On January 6, 2021, a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to block the peaceful transfer of power from former President Donald Trump to his successor, President Joe Biden. The insuing riot led to five deaths, hundreds of arrests, and renewed concern over the impacts of right-wing rhetoric.
ON JULY 14, 2020, THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BOTANICAL GARDEN at Berkeley welcomed visitors for the first time since its closure four months earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic. The garden’s executive director, plant biology professor Dr. Lewis Feldman, stood by the gates, greeting the first arrivals. “When people came in, [they] burst into tears,” says Feldman. “It was, for them, as if something normal had been returned to their lives. … I think the garden here represents a return to what life was like. … It’s very renewing.”
It’s a warm, spring day. You’re sitting under a tree snacking on a bag of potato chips, when a breeze tickles your nose. You sneeze, sending a soggy crumb into the grass where it bonks an unsuspecting ant on the head. Unfazed, she nibbles the chip, then heaves it over her shoulder and carries it back to the colony. Little does she know that, during its brief flight from your mouth, this sticky glob picked up a fungal spore that is deadly to ants. Within a day she’ll be sick, within two she’ll be dead.
California periodically touches base on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley Public Health Clinical Professor Emeritus and an international authority on infectious diseases and vaccinology. In October, Dr. Swartzberg was hopeful that forthcoming vaccines would be at least 70 percent effective; as it turned out, they far surpassed that figure, with both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines approaching 95 percent efficacy.
Posted on February 23, 2021 - 1:06pm
“Since I’ve gotten old, I have wondered how I did all the things that I did then,” Ida Louise Jackson reflected in 1984 at the age of 82. Jackson participated in some of the major movements of the 20th century: the Great Migration, school desegregation, the battles for equitable education and health, and the Civil Rights Movement. Some of her earliest activism began at Berkeley when she organized the second Black sorority on the campus (shortly after the founding of AKA’s rival Delta Sigma Theta).
Our editors have curated a list of entertainment to indulge in this autumn. Here are their top picks of web series, podcasts, films, and more, all produced by UC Berkeley faculty and alumni.
UC Berkeley has historically been a magnet for African American activists, artists, and thinkers but never more so than during the tumultuous ’60s and ’70s. And with a little googling, many of these historical appearances can still be seen, heard, and savored online. In honor of the upcoming 45th annual Black History Month (February 2021), here’s a selection of Black speakers and cultural events that the Cal campus has played host to over the years.
For Arlinda Ruiz the road to higher education was not an easy one. A 45-year-old domestic violence survivor, she worried there wouldn’t be a place for her in the world of academia.
“I’m this short Mexican girl, dark, Indigenous, blasted up with tattoos,” Ruiz says. “I was homeless at 13, a teen mom, a high school dropout. … I didn’t really see much of a future for myself.”
ELEANOR SWIFT LEFT THE DEAN’S office at Boalt Hall, walked upstairs, and started packing her things. After a promising legal career and eight years as one of Berkeley School of Law’s most beloved professors, she had just been fired—her tenure denied by her overwhelmingly male peers.
For Americans, raising children is more expensive, in both money and time, than ever before. Even before the pandemic, when many parents were suddenly forced to become teachers and full-time caregivers, the cost of raising a child can be upwards of $13,000 a year for a middle-income family.
Posted on December 8, 2020 - 12:13pm
The 2020 election is over and, with a significant lead in both the electoral and popular vote, Joe Biden has definitively beaten Donald Trump for the Presidency. That hasn’t stopped Trump, some Republican lawmakers, and many of the 70 million people who voted for him, from claiming that the election was rigged. Indeed, two weeks after Election Day, Trump has yet to concede. While both the Constitution and custom point to Biden taking the oath of office on January 20, unease over the presidential interregnum remains.
Posted on November 18, 2020 - 12:30pm
For many Americans, Donald Trump’s 2016 victory came as a shock, especially considering how much he’d trailed Hillary Clinton in the polls. Even FiveThirtyEight founder and famed pollster Nate Silver got it wrong. But UC Berkeley business professor Don Moore thinks we should cut Silver some slack.
Posted on October 30, 2020 - 12:00pm
Aidan Hill is one of four candidates running to be Berkeley’s next mayor, including incumbent and UC Berkeley alum Jesse Arreguín. Hill, 27, is a UC Berkeley senior transfer and re-entry student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in political science. They were raised in Fontana, California and obtained an associate’s degree in communications studies at Riverside City College. They currently serve as the vice-chair of the city’s Homeless Commission.
Posted on October 29, 2020 - 10:42am