall in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 global universities rankings.
October 21, 2021
UC Berkeley has announced the addition of a new health and wellness minor in the College of Letters & Science. This interdisciplinary minor centers on a three-course core, covering the cultural, psychological, and physiological aspects of health and wellness.
October 18, 2021
“There’s this funny, almost magical aspect of following curiosity-based research, when you just try to understand how the world works,” said professor of physics, Saul Perlmutter, reflecting on the ingenuity that is intrinsic to basic research. “Somehow, that’s made it possible for us to leapfrog all sorts of problems.”
Join us on October 20th at 5pm Pacific to welcome poet and Cave Canem co-founder Cornelius Eady to the ARC virtual stage. He will be joined by two emerging poets who have benefitted from his teaching and mentorship in the Cave Canem Black artists collective: Morgan Parker (author of Magical Negro) and Cameron Awkward Rich (author of Dispatch).
October 8, 2021
In Berkeley Talks episode 125, a panel of leading UC Berkeley experts describe the harms of disinformation and explore potential solutions to its spread, from measures to strengthen old-school local news media to government regulation of tech titans like Facebook and Twitter.
October 6, 2021
“At the end of the day, despite all the trials and tribulations we go through as Latinx students, it’s our communities and identities that ground us as we pursue our research projects,” Ph.D. candidate Hector Callejas said. (Photo by Edgar Castrejón)
When you clicked to read this story, a band of cells across the top of your brain sent signals down your spine and out to your hand to tell the muscles in your index finger to press down with just the right amount of pressure to activate your mouse or track pad.
In January 2015, 15-year-old Mariana Soto Sanchez woke up one Saturday morning at her home in Ontario, California, with weakness in her hand. Within minutes, the feeling had spread throughout her body. Her parents rushed her to the hospital. By the time they got there, she had total paralysis.
October 4, 2021
David Julius, one of today’s winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, was a standout even as a graduate student at UC Berkeley in the 1970s and ’80s, according to one of his mentors, 2013 Nobel laureate Randy Schekman.
September 28, 2021
CBS news foreign correspondent Chris Liversay reports the race to succeed Angela Merkel and her legacy as Germany's leader for 16 years.
September 27, 2021
September 23, 2021
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the nation’s largest biomedical research foundation, announced today the appointment of 33 American scientists as investigators, and three of them are from the University of California, Berkeley.
September 22, 2021
September 21, 2021
September 16, 2021
Joe Goode, professor and department chair of UC Berkeley's Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, is also the artistic director of Joe Goode Performance Group. His current work, "Time of Change," was recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle's Datebook.
September 15, 2021
Latinx Heritage Month recognizes, honors, and celebrates the resilience, contributions, and cultures of Latinx, Chicanx, and all Latinx-identified folx from America and with ancestors from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, and Central and South America.
September 9, 2021
Raffaella Margutti, a newly arrived associate professor of astronomy, and Norman Yao, an assistant professor of physics, are among nine winners of the 2022 New Horizons in Physics Prize, awarded every year to early-career scientists by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
September 8, 2021
Public universities can deliver the most outstanding education to the broadest range of students at the most affordable price. That’s the message of Forbes’ 2021 ranking of top colleges.
For the first time ever on a national ranking of America’s best colleges, a public school, the University of California at Berkeley, is in the No. 1 spot (In 2009 West Point topped our list, but military academies are slightly different animals). Of the top 25 schools in the Forbes ranking, six are public, including three other U.C.s, the University of Michigan and the University of Florida.
September 7, 2021
The Sam Dubal Fellowship in Critical Cultural and Medical Anthropology honors the legacy of Sam Dubal, M.D., Ph.D. ’15, as an anthropologist, activist, medical doctor, professor, and ardent contributor to many vibrant intellectual communities. Dubal’s family generously established a fellowship following his tragic disappearance during a hike on Mt. Rainier in October 2020.
September 2, 2021
Five new faculty members at UC Berkeley this fall hail from disparate U.S. states, academic disciplines and personal backgrounds. But they’re already forming a team partnered around one critical global issue — climate equity and environmental justice — as part of six interdisciplinary faculty “cluster hires” underway on campus.
Timothy Douglas White, UC Berkeley Professor of Integrative Biology in the College of Letters & Science and Director of the Human Evolution Research Center, received the prestigious International Prize for Biology on August 31.
August 19, 2021
A new Youtube video by Econimate asks whether food labels can help combat obesity.
The video is based on new research by Berkeley Economics professor Nano Barahona and Ph.D. student Cristóbal Otero, Sebastián Otero (Stanford), and Joshua Kim, on the equilibrium effects of food labeling policies.” Based on a new working paper.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWHGwxJwvP4
Scientists have taken the clearest picture yet of electronic particles that make up a mysterious magnetic state called a quantum spin liquid (QSL). The achievement could facilitate the development of superfast quantum computers and energy-efficient superconductors. The scientists are the first to capture an image of how electrons in a QSL decompose into spin-like particles called spinons and charge-like particles called chargons.
From ASUC Student President and political economy major, Chaka Tellem:
August 16, 2021
Stephen Miller, a professor emeritus of classics who for nearly 50 years led UC Berkeley’s archaeological excavation in Greece of a site of the ancient Panhellenic Games, died Aug. 11 in a Greek hospital. The Greek Reporter, an international news outlet, reported that 79-year-old Miller died that morning following a hemodialysis treatment.
August 13, 2021
Steven Kahn of Stanford University has been appointed the next dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) in the UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science. This move marks a homecoming for Kahn, as he obtained his Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley and served as professor of physics and astronomy for 15 years.
August 11, 2021
Leon Litwack, a legendary American historian who influenced generations of students with his energizing teaching and lectures, passed away on Aug. 5. He was 91.
August 10, 2021
Psychologist Alison Gopnik, a world-renowned expert in child development and author of several popular books including The Scientist in the Crib, The Philosophical Baby, and The Gardener and the Carpenter, has won the 2021 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.
One Saturday afternoon a few years ago, Richard Allen was riding Bay Area Rapid Transit between Berkeley and Oakland when the train suddenly stopped. "We've had an alert for an earthquake," the conductor announced. "We're going to assess the situation and decide what to do." Allen, the director of the Seismological Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, had spent much of the previous two decades working toward that moment. After a few minutes' orderly wait, the train's journey resumed.
August 5, 2021
In treetops all around the world, squirrels leap meters through the air to get from branch to branch. In this natural arena the squirrels scurry around to find morsels of food, all the while trying to evade occasional airborne predators such as hawks. But the speed and ease with which they navigate the challenging and unpredictable canopy environment is “spectacular,” says University of California, Berkeley, biomechanics researcher Robert Full. The animals easily land leaps several times the length of their body. And we do not really know how they do it, Full says.
How do poisonous animals like the hooded pitohui, a small, drab bird whose orange and black feathers are laced with poison, keep from poisoning themselves? For decades, the best theory has been that the birds and frogs evolved specially adapted sodium channels. But a study in the Journal of General Physiology overturns that notion.
Frequent, rapid testing for COVID-19 is critical to controlling the spread of outbreaks, especially as new, more transmissible variants emerge.
While today’s gold standard COVID-19 diagnostic test, which uses qRT-PCR — quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) — is extremely sensitive, detecting down to one copy of RNA per microliter, it requires specialized equipment, a runtime of several hours and a centralized laboratory facility. As a result, testing typically takes at least one to two days.
August 3, 2021
The Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters & Science received a grant totaling nearly $500K from the UC Office of the President for its proposal, Advancing Faculty Diversity in the Social Sciences. Part of the UC’s systemwide Advancing Faculty Diversity (AFD) program, this funding seeks to improve faculty diversity and enrich teaching, research and service missions among all UC campuses.
July 30, 2021
Linda Kinstler, Ph.D. candidate in the Rhetoric Department, was recently featured in The New York Times Sunday Review. Her essay, "Can Silicon Valley Find God?" is an exploration of the relationship between spirituality and technology, between the digital and the divine. It’s the product of over a year of reporting and dozens of conversations with religious leaders, programmers, and believers of all faiths about how our devices are indeterminately altering our interior lives.
July 28, 2021
When the customs agent at San Francisco International Airport asked Reinhard Genzel why he was visiting America, Genzel had a pretty good answer ready.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m an emeritus professor from UC Berkeley, and this is my first opportunity to return since becoming a Nobel laureate,’” Genzel said. “People nearby started clapping.”
July 26, 2021
Out of 16 Golden Bears in action as the Tokyo Olympics get underway, a dozen have attended UC Berkeley's College of Letters & Science. We are proud to have athletes who majored in the broad range of subjects offered at L&S, from sociology to American Studies to molecular and cell biology. These athletes are representing several different countries and we wish them the best of luck in the coming games. Follow CalBears.com for daily coverage of the Olympics and read on for more detail.
July 21, 2021
Alicia Hayes, UC Berkeley Prestigious Scholarships Manager and Advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Research (OURS), was awarded the 2021 McCray Exemplary Service Award from the National Association of Fellowships Advisors (
July 20, 2021
It’s no secret that UC Berkeley attracts outstanding women from all walks of life, all over the world, to pursue their educational goals. As these women transition from academic to professional careers, having a network of Cal alumnae ready and available for support can be a transformative benefit. In 2019, Jennifer Youstra ‘88 and Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami ‘94 partnered with the Social Sciences division in the College of Letters & Science to formally establish such a network and created the UC Berkeley Women in Leadership Circle (WILC).
July 15, 2021
L&S Student Spotlight: Ethan Willbrand ‘21
Majors: Psychology (Social Sciences Division) and Molecular & Cell Biology (Biological Sciences Division)
July 13, 2021
A decade after scientists discovered that lab rats will rescue a fellow rat in distress, but not a rat they consider an outsider, new UC Berkeley research pinpoints the brain regions that drive rats to prioritize their nearest and dearest in times of crisis. It also suggests humans may share the same neural bias.
The findings, published today, Tuesday, July 13, in the journal eLife, suggest that altruism, whether in rodents or humans, is motivated by social bonding and familiarity rather than sympathy or guilt.
July 7, 2021
In 2019, Anaïs Llorens and Athina Tzovara — one a current, the other a former University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral scholar at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) — were attending a scientific meeting and pleased that one session, on gender bias in academia, attracted nearly a full house. The problem: The audience of some 300 was almost all women.
Congratulations to PhD student, Bruno Anaya Ortiz, for becoming a Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies (BELS) Fellow for 2021-2022. Ortiz is a fifth-year student in the Rhetoric Department.
Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality at UC Berkeley Gabriel Zucman writes in a co-authored op-ed in the New York Times:
July 2, 2021
June 24, 2021
L&S Student Spotlight: Nayzak Wali-Ali ‘21
Majors: Ethnic Studies (College of Letters & Science); Legal Studies (Berkeley Law)
June 23, 2021
Before Elaine Kim came to Berkeley as a Ph.D. student in 1968, she was used to being the only Asian person in the room. Kim, who is Korean American, was born in New York and raised in a predominantly working class white suburb of Washington, D.C., the daughter of a migrant farmworker mother and waiter-turned-diplomat father.
Professor Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismology Lab and former chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, has been named interim dean for the Division of Mathematical & Physical Sciences in the College of Letters & Scie
June 21, 2021
Most butterflies sport colorful, eye-catching patterns on their wings. But some species, like the glasswing butterfly, use mostly transparent wings to hide in plain sight.
The Asian American wealth gap, explained in a comic: By Lok Siu, cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley
June 18, 2021
UC Berkeley embraces the declaration of Juneteenth as a national holiday.
June 17, 2021
L&S Student Spotlight: Alan Huang '21
Majors: Music (Arts & Humanities Division) and Neurobiology (Biological Sciences Division)
June 16, 2021
Bay Area scientists have captured the real-time electrical activity of a beating heart, using a sheet of graphene to record an optical image — almost like a video camera — of the faint electric fields generated by the rhythmic firing of the heart’s muscle cells.
June 15, 2021
The Supreme Court can’t object to levies on their unrealized capital gains, say Berkeley Economics professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in a Washington Post Op-ed.
In a Vox article, Professor Gabriel Zucman, Director of the UC Berkeley James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality discusses his research and the $1.8 trillion plan to raise taxes.
June 14, 2021
When Grace Lavery joined UC Berkeley’s English department in 2013, she didn’t know that she would become one of the most followed trans scholars in the world on social media and an outspoken advocate for the trans community.
June 7, 2021
An education program developed at UC Berkeley aimed at stamping out antisemitism on campus is finding a national audience, with help from a $25,000 grant and a video that strives to put a complex history into simpler terms.
June 4, 2021
Here’s news that will shake you to your core: Earth’s solid-iron centre is growing faster on one side than the other. And experts can’t explain why.
June 3, 2021
Pedro De Anda Plascencia recently graduated with two degrees in English and political science from the College of Letters & Science. He is an Achievement Award Program (TAAP) Scholar in UC Berkeley's Class of 2021.
June 2, 2021
"Diversity in STEM enhances discovery and provides a catalyst for social change by enabling an equity of experience. Our ultimate goal is to diversify the next generation of STEM leaders and empower them to achieve their academic and professional aspirations. We aim to change the face of science and technology."
Frank F. Davis ‘55, UC Berkeley alumnus and inventor of a process used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, died of pneumonia on May 19. He was 100.
Jack Tseng, UC Berkeley assistant professor of integrative biology, explains his research on juvenile T. rexes and what the findings tell us about the lifestyle of the teenage tyrannosaur.
June 1, 2021
Congratulations to the Class of 2021! This year’s graduation was one-of-a-kind as more than 6,400 UC Berkeley graduates participated in a five-day-long procession ceremony at the Greek Theatre.
May 26, 2021
How having the ‘wrong’ address almost cost one graduate everything: Aurora Lopez, John Gardner Public Service Fellow, on her path to UC Berkeley
Lopez is going to move to Washington, D.C., where she she plans to pursue a congressional fellowship with the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations or work for the U.S. Department of State.
Read the story:
Two UC Berkeley faculty members from the College of Letters & Science, Daniel Aldana Cohen and Ellora Derenoncourt, have been named CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars.
May 24, 2021
In March, UC Berkeley linguist Zachary O’Hagan called Florida Atlantic University anthropologist Gerald Weiss to ask about audio recordings that Weiss had made in the 1960s and ‘70s of Ashaninka people, the largest Indigenous group living in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.
O’Hagan figured they’d discuss their shared passion for the Peruvian Amazon and the need to preserve early records of the region’s languages and cultures.
On May 18th, Chancellor Carol Christ awarded the Berkeley Citation to Bob Jacobsen, Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Letters and Science.
May 19, 2021
Akiko Thomson-Guevera continues to give back to the sports world, years after hanging up her goggles.
In this episode of Berkeley Talks, Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and UC Berkeley alumnus, delivers the keynote address at Berkeley’s commencement on Saturday, May 15.
May 18, 2021
Kim Nalley graduated in May 2021 with a Ph.D. in history from the College of Letters & Science. In her dissertation, “G.I. Jazz,” she looks at African Americans as jazz artists, as well as occupiers, in post-World War II Germany.
May 14, 2021
Julie Thao graduates this year with a bachelor’s in Asian American and Asian diaspora studies from the Department of Ethnic Studies, and a minor in global public health. Here, Thao reflects on the impact of violence and war on her family, and why Hmong American history is ignored.
In the second part of a three-part series, Philip Kan Gotanda, playwright and UC Berkeley professor in the division of Arts & Humanities, discusses how he began to write music during the emerging Asian American movement, which began at Berkeley in the late 1960s. And how, after his music career didn’t take off as he’d hoped, he went to law school, where he wrote his first play. Now, he’s one of the most prolific playwrights of Asian American-themed work in the United States.
May 12, 2021
Graduating CalNerds scholar Jose Magana, a senior studying geophysics and seismology in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department, was uprooted from his life in El Salvador and forced to flee his country as an undocumented refugee.
May 11, 2021
Anna Sharpe has never done something because it was easy. Quite the opposite. If it’s hard — if it’ll take all she’s got, if it’ll leave her in pieces, she’s interested. Because it shows that it means something. That it matters.
In the face of daunting global challenges, such as climate change and a catastrophic pandemic, it is evident that the world urgently needs science-based solutions to tackle society’s greatest problems.
Images captured by two different telescopes are showing our solar system's largest planet in a new light.
May 7, 2021
As the country continues to confront a history of racial injustice, deeply rooted in the legacy of slavery and systemic racism, today, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed five individuals to serve on the newly formed Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans. The formation of this task force was made possible by the Governor’s signing of AB 3121, authored by then-Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), which established a nine-member task force to inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations.
May 6, 2021
On Tuesday, officials in Washington state flipped the switch that enables earthquake early warnings to be disseminated to residents of the state. Washington joins California and Oregon, where such warnings are already enabled, in making “ShakeAlert,” a high-tech warning system that can provide notice seconds before the ground starts shaking, a reality for more than 50 million Americans.
The fundamental idea was out there: Cosmologists could learn the secrets of the early universe if only they found a way to decipher a riddle in the Cosmic Microwave Background. In 1997, two papers published back to back in Physical Review Letters showed them how.
Marc Kamionkowski, Uroš Seljak, and Matias Zaldarriaga are the recipients of the 2021 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their authorship of those papers as well as for numerous other contributions to cosmology since the mid-1990s.
May 5, 2021
On the evening of March 16, 2021, a man opened fire in three Atlanta-area businesses and killed eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent. In response to those tragic shootings, “#StopAsianHate” and “#AsiansAreHumansToo” became all too familiar refrains as thousands across the country protested the rising tide of anti-Asian bias and violence. Gene Luen Yang, a renowned cartoonist, turned to his pen and paper and used the medium of comics to channel his own thoughts and emotions.
May 4, 2021
Renowned evolutionary biologist David Wake, the world’s leading expert on salamanders and among the first to warn of a precipitous decline in frog, salamander and other amphibian populations worldwide, died peacefully at his home in Oakland, California, on April 29.
The professor emeritus of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and former director of the campus’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) was 84.
The official “new normal” for the U.S. climate is warmer than ever before — and the changes are ominous for California, experts say. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday released its new climate averages, based on the 30-year period from 1991 to 2020. The averages, known as “climate normals,” are updated every 10 years, and they show most of the country, including California, heating up.
Republished from BCSR:
As part of our series spotlighting UC Berkeley graduate student research, BCSR recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rachel Lim, a PhD Candidate in Ethnic Studies studying Korean diaspora in the Americas. She is completing a dissertation entitled “Itinerant Belonging: Korean Transnational Migration to and from Mexico.” Her work has been recently published or is forthcoming in The Journal of Asian American Studies and Verge: Studies in Global Asias.
May 3, 2021
On April 19, 2021, Talmadge King, Dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, issued special commendations to 21 UC Berkeley undergraduate students who made exceptional contributions to their COVID response in 2020-2021. As part of UCSF’s service-learning program, the Patient Support Corps, students received training to serve as additional patient navigators on their COVID hotline. Students connected with callers to assist them with appropriate strategies for testing, tracing, treatment, return-to-work, and vaccination.
April 29, 2021
The European house mouse has invaded nearly every corner of the Americas since it was introduced by colonizers a few hundred years ago, and now lives practically everywhere humans store their food.
Yet in that relatively short time span — 400 to 600 mouse generations — populations on the East and West Coasts have changed their body size and nest building behavior in nearly identical ways to adapt to similar environmental conditions, according to a new study by biologists at the University of California, Berkeley.
April 28, 2021
Gabriel Zucman, associate professor of economics at the UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science, associate professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, and director of the James M. and Cathleen D.
April 26, 2021
David Card, an economist in the College of Letters & Science's Social Sciences Division, was one of three UC Berkeley faculty members elected to join the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a 158-year-old institution whose membership recognizes distinguished achievements in original research.
Paul Rabinow, a world-renowned anthropologist, theorist and interlocutor of French philosopher Michel Foucault, his former comrade, died from cancer at his home in Berkeley on April 6. He was 76.
A professor emeritus of anthropology, Rabinow joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1978 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He retired in 2019.
April 23, 2021
A Southern California high school junior has built a low-cost seismometer device that delivers earthquake early warnings for homes and businesses. Costing less than $100 for her to make today, the seismometer could someday be a regular household safety device akin to a smart smoke detector, says its inventor Vivien He. She began reading about earthquake early warning and building a giant three-ring binder of highlighted papers, including many from SSA journals. One of her favorite researchers in the field was Richard M. Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismology Lab.
April 22, 2021
In a recent Fiat Vox podcast, Anne Brice interviewed Berkeley MFA student Fred DeWitt. DeWitt, 61, shares in his own words what the Black Panthers meant to him as a young boy growing up in the Bay Area, how Barack Obama’s election as president inspired him to go back to school to study art, and the complicated nature of honoring the lives of people who never wanted to be remembered for their deaths. His MFA show will be at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) in June.
Six UC Berkeley faculty members and top scholars have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), a 241-year-old organization honoring the country’s most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders who help solve the world’s most urgent challenges.
The blood-brain barrier deteriorates with aging, but animal studies indicate repairs can make old brains look young again.
April 21, 2021
NPR's Forum spoke to Nikki Jones, professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley, author of "The Chosen Ones: Black Men and the Politics of Redemption," about the results of the Derek Chauvin trial and the meaning of justice in America.
April 19, 2021
How many Tyrannosaurus rexes roamed North America during the Cretaceous period?
That’s a question Charles Marshall pestered his paleontologist colleagues with for years until he finally teamed up with his students to find an answer.
April 16, 2021
Professor Larry Hyman has been awarded the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms)
Hyman’s award recognizes his extraordinary contributions to strengthening French and U.S. collaboration as longtime Director of the France-Berkeley Fund.
April 15, 2021
On a solemn late-summer afternoon in 2001, just a few days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, UC Berkeley student body president Wally Adeyemo stood with campus leaders on the steps of Doe Library and offered consolation and hope to the grief-stricken campus community.
Jenny Kwon, his friend since the early days of their freshman year, was among the 12,000 people on Memorial Glade that day, listening to insights that Adeyemo had drawn from the Bible and from history, and to his eloquent appealthat they should rise above anger and the desire for retribution.
Sara Guyer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been appointed the next dean of Arts and Humanities in the UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science.
April 14, 2021
On April 8, 2021, Guggenheim Fellowships were awarded to four UC Berkeley professors amongst a diverse group of 184 artists, scholars, and scientists. These prestigious fellowships acknowledge those with notable achievements and an exceptional capacity for productive scholarship.
April 8, 2021
Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Senate and Professor of Demography and Sociology, has been named the next executive dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Letters & Science (L&S).
April 7, 2021
UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science received national recognition in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate programs. English, History, and Sociology all received #1 rankings, underlining the exceptional quality and depth of graduate education at L&S, and over thirty L&S programs and specialties earned top ten rankings this year.
Robert Middlekauff, a prolific scholar of early American history who held several top leadership positions at UC Berkeley, died from complications of a stroke on March 10 at his home in Pleasanton, California. He was 91.
April 6, 2021
On April 12, UC Berkeley will host: Race and Responsibility: A Conversation on Black-Jewish Relations and the Fight for Equal Justice
Tina (‘91, East Asian Languages and Economics) and David Walton (‘86, JD in Law) both graduated from UC Berkeley, though they only first met after their graduation, when they were both living in Seattle. Their marriage led them first to Hong Kong, and eventually to their permanent home in Singapore. There, David is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for BOC Aviation and Tina is a published author.
April 5, 2021
How are the historical experiences of the Black and Jewish communities at once distinct and interconnected? Should we see efforts to combat racism and antisemitism as separate struggles? What are African Americans’ and Jews’ responsibilities to one another in America’s current racial reckoning? In this conversation, Eric K.
March 30, 2021
In 2014, two years after her Nobel Prize-winning invention of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, Jennifer Doudna thought the technology was mature enough to tackle a cure for a devastating hereditary disorder, sickle cell disease, that afflicts millions of people around the world, most of them of African descent. Mobilizing colleagues in the then-new Innovative Genome Institute (IGI) — a joint research collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley, and UC San Francisco — they sought to repair the single mutation that makes red blood cells warp and clog arteries, causing
March 25, 2021
Please join us on April 1 at 5pm PDT for a panel discussion on rising anti-Asian violence in America. This timely panel will consider both the long history of anti-Asian racism and present-day patterns linked to the pandemic and to cultural anxieties about Asian ascendancy and Western decline.
March 24, 2021
Michael Quigley ’80 joined the Charter Hill Society in 2014 and is the Honorary Chair for South Korea. We asked him about his path at Cal and about how the events of 2020 have affected his work at Kim & Chang, one of the world’s top 100 law firms.
March 19, 2021
The College of Letters and Science is delighted to announce the launch of its redesigned website:ls.berkeley.edu
March 18, 2021
March 12, 2021
Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, a novelist, poet, and activist, spoke with Ra Malika Imhotep, a Ph.D. candidate in African diaspora studies at UC Berkeley, and Darieck Scott, a professor in Berkeley’s Department of African American Studies, as part of the department’s spring 2021 Critical Conversations series.
March 8, 2021
Determining how rapidly the universe is expanding is key to understanding our cosmic fate, but with more precise data has come a conundrum: Estimates based on measurements within our local universe don’t agree with extrapolations from the era shortly after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.
February 23, 2021
Today, Lightfoot (a UC Berkeley anthropology professor), 67, is an influential and endearing figure in Indigenous archaeology, a subfield of anthropology that eschews cultural imperialism and blends tribal perspectives, customs and collaboration into scholarship. With precision technology that can detect what’s beneath the ground and prevent unnecessary digging — including ground-penetrating radar, satellite imagery, magnetometry and light detection and ranging sensors — the field is, in many ways, an antithesis to anthropology’s grave-plundering past.
The College of Letters and Science congratulates Professor Benjamin Schoefer and Dmitry Taubinsky on receiving the 2021 Sloan Fellowship. Read the full article here: https://news.berkeley.edu/story_jump/five-young-scholars-named-sloan-research-fellows/
UC Berkeley Psychology Professor Alison Gopnik receives 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science. The Association’s Highest Honors Recognize Outstanding Contributions to Science. Read more here: lscience.org/news/2021-lifetime-achievement-awards.html
February 22, 2021
The latest star data from the Gaia space observatory has for the first time allowed astronomers to generate a massive 3D atlas of widely separated binary stars within about 3,000 light years of Earth — 1.3 million of them.
February 16, 2021
Among the Berkeley experts who have been appointed to the Biden administration, we are proud to say that six are alumni from the College of Letters & Science. They majored in fields including political science, history, Latin American Studies, mathematics, French, and economics, and from these varied starting points, they each blazed a trail to national service.
February 4, 2021
In the arid Mojave Desert, small burrowing mammals like the cactus mouse, the kangaroo rat and the white-tailed antelope squirrel are weathering the hotter, drier conditions triggered by climate change much better than their winged counterparts, finds a new study published today in Science.
Berkeley alum Scott McDonald believes in workplace diversity, and he’s put time, effort, and money behind that conviction. A ’73 sociology grad, Scott has had a long and successful career in advertising at leading global media companies like Time Warner and Conde Nast.
January 27, 2021
Ever feel like you were in over your head during math class? Unfortunately, this seems to be a familiar sensation for incoming students at Berkeley, where most undergraduates take a course in mathematics. Beyond being unprepared to understand some core concepts, students who struggle through a gateway math course often stop studying a scientific or technical field.
January 20, 2021
With a visionary investment connecting life sciences to entrepreneurship, Mark and Stephanie Robinson are fast tracking innovation at UC Berkeley. The Robinsons have given a total of $10 million to support bio-entrepreneurship at Berkeley, creating resources for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty that leverage our university’s edge in basic science research while preparing the next generation of business leaders.
December 31, 2020
Nobody believes it was ET phoning, but radio astronomers admit they don’t have an explanation yet for a beam of radio waves that apparently came from the direction of the star Proxima Centauri.
December 1, 2020
UC Berkeley African American Studies professor Nikki Jones has won the 2020 Michael J. Hindelang Award. The national honor given by the American Society of Criminology (ASC), recognizes a book published within the past three years that makes the most outstanding contribution to research in criminology.
November 18, 2020
The names of the University of California, Berkeley’s LeConte Hall and Barrows Hall will be removed, campus officials announced today. The decision, capping a formal review process, was made in response to growing awareness of the controversial legacies of the halls’ namesakes — all of them early, prominent members of the UC faculty — that clash with UC Berkeley’s mission and values.
November 17, 2020
Cara Brook, a UC Berkeley researcher whose work on bat viruses has taken on new urgency with the rise of COVID-19, is one of five recipients of this year’s L’Oréal For Women in Science fellowships.
November 12, 2020
The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) is pleased to announce that Lance Kriegsfeld, Yang Dan, and Daniela Kaufer have won the 2020 Radical Ideas in Brain Science Challenge for their team project to investigate mechanisms underlying cognitive decline. The Challenge is designed to kick-start new multi-disciplinary collaborations that create breakthroughs in understanding the brain and mind in health and disease.
Given that everything in the universe reduces to particles, a question presents itself: What are particles?
October 30, 2020
Aware of the vital importance of exemplary graduate students in life sciences research, the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation has initiated a scholarship program to provide funding for new Ph.D. students. But its efforts go far beyond simple, across-the-board scholarship support. Believing that all qualified applicants should be included in the life sciences enterprise, the foundation is focusing on two groups that do not traditionally garner the strongest financial support — international students and women. The Curci Foundation Ph.D.
October 23, 2020
With a visionary investment connecting life sciences to entrepreneurship, Mark and Stephanie Robinson are fast tracking innovation at UC Berkeley. The Robinsons have given a total of $10 million to support bio-entrepreneurship at Berkeley, creating resources for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty that leverage our university’s edge in basic science research while preparing the next generation of business leaders.
October 7, 2020
University of California, Berkeley, biochemist Jennifer Doudna today won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine.
October 6, 2020
Polina Lishko, a Ukrainian-born physiologist whose work at the University of California, Berkeley, has already led to the development of promising new non-hormonal contraceptives for women and could lead to male or unisex contraceptives, has been chosen to receive a 2020 MacArthur “genius” Award.
Reinhard Genzel, a professor emeritus of physics and of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, will share half the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics with UCLA professor Andrea Ghez “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy.”
July 13, 2020
Sarah Stanley normally researches tuberculosis in her lab at UC Berkeley. But when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all normal research operations on campus, she quickly utilized her own discretionary funds to mobilize her lab and student researchers to study the SARS-CoV-2 live virus.
May 19, 2020
Thanks to a rapid funding program thrown together by wealthy entrepreneurs barely six weeks ago, seven COVID-19 research projects at the University of California, Berkeley, are getting an infusion of cash — $2.2 million in all — that could turn up new diagnostics and potential treatments for the infection within months.
April 23, 2020
Nine UC Berkeley faculty members from a wide range of disciplines have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), a 240-year-old organization honoring the country’s most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders.
March 30, 2020
As doctors around the country scramble to diagnose cases of COVID-19, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley’s Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) are creating from scratch a diagnostic lab with the capability to process more than 1,000 patient samples per day.
December 16, 2019
Sometimes, a blockbuster discovery is just too good to be true. UC Berkeley graduate student astronomer Kareem El-Badry knows that all too well — he just shot one down.