Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Friday, 20 September 2013

1. Calcium May Be Key To Restoring Acid Rain-Damaged Forests
Science 2.0

A study led by Berkeley forest ecology professor John Battles has found that adding calcium to the soil of forests suffering the effects of acid rain can help reverse decades-long nutrient depletion. The study is based on 15 years of data from an ongoing experiment in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, and it found that trees in a calcium-treated watershed produced 21 percent more wood and 11 percent more leaves than their counterparts in an adjacent control site. Other stories on this topic appeared in Treehugger and eNews Park Forest. Full Story

2. 'Legless Lizards' Story Has Legs
Berkeley Patch

The story about four species of legless lizards co-discovered by Berkeley researchers has appeared in news sources worldwide, including Scientific American, UPI, Reuters, and the Orange County Register. Full Story

3. University of California Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Education
Crowdfund Insider

The UC system has announced a crowdfunding campaign to boost financial aid for undergraduates. Called Promise for Education, the six-month campaign's idea is that anyone, including celebrities, students, and alumni, can publicly promise something if their fundraising goals are met. Among the celebrities signed up to participate are actor Jamie Foxx, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and California Governor Jerry Brown. Jamie Foxx's promise is to "rap a song like Bill Clinton, President Obama and Monique from the movie Precious" if his supporters raise $20,000. According to organizers, roughly $900,000 has been donated or pledged so far, much of it from large donors, but they say they especially seek gifts from young donors who could become lifelong UC supporters. Other stories on this topic appeared in the San Bruno Patch and World Journal (in Chinese). Full Story

4. Jobless recoveries are here to stay, economists say, but it’s a mystery why
Washington Post

A new report co-authored by doctoral economics student Dmitri Koustas suggests that 1980s-era Europe is the new normal for a pattern of U.S. recessions and jobless recoveries. Although their series of tests were unable to explain the causes, one factor stood out – a deterioration of trust. The authors explain: "Social networks are a common way people find jobs, and the social isolation and distrust we observe are likely associated with a decline in these traditional networks." Other stories on this topic appeared in Al Jazeera America and the Washington Post Online. Full Story

5. Economix Blog: The Quality of Jobs: The New Normal and the Old Normal
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

Business professor Laura D'Andrea Tyson writes about the "agonizingly slow" economic recovery, concluding: "Without significant institutional and policy changes, supported by changes in social norms about wage inequality, the 'new normal labor market' could feel a lot like the 'old normal labor market' in terms of job quality for a large number of American workers." Full Story

6. While top 1% gets richer, House GOP slashes food stamp funds
Los Angeles Times

This commentary highlights the apparent disconnect between the surging income gap, documented by economics professor Emmanuel Saez, and the efforts of Congressional Republicans to further cut education, Medicare, research and development, investments in infrastructure, and even the federal food stamp program for the poorest Americans. Another story citing Saez's research appeared in the Economist. Full Story

7. News Fix Blog: Janet Yellen: Good in an Earthquake, But Should She Lead the Fed?
KQED Online

This blog discusses economics professor emeritus Janet Yellen's candidacy to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve, and it includes the transcript of an interview with Professor Yellen's Berkeley colleague Andrew Rose, associate dean and chair of the faculty at Berkeley's business school. Full Story

8. 'Inequality' offers education on economy
San Francisco Chronicle

Public policy professor Robert Reich, former secretary of labor during the first Clinton administration, is interviewed about his new documentary, "Inequality for All." The film uses footage from his popular "Wealth and Poverty" class, as well as informative charts and interviews with others, to make the case that income inequality is "bad for everybody." Full Story

9. Is kindness contagious?
Chicago Tribune

A new documentary called "Good Virus" includes an interview with psychology professor Dacher Keltner, co-director of Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, an interdisciplinary research center. According to director David Gaz: "Keltner looks at the roots of evolution and why we are nice to people when it seems we have no advantage to be nice to people. ... He found it was sort of rooted in evolution. Human babies take a long time to mature compared to animals. When they are first born they're pretty darn helpless. He says the reason we are nice to people is we have to form these cooperative groups in order to raise our kids and to pass our genes on to future generations. If you notice, we're a social species like bees and ants ... Working together is what makes us cooperate as a species." Full Story

10. Into the Wildfire: What science is learning about fire and how to live with it
New York Times Magazine

Fire science professor Scott Stephens is one of a number of scientists who informed this story about wildfire management. Full Story

11. More grant money for Jewish studies institute at Berkeley
J Weekly

Berkeley's 2-year-old Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society has received a $2.85 million grant from four Bay Area Jewish foundations to be distributed over the next three to five years. “This tremendous gift will support the institute’s goals of reaching more students and faculty, offering more programming, and transitioning from a ‘startup’ to a permanent institution at U.C. Berkeley,” says acting law professor Kenneth Bamberger, the institute’s faculty director. “We are extremely grateful for the vision and support of the four foundations.” Full Story

12. Study: Workers Don’t Like Open-Plan Offices
Associations Now

A University of Sydney analysis of survey data from Berkeley's Center for the Built Environment has determined that most employees in open-plan offices dislike their environment and complain about distractions. Full Story

13. Obama Car Czar Back in Detroit Balancing Union, Corporate

Labor professor Harley Shaiken comments on the seemingly contradictory efforts of Detroit executive and negotiator Ron Bloom, a former Obama advisor, who is currently working both sides of union issues in the auto industry. “Bloom plays a unique role,” Professor Shaiken says. “You may not like what he says, but you can count on it and he understands the dynamics of both sides. ... If he’s being paid by [Fiat CEO] Sergio [Marchionne], he’s going to try to defend his interests but I suspect he will do it in a way that recognizes the need for the other side and in a way that is candid and both sides can count on. ... Those are valuable assets in any negotiation.” Full Story

14. Culture Monster: Q&A: Architect Elizabeth Diller on working with Eli Broad and more
Los Angeles Times

Architect Elizabeth Diller discusses her firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro's current art museum projects around the country, including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. About BAM/PFA, she says: "That project has a really fascinating history, going back to the Toyo Ito design that preceded ours [and was abandoned as too expensive] and then the decision to reuse the printing plant on the site. The site is off the main university campus, but allows the museum and the film archive to be integrated a little more with the fabric of the town. And our design has a kind of humble quality. It’s a very different time from when the original plans for the building [by Ito] were unveiled. Our goal, in a really strategic way, is adaptive reuse of the printing plant to make really good gallery space and a lot of flexible space. That museum has essentially an encyclopedic collection, which is a really interesting part of this. It has all these incredible holdings in modern art but also in Asian art and other areas, so the criteria for control are very high in the galleries. That has made the adaptive reuse part of the design particularly challenging. We were eventually able to find a lot of gallery space underground. That has a lot to do with what can be exposed to daylight and what can’t." Full Story

15. The It List: 5 things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Musical events at Berkeley are highlighted in a round-up for the weekend. The first is tonight at the Greek Theatre with RH Music -- a new platform created by Restoration Hardware -- featuring emerging artists The Brixtons, Larkin Poe and EDEI. The second is the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, a five-day music festival at various local venues from Sept. 18-24. Full Story

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