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Maintaining an active brain and body — even with cancer

Arthur Shimamura, professor emeritus, psychology and neuroscience | September 17, 2018

In 2015, I retired after an enjoyable and rewarding career as a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley. My goal during retirement was to stay active and become a freelance writer in the hopes of sharing my interests to a general readership. Along with my wife, Helen, and Kazuko, … Continue reading »

Don’t beat yourself up — be kind to yourself

Serena Chen, psychology professor | August 21, 2018

When people experience a setback at work—whether it’s a bad sales quarter, being overlooked for a promotion, or an interpersonal conflict with a colleague—it’s common to respond in one of two ways. Either we become defensive and blame others, or we berate ourselves. Unfortunately, neither response is especially helpful. Shirking responsibility by getting defensive may … Continue reading »

Lifelong learning and active brains: Let’s get started!

Arthur Shimamura, professor emeritus, psychology and neuroscience | August 13, 2018

With the luxury of smartphones, binge TV watching and internet shopping, it has become exceedingly easy to live in comfortable laziness. Yet we all realize that both physical and mental activity are essential for successful aging and healthy brains. We’ve all heard the saying, use it or lose it, but we are rarely given advice … Continue reading »

Illusions of control

Don Moore, professor, Haas School of Business | July 19, 2018

Most elevators have some form of a “close door” button. Impatient elevator riders the world over push that button when they want the elevator to get moving. Unbeknownst to them, their button-pushing efforts are useless. The vast majority of building managers and elevator programmers think they know when the doors should close, and have deactivated … Continue reading »

The Irish family planning tragic comedy

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | May 26, 2018

As has been widely reported this week, people flew to Dublin from as far away as Brazil to vote in Friday’s referendum on abortion. In 1983 the Constitution had been amended to give a fertilized egg the same right to life as the woman carrying the embryo. Today (Saturday) the majority of constituencies have reported … Continue reading »

Facebook and the humanities: Pondering what would Oedipus do

Timothy Hampton, professor of French and comparative literature, director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities | March 21, 2018

No less disturbing than the recent news that the personal data of millions of Americans was culled from Facebook by the shady research firm Cambridge Analytica and provided to the Trump campaign, has been the behavior of the masters of Silicon Valley.  The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has so far been mostly silent. This … Continue reading »

Overconfidence

Don Moore, professor, Haas School of Business | January 22, 2018

Overconfidence is the mother of all psychological biases. I mean that in two ways. First, overconfidence is one of the largest and most ubiquitous of the many biases to which human judgment is vulnerable. For example, 93 percent of American drivers claim to be better than the median,[1] which is statistically impossible.[2] Another way in … Continue reading »

Study: Mom’s pot use doesn’t hurt kids’ future grades?

Tomás Aragón, Clinical Faculty, School of Public Health | November 26, 2017

For the last several weekends I saw the following advertisement (disclaimer: I am a lifelong subscriber and avid supporter of our local newspaper — the San Francisco Chronicle): Of course, being the father of three children, the lower right corner caught my attention: “Study: Mom’s pot use doesn’t hurt kids’ future grades—Fears of maternal cannabis … Continue reading »

Sex, power and the systems that enable men like Harvey Weinstein

Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology | October 17, 2017

When I first heard accounts of film producer Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior, my mind devised punishments fitting for Renaissance Europe or the film A Clockwork Orange: Cover his face with a shame mask widely used centuries ago in Germany; shock his frontal lobes so that he’d start empathizing with the women he’s preyed on. When we learn … Continue reading »

Stopping college football is a moral imperative

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | September 25, 2017

The University of California, Berkeley must stop systematically and irrevocably damaging the human brain. It is unethical. Cal should cease supporting American football. Earlier this year we learned that 110 out of 111 former American football players had evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Early last week we learned that young boys playing American football … Continue reading »

The false media focus on violence: If it bleeds it still leads

Jen Schradie, research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse | September 7, 2017

On Sunday, August 27, in downtown Berkeley, I witnessed thousands of protesters raising their voices against a planned white supremacist “Patriot Prayer” rally. In my decades as a documentary filmmaker of activism and now an academic studying movements and media, it was one of the most positive, diverse and unifying gatherings I ever experienced. While … Continue reading »

Senate Republicans’ health bill especially hurts the lowest-income Californians

Laurel Lucia, Labor Center Health Care Program director | June 22, 2017

Co-authored by Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center The health bill released by Senate Republicans today would be devastating to low-income Californians and their access to health coverage. While the proposed Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is largely similar to the American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House … Continue reading »

Energy drinks are killing young people. It’s time to stop that.

Pat Crawford, adjunct professor in public health and researcher at the Nutrition Policy Institute | June 7, 2017

Co-authored by Wendi Gosliner, a project scientist at the Nutrition Policy Institute. Last week, a 16-year-old tragically lost his life after consuming an energy drink, a soda and a latte — drinks routinely consumed by and often intensively marketed to youth — all within a few hours. According to the coroner, the boy’s heart simply … Continue reading »

Gamification for global health

Sandra McCoy, associate professor in the School of Public Health |

Gamification is popping up everywhere in our daily lives, with applications to management, commerce and health. Why? Because the evidence suggests that it works. Now it’s being studied in an HIV prevention program for young gay and bisexual men.

The sick logic behind the Republican health care plan

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | May 25, 2017

The AHCA would not only change how many people have health insurance, it would also affect who has health insurance and at what cost. The bill would make coverage more affordable for those who are younger and healthier—and prohibitively expensive for many who are poorer, older, or have pre-existing conditions, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office

This NIH program is crucial to global health — and its future is in danger

Arthur Reingold, professor and head of epidemiology | March 29, 2017

Co-authored with Madhukar Pai, MD, a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Health at McGill University in Montreal. A little-noticed cut in President Trump’s proposed “budget blueprint to make American great again” would eliminate the Fogarty International Center, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. That would be a big mistake for the … Continue reading »

On National Coming Out Day, I celebrate my birthday

Darren Arquero, Ethnic Studies Doctoral Candidate & Haas Institute Research Fellow | October 11, 2016

I was born 28 years ago today in Houston, Texas. I am the youngest of three siblings born to parents of Filipino descent. Also 28 years ago today, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was established by Robert Eichsberg and Jean O’Leary to mark the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay … Continue reading »