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

What I learned about research strategies and authorship

Before I came to Berkeley, I consulted my cousins, my professors and my friends on the secrets for success in Ph.D. programs. Most suggested that you have to work hard, but not too hard, and you must have a life. They also emphasized that achievement in class is important, but the most important thing is … Continue reading »

Some basic truths and ways to think about ‘free speech’

To make sense of this year’s battles over free speech in Berkeley, Charlottesville and elsewhere, it helps to keep in mind four basic First Amendment truths. First: The First Amendment means what the Supreme Court says it means. To be precise, it means what at least five justices on the current court say it means. … Continue reading »

Office of Naval Research goes lean

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been one of the largest supporters of innovation in the U.S. Now they are starting to use the Lean Innovation process (see here and here) to turn ideas into solutions. The result will be defense innovation with speed and urgency. —- Here’s how the Office of Naval Research … Continue reading »

Taxpayers, indirect subsidies and influencing America’s gun lobby

After Stephen Paddock opened fire on Las Vegas concertgoers on Oct. 1, many people responded with calls for more gun control to help prevent mass shootings and the routine violence ravaging U.S. neighborhoods. But besides a rare consensus on restricting the availability of so-called bump stocks, which Paddock used to enable his dozen semi-automatic rifles to fire like machine guns, it’s unclear if anything meaningful will … Continue reading »

Reflections on Las Vegas, and resources for the campus

Like many of you, I am struggling to process the tragedy that unfolded Sunday evening in Las Vegas. The immense loss of life, the hundreds of injuries, the panic on the ground brought to life in video and audio recordings, the renewed acrimony about gun control, and the search for answers all weigh heavily. I extend my deepest … Continue reading »