LS

L&S Inaugural Gala Dinner Celebrates (Almost) 150 Years of Excellence in the Liberal Arts

On April 26 more than one hundred friends of the College of Letters & Science gathered at the St. Francis Yacht Club to celebrate almost 150 years of excellence in the liberal arts at Berkeley. UC President Janet Napolitano welcomed the incoming Chancellor of UC Berkeley, Carol Christ, currently Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. Over dinner guests heard a speech entitled, 'How Cal Prepared Me for Putin, Pablo Escobar, and Taylor Swift,' about the liberal arts in action from Vanity Fair Senior Correspondent and L&S alumna Maureen Orth '64.

Walter Alvarez: A geologist ponders the improbability of life

April 25, 2017

His new book, A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves, was inspired by a course Alvarez taught for five years, until his retirement in 2011, called “Big History,” in which he approached human history from a geologic and ultimately cosmic perspective, stretching back to the universe’s origin 13.8 billion years ago. The book is his attempt to make the scientific background of big history accessible to those without a science background, specifically historians and other humanists, through personal stories.

Berkeley Lab astrophysicists develop novel method for finding gravitationally lensed Type 1a supernovae

April 21, 2017

With the help of an automated supernova-hunting pipeline and a galaxy sitting 2 billion light years away from Earth that’s acting as a “magnifying glass,’’ astronomers have captured multiple images of a Type Ia supernova—the brilliant explosion of a star—appearing in four different locations on the sky. So far this is the only Type Ia discovered that has exhibited this effect.

UC appeals U.S. patent board decision on CRISPR-Cas9

April 13, 2017

The University of California, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively UC) on Wednesday, April 12, filed an appeal to overturn a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that terminated the interference between a UC patent application for CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology and the patent applications and issued patents of the Broad Institute, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Watch the building of the Simons Observatory! (Video)

April 14, 2017

The Eternal Sky, a short film about building the Simons Observatory, highlights Berkeley research as well as the people behind the development and construction of this world class research facility.

West Coast rollout of updated ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warning system

April 12, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey and its university, state and private partners this week announced the rollout of the latest version of the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system, bringing it to all West Coast states.

Don’t Miss the Berkeley Grad Slam Championship!

April 4, 2017

See eight graduate student semi-finalists (including 4 from L&S) compete to be the Berkeley Champion!

Yosemite documentary features Berkeley sequoia researchers

March 30, 2017

A new PBS Nature documentary explores the impact of climate change on Yosemite National Park, and features two UC Berkeley biologists who climb to the tops of giant sequoias to understand what the future holds for these ancient trees.

Berkeley biologist's research creates color in the lab

March 30, 2017

Professor Nipam Patel is working on different ways to generate color in a lab setting. Research on colorful phenomena has inspired many technologies, from sensors to drug treatments, and has provided a glimpse into nature’s inner workings, from evolution to quantum physics.

UC Berkeley Receives CRISPR Patent in Europe

March 28, 2017

The European Patent Office will grant patent rights over the use of CRISPR in all cell types to a University of California team, contrasting with a recent decision in the U.S.