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Cracking Open the Social Sciences: Leamer and Rosenthal Strike Again

Temina Madon, executive director, Center for Effective Global Action | May 13, 2015

The demand for transparency in science has never been stronger. Today’s most influential publishers, professional societies, think tanks, and funders are all calling for open and reproducible research. The U.S. government has recently set new standards for Federally funded studies– and even the private sector has begun releasing data, analyses, and software (often associated with … Continue reading »

Telling stories vs. telling data

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 10, 2014

In a just-released preview of his new book, Narrative and Collective Action, public-policy scholar Frederick W. Mayer of Duke University discusses the power of the well-told story for leaders of social movements and politicians. Starting with the example of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mayer recounts how effective leaders deploy stories rather than analyses. Stories compel us, he says, … Continue reading »

The Eight Commandments to building a bad research center

David Patterson, professor of computer science | November 15, 2013

After being involved in a dozen centers over nearly 40 years at UC Berkeley, I decided to capture my advice on building and running research centers. Following the precedent of my past efforts at “How to Give a Bad Talk” and “How to Have a Bad Career,” I wrote a short technical report entitled “How to Build a … Continue reading »

Societal advances depend on basic science and new technologies

Robert Birgeneau, professor of physics, former chancellor | July 9, 2013

Near the end of World War II, in a study entitled “The Endless Frontier,” Vannevar Bush, the true progenitor of the modern research and teaching university, stated that “new products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in … Continue reading »

How grateful are Americans?

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | January 11, 2013

Americans are very grateful and they think gratitude is important—they’re just not very good at expressing it. That’s one of the conclusions from a national survey on gratitude commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation, which also funds the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center’s gratitude project. We’ve stressed the importance of gratitude for years, as … Continue reading »

Why we need gratitude research

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | November 21, 2012

“It’s a good thing to be grateful,” writes Steven E.F. Brown in the San Francisco Business Times. “But is there any ‘science of gratitude’? Well, the University of California, Berkeley, has a Greater Good Science Center — are you really that surprised? — and it’s spending $3.1 million on a project to study just that.” … Continue reading »

What a research university is all about

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | September 3, 2010

In a basement laboratory on the Berkeley campus this week, a graduate student began the process of interviewing applicants for a project included in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. This innovative program lets Berkeley undergraduates from across the campus participate in the research of faculty and graduate students, experiencing first-hand the excitement of discovery, and … Continue reading »