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2022 Spring

Out with a Bang

By Margie Cullen

If a star dies in the universe and no one is around to see it, does it make an explosion? Scientists can now confirm that it does. 

Forestry worker thinning trees to prevent large forest fires

Making Forest Thinning Work

By Anabel Sosa

Amid a string of record-setting wildfire years in the state, California and the U.S. Forest Service have set an ambitious goal of “treating” 1 million acres of forest annually in order to reduce fire risk and increase forest resilience. It’s a costly proposition. 

Losing Joan Didion

By Pat Joseph

Writer Joan Didion, who graduated from Berkeley in 1956, died on December 23, 2021, at age 87. She will be remembered as one of the most distinctive voices not only of her generation but in all of American letters. 

Our No- to Low-Snow Future

By Krissy Waite

The Sierra Nevada—the “Snowy Range”—is about to get a lot less snowy according to a study co-led by Berkeley Lab researchers. Published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment in October, the study concludes that certain mountain ranges in California and the western United States could be nearly snowless for years at a time in a matter of decades. 

What to Read, Watch, and Listen to This Spring

Here are a few of our favorite books, shows, and films by people from Berkeley.

Haas Dean Ann Harrison Photos Copyright Noah Berger / 2018

5 Questions

By Dhoha Bareche

A conversation with Ann E. Harrison ’82, Dean and Professor, Haas School of Business

Snapp Chats

By Martin Snapp

The National Lawyers' Guild, distributing basic necessities, and the uphill battle for transfer students.

FIRST PERSON

By Robin Dellabough, as told to Anabel Sosa

I was 66. It was 2018, and a friend of mine said she had done 23andMe. So I thought oh, what the hell.

DT0NCE Seattle Washington USA Man hugging tree in lush green forest

Editor’s Note

By Pat Joseph

Eyes open, eyes closed, it didn’t matter, I saw the same thing: an ant venturing deeper and deeper into a fern. Then somehow I became that ant, in the fern, going deeper and deeper. 

Mechanical engineering students Phil Downey, Jordan Machardy, Daniel Zu, Megan Banh, and Aldo Suseno practice for an upcoming Mars Rover competition in UC Berkeley's Memorial Glade in Berkeley, Calif. on March 1, 2019. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

Chancellor’s Letter

By Chancellor Carol T. Christ

Let’s face it, over the last few years, every day seems to arrive with a new set of unhappy headlines about existential issues. 

Electric Kool-Aid Peer Review

By Coby McDonald

On Good Friday, 1962—five years before the hallucinogen-fueled Summer of Love—something remarkable took place in a chapel on the Boston University campus. The Good Friday Experiment, as it would later be known, was designed by a graduate student at Harvard University named Walter Pahnke under the guidance of professor Timothy Leary. Ten seminary student volunteers were taken to the basement of the Marsh Chapel, provided doses of psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms), and observed as the sounds of the Good Friday service above—sermon, hymns, chanting—were piped in. Pahnke’s aim was to see if psilocybin, delivered under such conditions, could induce a full-blown mystical experience.

Berkeley Graduate Lecture