Campus scholars' perspectives on topical issues — in conversation with you

Funding the resistance of conscientious civil servants

What can we do to support the government administrators, the Bartlebys, as Judith Levine calls them, who would “prefer not to” cooperate with Trump’s orders that they believe to be immoral or unconstitutional? Career civil servants, unlike political appointees, are supposed to implement the policies of a new administration, regardless of their personal political values. But … Continue reading »

Implementing change in Berkeley

Some of the readers of my blog post on reenergizing Berkeley asked me: How do you suggest to implement all these changes, and this is my perspective[1]. First I believe that we have been operating without a long-term plan for some time now and our decisions have become piecemeal. We need to establish a coherent … Continue reading »

Learning to frack

Technological advances and learning-by-doing have made U.S. shale oil profitable even at $55/barrel. Just 10 years ago, shale oil was expensive. Global oil prices spiked to $135/barrel in 2008 but shale oil didn’t and couldn’t respond. Now, at only $55/barrel, U.S. oil producers are going all in, announcing billions of dollars of increased investment, particularly … Continue reading »

Accelerating momentum for women and girls in science

Participation by women in scientific research is rising — women now outnumber men majoring in biological sciences and the percentage of women awarded doctoral degrees in life sciences grew from 15 percent in 1969 to 52 percent in 2009. Yet women’s participation in other STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) still lags; fewer than … Continue reading »

A new social compact for America

Our society is undergoing a profound shift. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, many of our foundational values and assumptions about our democracy are being called into question. Our core institutions and norms are under attack and in need of defending and reclaiming. There are certain things that most people consider not up for … Continue reading »