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Ann Shulgin: Radiant Nexus of Psychedelic Community

David Presti, teaching professor of neurobiology | July 11, 2022

Ann Shulgin, matriarch of psychedelic-assisted therapy, widow of and co-conspirator with legendary chemist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, and anchor of an extended community of therapists, scientists, scholars, and explorers of the worlds opened by psychedelic substances, died at home in the company of people who loved her on July 9, 2022. She was 91. Ann was … Continue reading »

I came very close to losing my son. Get vaccinated if you can

Tina Sacks, associate professor of social welfare | August 11, 2021

Until young children can be vaccinated, the best way to protect them – and ourselves – is to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible and maintain public health measures like masking, hand washing and social distancing. We have already asked young school children to take one for the team by staying home and learning remotely for over a year. Isn’t it time to uphold our end of the collective deal by literally rolling up our sleeves to get shots in arms?

Chauvin verdict a wakeup call for medicine and public health

Denise Herd, Professor, Behavioral Sciences | April 21, 2021

The case highlights the need to disrupt the systematic racism that creates the enormous health burdens on Black people, and other vulnerable populations, as well as the ideology of racial difference and inferiority that help sustain them.

Monitoring vaccine safety is a crucial first step

David Levine, professor of business administration | January 12, 2021

Over a third of Americans in recent surveys say they will decline a vaccine against COVID-19. Both people with vaccine hesitancy and policy-makers need information on vaccine safety. Thus, the FDA has an ambitious program to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, the proposed analyses will not isolate the causal effect of vaccination. Thus, … Continue reading »

Our first vaccines can save more lives

David Levine, professor of business administration | January 11, 2021

Current CDC proposals for allocating COVID-19 vaccines will lead to thousands of easily preventable deaths. Using both age and race/ethnicity to prioritize who gets the first doses of vaccine will save more lives than current plans, which only consider age.

Mindful Music: Listen, Learn, and Love!

Arthur Shimamura, professor emeritus, psychology and neuroscience | May 4, 2020

A silver lining of this pandemic cloud is that we have been forced to spend time evaluating our situation. I suggest sitting down in a comfy chair and really listen to music! Check out Art Shimamura’s Psychology Today blog (click here)…

Defunding hospitals puts doctors and nurses at deadly risk

Seth Holmes, associate professor and chair of society and environment and medical anthropology | March 30, 2020

As a society, we must begin to see health and social systems, as well as the frontline doctors and nurses working within them, as more important than the banks and corporations we rush to bail out. In this moment, our lives are in their hands.

Don’t be so scared of Medicare for All

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | November 22, 2019

Republicans and even some Democrats are out to scare you about Medicare for All. They say it’s going to dismantle health care as we know it and it will cost way too much. Rubbish. The typical American family now spends $6,000 on health insurance premiums each year. Add in the co-payments and deductibles that doctors, … Continue reading »

The passing of a giant in the exploration of psychedelics and consciousness

David Presti, teaching professor of neurobiology | April 14, 2019

Psychedelic medicines have become, over the last several years, an increasingly prominent topic of discussion. Scientific publications, essays, books, and stories in the news media describe human clinical studies investigating the efficacy of psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, and other substances to treat anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction. Controlled studies have demonstrated the capacity … Continue reading »


Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | March 21, 2019

The Economist has broken the taboo on the word we all know but are not supposed to print – and even the Economist had to use two asterisks.  Referring to Brexit, on March 19th one and half million copies of the Economist had a picture of a disheveled Britannia screaming “Oh **UK. Whatever next.” Sex is a powerful emotion … Continue reading »

Medical students advocate for Medicare for All

Scott Swartz, sjswartz | March 8, 2019

This post was written by and on behalf of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program chapter of Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), which advocates for the adoption of a single-payer, universal health system in the United States. At the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP), our instructors implore us to examine the social … Continue reading »

On the contributions of mentors and role models

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | February 5, 2019

Last week, I learned that I was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. I wondered what had enabled a kid that grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Jerusalem to receive this award from the Israeli president. Of course, there are the usual suspects – loving and supportive parents and family, excellent primary and secondary … Continue reading »

Flying while blind

Georgina Kleege, Disability studies and creative writing lecturer | January 8, 2019

I am not only an experienced traveler; I am an experienced blind person.

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, chair and professor of psychology | 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 »