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.
December 1, 2021
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
November 18, 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 five to six graduate students with two years of funding.
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
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.
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.
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
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).
“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.”
October 6, 2021
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.
“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.
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
On the Same Page invites you to the first in a series of accompanying events to the keynote lecture with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, which took place in August. Join us for an informative conversation with Angela Chan (Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus), Amaha Kassa (African Communities Together), and Gerónimo Ramírez (International Mayan League).
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
Akiko Thomson-Guevera continues to give back to the sports world, years after hanging up her goggles.
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
Images captured by two different telescopes are showing our solar system's largest planet in a new light.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The blood-brain barrier deteriorates with aging, but animal studies indicate repairs can make old brains look young again.
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.
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.
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 appeal that 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
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
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.
On April 12, UC Berkeley will host: Race and Responsibility: A Conversation on Black-Jewish Relations and the Fight for Equal Justice
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
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/
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.