Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Friday, 22 September 2017

1. Air Talk: As Berkeley welcomes Free Speech Week, a look at role of the school throughout history of protest
KPCC (Southern California Public Radio)

With Free Speech Week -- a right-wing speakers' series hosted by the conservative student group Berkeley Patriot -- set to begin on Sunday, campus spokesman Dan Mogulof joins an Air Talk discussion of the long history of protests at Berkeley, and the roles campus administrators have played in managing them. Other participants in the conversation include associate French professor Déborah Anne Blocker and alum Robert Cohen, an expert on Berkeley's Free Speech Movement in the 1960s. Link to audio. For more on this, see our recent update at Berkeley News. Chancellor Christ also issued a statement condemning hate messages on campus. Other stories on Free Speech Week, many of them noting that a number of the scheduled speakers remain unconfirmed, have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, WNYC Radio (link to audio), NPR Online, Mother Jones, Raw Story, Mediaite, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Pacific Standard, KPIX TV (link to video), SFist, and the San Jose Mercury News. An editorial also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.
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2. California would lose $78 billion — more than any other state — under GOP health bill
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

Weighing in on the implications of the Republicans' new healthcare plan, Laurel Lucia, a health policy researcher at Berkeley's Labor Center, discusses the center's analysis of the bill. The study projected that 6.7 million Californians would lose health insurance in 2027 under the bill, including the 4 million enrolled in Medi-Cal expansion, 1.3 million with subsidized Covered California, and 1.4 million children, seniors and people with disabilities currently on Medi-Cal. The researchers indicate that a small percentage of those individuals could possibly buy unsubsidized coverage or enroll in employer-sponsored health plans, but the vast majority would become uninsured. "Those caps on federal funding would mean billions of lost Medi-Cal dollars in the state, and the state legislature would have to decide how to respond to that," she says. "They could cut eligibility, benefits. They could find money in other parts of the budget. But the cuts we're talking about are at such a large scale it'd be difficult choices they'd face. ... This bill would be more severe than simply rolling back the ACA. ... It rolls back the ACA and makes additional cuts to Medi-Cal on top of that."
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3. Humanizing cars, sensitizing humans
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

"Cars need to be very expressive and clear about their intentions," says assistant electrical engineering and computer science professor Anca Dragan, in an article about the development of driverless cars. As director of the campus's InterACT Laboratory, she and her team focus on human-robot interactions. "They need reasoning to understand intentions of other drivers and pedestrians," she says, asking, "How can I write an equation to describe how people drive?"
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4. Technology Used to Track Players' Steps Now Charts Their Sleep, Too
New York Times (*requires registration)

College football coaches are increasingly turning to technology to help them track their players' health and wellbeing to make sure they're able to play their best. In this article, Cal's Golden Bears are mentioned for their use of wearable technology that helps track not just players' movements, but also their sleep. According to head coach, Justin Wilcox, the devices are "just another way to train our players." For example, when running back Patrick Laird felt tired after one practice this summer, his Catapult gadget revealed he'd just broken his personal record for yards and "explosive movements."
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5. Op-Ed: Becoming an American citizen in the age of Trump
Los Angeles Times (*requires registration)

Associate English professor Namwali Serpell, a prize-winning fiction writer and Zambian native who became a U.S. citizen in 2008, writes about the mixed emotions she's felt becoming a U.S. citizen with Donald Trump in office. "We, the new people of the United States of America, gave oaths in unison and sang 'The Star-Spangled Banner,'" she says of her August citizenship ceremony. "We clapped and waved little flags and laughed uproariously when a speaker joked that we would never again have to wait in an immigration line." But acknowledging the pain of American history as it continues to unfold, she concludes: "Still, I have chosen to become a U.S. citizen. I feel proud to be a U.S. citizen at a time like this. And I feel ashamed to be a U.S. citizen at a time like this. This ambivalence, I have come to realize, is the most American thing about me."
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6. US scientists dominate Nobel predictions
Times Higher Education (*requires registration)

A list of researchers who could win Nobel Prizes, created by Clarivate Analytics, includes chemistry professor Robert Bergman, who would share the win for "critical contributions" to the functionalism of the carbon-hydrogen bond.
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