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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 »

California is burning: How can it stay golden?

Marissa Saretsky, Lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 29, 2019

It has now been three years in a row that, from my vantage point in Berkeley, I have been affected by the California fires. And as the Kincade Fire rages near Healdsburg, I am in touch with many of my friends and neighbors in Berkeley, Oakland and Marin County, whose power has been pre-emptively shut … 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 »

Not hate, but mainstream Republican fears of extinction drove El Paso killer

Beverly Crawford, Professor emerita, Political Science and International and Area Studies | August 17, 2019

“murders, murders, murders, killings, murders.” Donald Trump, El Paso Texas, February 2019 While the media and the FBI treat the El Paso butchery as a “hate crime,” they both show their blindness to the real motives laid out clearly in brown and white—motives which might cause great discomfort for conservatives and liberals alike. The media … Continue reading »

Presidents come and go: The AAEA is resilient and thriving.

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | August 13, 2019

After three failed campaigns, I was elected and served as president of the AAEA from July 2018 to July 2019. I expected the job to be about organizing meetings, fund raising, and writing letters to the membership, but I encountered a much more significant challenge. The US president’s budget proposed to cut 40% of the … Continue reading »

Women of color present potent threat to Trump’s reelection

Taeku Lee, professor of political science and of law |

Co-authored with EunSook Lee Conservatives tacitly recognize the political power of women of color when they try to discredit them through ridicule and harassment. Consider President Trump’s attacks on the members of “the squad” who have proven to be remarkably deft and savvy politicians. Or recall that Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia played referee, scorekeeper … Continue reading »

When reporting on mass shootings is no longer enough

John Temple, director of the Investigative Reporting Program at the Graduate School of Journalism | August 5, 2019

No. Not again. That’s how I felt on Saturday when I heard the terrible news from El Paso and then again on Sunday morning when Dayton added a second blow. I imagine I wasn’t alone. Each time the shocking news of another mass shooting arrives, I find myself wanting to turn away. I was the … Continue reading »

Telling Berkeley’s Story

Timothy Hampton, professor of French and comparative literature, director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities | July 22, 2019

Scholars and teachers all over the world were surprised and delighted by the news coming out of Oxford University last month that the American financier Stephen Schwarzman had given Oxford its largest gift “since the Renaissance,” in order to promote and develop the humanities. Beyond the extent of Schwarzman’s largesse, what impressed me was the … Continue reading »

Democrats must get out of their bubble

Arlie Hochschild, professor emerita of sociology |

In a surprising new national survey, members of each major American political party were asked what they imagined to be the beliefs held by members of the other. The survey asked Democrats: “How many Republicans believe that racism is still a problem in America today?” Democrats guessed 50%. It’s actually 79%. The survey asked Republicans how … Continue reading »

‘Send Her Back!’ chant harkens back to 1957

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | July 19, 2019

Video of the crowds at Trump’s North Carolina rally chanting “send her back” in reference to Representative Ilhan Omar reminded me of the iconic photo of Elizabeth Eckford being heckled and harassed by a mob of 1000 as she attempted to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. As Eckford sought to … Continue reading »

Presidential hopefuls should campaign for a more caring capitalist economy

Clair Brown, Professor emerita of economics |

Co-authored with Simon Sallstrom, research coordinator for UC Berkeley’s Sustainable Shared-Prosperity Policy Index The candidates in the 2020 U.S. presidential race are proposing an array of economic policies frequently described as either free-market or socialist. These labels often confuse the American public. In particular, capitalism is widely — and wrongly — understood to be synonymous … Continue reading »

Trump’s NAFTA replacement needs its tires kicked

Harley Shaiken, professor emeritus in education and in geography | July 9, 2019

President Trump would like to see the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement ratified without delay. It’s a bit like a used car salesperson giving you 10 minutes to accept the deal of the century. You may want to look under the hood and test-drive the vehicle first. USMCA is largely an updated and rebranded version of the … Continue reading »