Especially at the start of the semester, I am frequently asked by students, parents, sponsors, and otherwise curious people, what is the College of Natural Resources. I actually asked it myself; and over the years I think that I got the answer. The college embodies all the contradictions, practical deliberations, … More >
Although much of today’s debates around immigration reform is, on the surface, about legalities and economics and human rights, we know that below the surface – and sometimes above it – a lot of it is about cultural assimilation. Resisters worry that recent immigrants, usually meaning those from south of … More >
This summer, the 14th cohort of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program graduated. The Beahrs ELP summer program brings mid-career professionals to Berkeley for professional training and I was fortunate enough to be the co-director of the program, alongside Dean Keith Gilless.
When Dick Beahrs gave us the means to start the … More >
Slovenia is a small Slavic nation in the middle of Europe, between Latin and Germanic countries (Italy and Austria), and is an embodiment of all three. It has been under Austrian rule for 1000 years, and was freed by Napoleon, who is considered a hero (they have a nice statue … More >
I grew up in a religious family but I am not particularly religious. I believe that there is (are) some Supreme Being(s) above us, but I consider the religious narrative and beliefs of organized religion to be fiction; albeit fiction with many useful lessons, but nevertheless, fiction.
One of my favorite … More >
This week I returned from my fourth trip to Africa, this time to the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire, but I gave up on pronouncing it…). I went for a project of ICARF and Mars Chocolate, aiming to understand how to improve cocoa productivity there, but I learned much more about … More >
We recently learned that the 2013 World Food Prize was awarded to three biotechnology scientists, Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the United States, for developing methods of inserting genes from various organisms to plant cells. I find this recognition to be justified … More >
I was amazed by the response to my previous post – and I will try address some of the main points.
I found three main themes repeating through the comments. First, it is clear that there are many people who are concerned about the side effects of GMOs and don’t trust … More >
On November 6th, California voters will be asked to vote on a proposition about labeling of genetically modified (GM) products. On the surface this seems quite reasonable: people should have information about what they consume. In my view, labeling requirements are appropriate when there is undisputed scientific evidence that a … More >