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, 16 February 2018

1. Berkeley in the News will take a break Monday, February 19, as the campus observes the Presidents' Day holiday. Publication will resume on Tuesday, February 20.

2. Why Economists Are Worried About International Trade
New York Times (*requires registration)

Reviewing "Econ 101" theory supporting free trade -- "in light of the growing evidence of the Trump administration's apparent disdain" for it -- this columnist discusses an approach to measuring the economic benefits of trade, co-authored by economics professor David Romer. Examining geographic characteristics of trade and prosperity, the researchers concluded that "a rise of one percentage point in the ratio of trade to G.D.P. increases income per person by at least one-half percent."
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3. Kamala Harris to endorse Gavin Newsom for governor
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

Sen. Kamala Harris is announcing her endorsement of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for Governor Friday, in a move that polls equate to a "major statewide endorsement." In one of those polls -- conducted by Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies in September -- she had a higher overall approval rating than Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and among self-identified "very liberal" voters, her approval rate was 86 percent, compared to Feinstein's 65 percent.
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4. For College Presidents, Is 70 the New 50?
Inside Higher Ed

At 66, Harvard University's new president is roughly 4 years older than the average college president. He joins a number of other university leaders who are in their mid- to late 60s and 70s, including Berkeley's chancellor, Carol Christ, who was 72 when she was appointed last year. Some attribute the "graying" phenomenon to higher education "valuing past presidential experience over youthful ideas during trying times," but as a Harvard history professor pointed out in 1994 after federal law discontinued a mandate that faculty retire at 70: "It takes so long to get a Ph.D. these days -- 10 years at Columbia or Berkeley -- that people in the humanities tend to start their careers later."
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5. Winners and Losers in Work-Study Plan
Inside Higher Education

The PROSPER Act, House Republicans' so-called revision of the Higher Education Act, includes a provision that would reportedly make the Federal Work-Study formula more equitable. One of the changes would be the exclusion of graduate students, and that loss would be felt at UC. According to American Council on Education projections, Berkeley and UCLA, the biggest recipients in the UC system, would lose about $2.2 million in work-study funding.
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6. "This is why housing is expensive in San Francisco": A Mission project will be delayed for months as the city studies a laundromat
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

In an article about the astronomical costs of housing development in San Francisco, as illustrated by one project in the Mission district, Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation is cited. They report that appeals and lawsuits have contributed to the city's claim on the world's second-highest construction costs. Another Bay Area housing story in the East Bay Express extensively quotes Ken Rosen, chair of Berkeley's Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics.
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7. 13.7 Cosmos & Culture Blog: A New Goal: Aim To Be Less Wrong
NPR Online

"Assume you are wrong," is a piece of advice psychology professor Tania Lombrozo received at a conference last week, and in this commentary she offers her thoughts on that, with a foray into methodological theory. She concludes: "Striving to be less wrong -- rather than more right -- could be a beneficial way to construe our aims across a variety of contexts, whether it's a marital dispute or a business decision. I may be wrong about who did the dishes last night, or about which stock is the best investment; if I begin from the assumption that I'm fallible and striving to be less wrong, a challenge may not feel so threatening. ... Unfortunately, this still leaves us with an untested psychological hypothesis: that assuming one is wrong can change community norms for the better, and ultimately support better science (and even, perhaps, better judgments and decisions in everyday life). ... I don't know if that's true. In fact, I should probably assume that it's wrong. But with the benefit of the scientific community and our best methodological tools, I hope we can get it less wrong, together."
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8. Bay Area arts and entertainment picks, Feb. 16-18
San Francisco Chronicle

Four campus events are highlighted as arts and entertainment picks for the weekend. First up is Cal Performances' Friday presentation of German soprano Dorothea Röschmann and pianist Malcolm Martineau in a recital of songs by Schubert, Mahler, Schumann and Wagner. Next, again under the auspices of Cal Performances but in the off-campus venue of the Oakland Metro Operahouse, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, a Ukrainian "guerilla-folk party-punk band" from Toronto will offer a number of performances of "Counting Sheep—A Guerrilla Folk Opera." The other events are Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive screenings of "Microcosmos," a close-up look at insect life, and "The Bigamist," part of the archive's Ida Lupino retrospective.
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