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2020 Winter

Black Cultural History at Cal: Sun Ra, James Baldwin, and More

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.

Editor’s Note: Confronting Challenges Head-On

“If 2021 and the coming years and decades are going to bring better, it won’t be because we ignored difficult issues.” After we put a Black woman on the cover of this magazine (Alysia Montaño, Fall 2019), a reader wrote to say that he could think of many more inspiring cover subjects and that ours […]

Chancellor’s Letter: Striving for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Forging an institution that is anti-racist in both words and deeds Berkeley is blessed with a unique set of aspirations and responsibilities. We are the product of Abraham Lincoln’s vision for “people’s colleges”—an accessible system of public higher education for all, without regard to inherited privilege. We are an engine of socioeconomic mobility, a center […]

Snapp Chats: Ethical Hackers, A Real-Life Renaissance Man, and the Class of ’54

The latest news from our quarterly columnist Two Berkeley Sophomores Take on the Fight Against Misinformation According to a 2018 Pew Research analysis, two-thirds of political links shared on Twitter are actually written by bots. But in 2017, two UC Berkeley sophomores, Ash Bhat and Rohan Phadte, launched a counterattack: NewsBot, an app that identifies the political […]

From ESPN to the NBA, Black Alumni Have Made Their Mark in Athletics

For these athletes, Berkeley was just the beginning.

Forging Pathways On and Off the Court

A conversation with G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim Former Cal basketball star Shareef Abdur-Rahim was named president of the G League, the official minor league of the National Basketball Association, in 2018. Per its website, the G League operates as a research and development laboratory to prepare players, coaches, and staff for an NBA career. Under […]

The Search for Unisex Contraceptive Drugs Gets a Major Boost

A MacArthur “genius” awardee says women and men deserve better options. When Polina Lishko received a call in September informing her that she had won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, she almost hung up. The physiologist had had so many grant applications turned down in recent years that several mentees had switched fields out of […]

New Research Suggests Sleep Is Good Medicine for the Aging Brain

Scientists explain how sleeping better can prevent Alzheimer’s. Sleep is good medicine. As UC Berkeley neuroscientist Matthew Walker wrote in his 2017 book, Why We Sleep, “There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get […]

Deworming Reaps Long-Term Health and Economic Rewards For Young Kenyans

A cheap pill improves education and career outcomes among students. The findings of the 2004 study were startling: A campaign to treat thousands of children in western Kenya for parasitic worms yielded significant, long-term health and educational benefits. Across the 75 primary schools involved, rates of intestinal worms and student absenteeism decreased—the latter by around […]

Letter-Writers Call Confronting Racism in STEM an “Important First Step”

A public letter addresses the false dichotomy of “excellence or diversity.” “The false dichotomy of ‘excellence or diversity’ must end,” four UC Berkeley alumni wrote in a letter published in the journal Science in September. “Diversity results in better, more impactful, and more innovative science,” the letter continued, “and it is essential to building novel […]

From the Galaxy to the Genome: Berkeley Scores Two More Nobel Prizes

Scientists Jennifer Doudna and Reinhard Genzel are awarded for breakthroughs in both the microscopic and the supermassive. Two new Nobel laureates will receive free lifetime parking spots on the UC Berkeley campus this year. And for the first time in Cal’s history, a woman will enjoy this perk.  Reinhard Genzel and Jennifer Doudna received back-to-back […]

As the Pandemic Rages on, a Conversation about Stress and Coping

California Surgeon General and Berkeley alumna, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, talks long-term health impacts of the pandemic. As California’s first-ever surgeon general, how do you hope to shape the position?  Dr. Nadine Burke Harris: Governor Newsom established the position of California Surgeon General with the understanding that some of the most pernicious, but least-addressed health […]