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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 »

Brazil: Zika, Chika, coup d’état

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | August 22, 2016

The Brazil Olympic games just ended their two-week run. Cal athletes were well represented, and on Berkeley’s campus we are celebrating Cal student Ryan Murphy’s third gold medal in Rio de Janeiro. Yet, as we cheer on one of our own and take part in the pageantry, we read about the alleged mugging of another Olympic medalist, … Continue reading »

Is protecting public health now a partisan issue?

Dan Farber, professor of law | May 16, 2016

Congress seems to be unable to come up with funding for an effort to combat the Zika virus. Instead, congressional leaders told the government to use existing funding, so it has been forced to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from fighting ebola. (You remember that Congress was completely frenzied about the risk of Ebola … Continue reading »

Two steps nearer a football-free campus

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | March 17, 2016

Eventually, hell has frozen over. Jeff Miller, the National Football League senior vice president for health and safety policy, has told members of Congress that playing American football can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NFL has switched from the criticizing the research of medical scientists who demonstrated that playing football can scramble a … Continue reading »

King Henry VIII and the Super Bowl

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | February 7, 2016

Henry VIII, famous for abandoning the Catholic Church and marrying six times, liked jousting. Jousting is martial sport where two horsemen in armor gallop towards one another at breakneck speed holding wooden lances. The aim is to strike your opponent and if possible unseat him. Henry was concussed several times, the most severe battering occurring 1536 … Continue reading »

Structural racism in Flint, Michigan

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | January 18, 2016

On Jan. 16, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an order declaring a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan.[i]  It was not because of a tornado or hurricane, flooding or landslides, as was the case in South Carolina or Mississippi a few weeks before, or any other natural disaster.[ii]  Rather, it was a response to a … Continue reading »

A history of health and health inequalities

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | December 15, 2015

The increasing delay of death for Americans over the last century or so has been extensive and consequential, probably in many profound ways that we do not fully appreciate. In the late 19th century, a newborn white boy would be expected to live, on average, to about 40; now, such a newborn can be expected … Continue reading »

Special guest lecture: ‘Is a sustainable global economy possible?’

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | August 27, 2015

Like every university, UC Berkeley is home to an intellectual chasm that makes the Grand Canyon look like Strawberry Creek. Classical economists teach a world where economic growth is sacred, perpetual and always good. Those in the life sciences and some physical sciences, such as energy and astronomy, understand that our world is small and finite. Faculty … Continue reading »

Does stress reduce empathy?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | August 18, 2015

On Monday, the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center published a research brief, “How Anxiety Reduces Empathy,” that provoked some conversation and disagreement among readers. “I thought empathy increases stress and anxiety,” wrote one person — especially, she believed, if we empathize with people in a bad situation that we don’t have the power to … Continue reading »