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Now is our chance to kill ‘Berkeley Time’

Severin Borenstein, professor of business | August 7, 2020

The way UC Berkeley schedules classes is pretty nutty. It’s not just that they begin 10 minutes after the announced time, with a 10 AM class actually starting on “Berkeley Time” at 10:10 AM and a course scheduled for 3:30 PM-5 PM commencing at 3:40 PM. That would be needlessly confusing in itself. But what … Continue reading »

We need protagonists of color and diversity in our case discussion classrooms

Lee Fleming, faculty director, Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership | June 29, 2020

Why do we teach? What outcomes do we seek in our students when we step into the classroom or create a learning opportunity? I seek a variety of outcomes: some easy to accomplish, others exceedingly difficult. On the easiest end of the spectrum, I often expose students to facts, formulas – essentially knowledge they need … Continue reading »

Diary of a coronavirus shut-in

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | June 22, 2020

Has it been six weeks that we are in house arrest? Time and space are so transmogrified that it feels like living on a spaceship or a lifeboat. I don’t grasp the rules. Am I a potential threat or a potential victim of the current global plague? Or both?

Thoughts from your Black colleague

Marco Lindsey, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Haas School of Business | June 3, 2020

If you read no further, understand this: Black Lives Matter = if anyone kills a Black person, their punishment should be the same as if they killed someone from any other race.

Ring a ring Roses: We all fall down

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | April 4, 2020

The people who put their lives at risk to save others, over three centuries ago during the “Black Death,” were illiterate farmers. They had no central heating, no running water, no phones, and no microwaves to make life easier. I think, I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself.

By staying apart, we are working together as a community

Amy Herr, professor of bioengineering | March 15, 2020

We are working together by staying apart. Over the last week, you’ve been asked to make drastic changes to your lives. At UC Berkeley, we’ve suddenly moved to remote instruction.  You’ve been asked to keep your distance from friends and classmates (maintain ~6 ft spacing).  You’ve been asked to wash your hands with soap and … Continue reading »

Didn’t vote? You’re in the majority

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 30, 2020

If I asked you to name the biggest political party in the United States, what would be your answer? You probably have two guesses that come to mind: the Democratic party or the Republican party. Well, it’s neither. It’s the party of Non-Voters. Let’s look at the last presidential election: 100 million Americans who were … Continue reading »

What Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’ means to me

Charmin Smith, head coach, Cal women's basketball team | January 23, 2020

Happy Birthday to ya! Happy Birthday to ya! Happy Birthday! The Stevie Wonder version of “Happy Birthday” is very popular in the Black community. We’ll appease people and sing the traditional version all the way through, then immediately bust out in the more enthusiastic rendition Stevie released in 1980. For a long time, I thought … Continue reading »

Enjoying sunny San Diego while observing how economics and the AAEA are changing

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | January 8, 2020

The annual meeting of social scientists and economists (ASSA Meetings) was in San Diego, which was quite an improvement over previous years, where we met in the cold northeast. This was especially enjoyable, as I was remembering the meetings in Philadelphia, which were drastically underprepared for the snow that happened to occur during those meetings. … Continue reading »

When the U.S. abandons protection of cultural sites, we must act

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | January 6, 2020

When the U.S. threatens to abandon the international consensus on protection of cultural sites, as an archaeologist and a citizen I must act, even if action is limited to raising a voice in protest. Today I tendered my resignation from the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. State Department on requests from other … Continue reading »

My Annual Review: 2019 A Year of Recognition and Transition

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | December 23, 2019

This last year was mostly a good year. Professionally, I gained a triple crown: I was awarded the Wolf prize for agriculture, became a member of the US National Academy of Sciences (USNAS), and became president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). My grandchildren are growing and Leorah and I are enjoying this … Continue reading »

On the Frontier and Management of Science

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | November 15, 2019

  The World Laureates Association (WLA) is an initiative of a Shanghai businessman, Wang Hou, and several Nobel laureates, and as I understand, is supported by the municipality of Shanghai. I was fortunate to be present at the second annual meeting in late October in Shanghai. There were about 72 laureates present at the meeting, … Continue reading »

The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop per Child

Morgan Ames, assistant adjunct professor in the School of Information and interim associate director of research for the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society | November 12, 2019

This is an excerpt from an interview conducted by USC Professor Henry Jenkins about my new book, The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop per Child. In what sense was the One Laptop Per Child  “a Charisma Machine”? What are the implications of applying a term like Charisma, which has historically … Continue reading »

Basketball Diplomacy

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | October 25, 2019

Nearly 50 years ago an American ping pong player got on the wrong team bus at the 1971 World Table Tennis Championships in Japan. He got on the Chinese team bus thus sparking an era of “ping pong diplomacy” between the United States and China (immortalized in the film “Forest Gump). Ping pong is and … Continue reading »

Disparate Impact Liability is the Best Remedy for Structural Racism

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | October 22, 2019

In 1968, Congress enacted the Fair Housing Act, the nation’s first open housing law. This critical piece of legislation not only prohibited racial discrimination in housing, but sought to reverse decades of federal, state, and local policies that promoted and deepened residential segregation by requiring government agencies to “affirmatively further fair housing” and to replace … Continue reading »

The smartest people in the room? What Silicon Valley’s supposed obsession with tech-free private schools really tells us

Morgan Ames, assistant adjunct professor in the School of Information and interim associate director of research for the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society | October 21, 2019

Sure, technologists can be smart. But to assume that expertise in software engineering converts to expertise in child development, public health, or the moral implications of technology more broadly — and that technologists thus need not consult expertise in other areas — has led to the ethical crises raging across the technology world today. Note: … Continue reading »

California’s wildfires are hurting our health. Here’s how to protect ourselves

Bruce Riordan, program director, Climate Readiness Institute | October 8, 2019

In California’s hotter climate, the severity of large wildfires is growing. Extreme events like the 2018 Camp Fire that leveled Paradise are having profound effects on human health. These impacts are felt by residents in the immediate fire zones, first responders and other fire workers, and people impacted by smoke who live many miles away. Our … Continue reading »

How to get, and keep, ‘new gen’ students in college

David Kirp, professor emeritus of public policy | August 28, 2019

Abolishing tuition at public universities has become a hot topic on the campaign trail, with many Democratic presidential candidates endorsing the idea. But if access to college is the issue, two other barriers could be addressed far more quickly and cheaply: convincing high-achieving high school seniors to apply for available grant money and persuading those who have been … Continue reading »