Geoffrey Keppel, scholar of human memory, dies at 75
Geoffrey Keppel, a professor emeritus of psychology at UC Berkeley whose research expanded our understanding of what causes humans to forget, died on Dec. 31, 2010, after a long struggle with chronic lymphatic leukemia. He was 75.
Emotional intelligence peaks as we enter our 60s, research suggests
Older people have a hard time keeping a lid on their feelings, especially when viewing heartbreaking or disgusting scenes in movies and reality shows, psychologists have found. But they’re better than their younger counterparts at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate, according to research from UC Berkeley.
Anthropologist awarded grant to study politics of religious freedom
The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs has awarded Saba Mahmood, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, a three-year, $496,000 grant to study how law and politics are transforming religious freedom.Mahmood's “Politics of Religious Freedom” project will bring together key human rights and civil society organizations, along with jurists, policymakers and academics who have helped reshape the debate on religious freedom in the United States, the Middle East, South Asia and the European Union.
Teaching kids gratitude instead of entitlement
Drawing from research and personal experience, Christine Carter — a sociologist, happiness expert, and director of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Parents program — shares insights on how practicing gratitude, not just at Thanksgiving but year-round, can make for happier families.
The Science of Happiness
Happiness and positive emotions are the focus of wide-ranging scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, where researchers are investigating the science of happiness and compassion.
Susanna Barrows, scholar of modern French history, dies at 65
Susanna I. Barrows, a professor emerita of history at the University of California, Berkeley, and an authority on modern French history, died at her home in Berkeley on Wednesday, Oct. 27, after a suspected heart attack. She was 65.
Researchers advocate teacher training, mentoring to boost preschool results
The report, Lifting Pre-K Quality: Caring and Effective Teachers," says governors and federal leaders should rely less on regulations and more on improving teacher quality to combat the often disappointing benefits of preschool.
Anthropologist Burton Benedict dies at age 87
Burton Benedict, a professor emeritus of social anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and former director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, died of heart failure on Sunday (Sept. 19) at his Berkeley home. He was 87.
Masculinity at the intersection of College Avenue and Never Land
In The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi, anthropology professor Laurie Wilkie digs beyond Animal House stereotypes to unpack the everyday life of Berkeley fraternity circa 1900. Two campus excavations provided the foundation for the historic archaeologist's study.
Expert forum to explore implications of grading teachers
Joining a national debate about the Los Angeles Times’ recent publication of its own evaluations of 6,000 elementary school teachers, the University of California, Berkeley, is hosting a Sept. 27 experts forum, “Grading the Teachers: Measures, Media and Policies.
Bancroft Library opens Mexico exhibit
A rare 1916 poster offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco “Pancho” Villa is just one of dozens of images and original documents in the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library’s “Celebrating Mexico” exhibit that opens this Thursday (Sept. 2).
Architecture professor and activist Kenneth Simmons dies at 77
Kenneth Harlan Simmons, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, died of cancer in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 6 at the age of 77. He was known for his work in equal rights, urban planning and community development from San Francisco to Detroit, Harlem and South Africa.
Path-breaking anthropologist George De Vos dies at 87
George Alphonse De Vos, a professor emeritus of anthropology at UC Berkeley, and a pioneer in cultural psychology, ethnic identity and migration studies, died Friday, July 9, of congestive heart disease at his home in Oakland, Calif. He was 87.
Coral tests show fast construction pace for Polynesian temples
Ancient Polynesians went from building small-scale temples to constructing monumental, pyramid-shaped temples in just 140 years, not in four or five centuries as previously calculated, according to research led by a University of California, Berkeley, anthropologist and published this week in the print edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Labor Center launches monthly black jobs report
UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education is officially launching tomorrow (Friday, July 2) a series of monthly reports that highlight the employment outlook in the black community as national jobless numbers hover around 10 percent and African Americans fare far worse.The Labor Center’s “Black Employment and Unemployment” detailed data brief for June will be available online shortly after researchers assess a monthly national jobs report to be issued Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Philip Selznick, leading scholar in sociology and law, dies at 91
Philip Selznick, professor emeritus of law and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading expert in the sociology of both law and organizations, died Saturday, June 12. He was 91.
Oral histories of 'self advocates' with developmental disabilities added to UC Berkeley Library
The disability history program in the Bancroft Library's Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) has added a new collection of oral histories of leaders in the self-advocacy movement, led by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Sports 'no sanctuary from drugs, racism and corruption' — but studying it can still be fun
Leora Lawton - sociologist, Deadhead, baseball fan - resurrected Harry Edwards' course to introduce students to 'the sociology of race, and ethnicity, and sex, and age, and class, and business, and politics,' among other things
For post-boomers, public education is worth more than Social Security and Medicare
It's easy to assume retiring baby boomers will benefit from Social Security and Medicare at the expense of younger generations, as analysts estimate that these government-run programs will pay out more than they collect in payroll taxes by 2017. But a far-reaching new study from UC Berkeley concludes that younger Americans are actually getting the better deal when the value of public education is factored in as an intergenerational entitlement program on a par with Social Security and Medicare.
Giggles give clues to hyena's social status
The giggle call of the spotted hyena tells other hyenas not only the age and identity of the animal, but also its social status, according to a new UC Berkeley study.
Bancroft Library is home to new Shorenstein Program in Politics, Policy and Values
With the United States and many other governments mired in red ink, the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library couldn’t have picked a timelier topic than the U.S. national debt for the initial focus of its new Shorenstein Program in Politics, Policy and Values.Establishment of the program in the Bancroft’s Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) and underwriting by San Francisco commercial real estate titan Walter Shorenstein was formally announced today (Tuesday, March 2).
An afternoon nap markedly boosts the brain’s learning capacity
If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don’t roll your eyes. New research from UC Berkeley shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brainpower. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter.
Six young faculty members to receive $50,000 Sloan Research Fellowships
Six young University of California, Berkeley faculty members have been awarded prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships, given annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to scientists, mathematicians and economists who are at an early stage of their research careers.
Couples who say "we" have a better shot at resolving conflicts
People often complain about those seemingly smug married couples who constantly refer to themselves as “we.” But a new study from the UC Berkeley suggests that spouses who use “we-ness” language are better able to resolve conflicts than those who don’t. Researchers analyzed conversations between 154 middle-aged and older couples about points of disagreement in their marriages and found that those who used pronouns such as “we,” “our” and “us” behaved more positively toward one another and showed less physiological stress.
Researcher's study sheds new light on math ability, gender equity
Marcia Linn, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of education known for exploring the teaching and learning of science and their connection to gender, is offering proof once again that girls' math abilities are just as good as boys'.
Discovery of 4.4 million-year-old "Ardi" named Breakthrough of the Year
The journal Science has named the discovery of "Ardi," the oldest hominid skeleton ever found, its "Breakthrough of the Year 2009." An international team co-led by UC Berkeley's Tim White took 17 years to assemble and analyze the skeleton and thousands of other fossils found with it. The analysis, published in the Oct. 2 Science, revolutionizes our understanding of the earliest human ancestors appearing not long after the human lineage diverged from that of chimps.
Social scientists build case for 'survival of the kindest'
Researchers at UC Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.
Some of us may be born more empathetic, new study suggests
Could it be that the generous Mother Teresa and the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol” were influenced by their genes? Researchers at the UC Berkeley have found compelling evidence that people who are more empathetic possess a particular variation of the oxytocin receptor gene.
Study to explore if more sleep will help teens shake off depression
After a late night of texting, instant-messaging or updating Facebook, it’s hardly surprising that many teenagers show up groggy for school. And, studies show, sleep deprivation can lead to poor academic performance, truancy and greater dropout rates, especially for those prone to depression. To address this troubling trend, UC Berkeley's Sleep and Psychological Disorders Laboratory – in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente, Oregon – has begun recruiting middle and high school students for a study to see if depression can be alleviated if they get enough sleep.
Studies find Latino toddlers' gap in cognitive growth
Two new studies led by UC Berkeley researchers find that immigrant Latina mothers, who typically live in poor neighborhoods, give birth to healthy babies, but their toddlers start to lag behind middle-class white children in basic language and cognitive skills by the age of 2 or 3.
Bosses who feel inadequate can turn into bullies
Bosses who are in over their heads are more likely to bully subordinates. That’s because feelings of inadequacy trigger them to lash out at those around them, according to new research from the UC Berkeley, and the University of Southern California. In a new twist on the adage “power corrupts,” researchers at UC Berkeley and USC have found a direct link among supervisors and upper management between self-perceived incompetence and aggression. The findings, gleaned from four separate studies, are published in the November issue of the journal Psychological Science.
Bancroft's Darwin exhibit taps campus's museum, library collections
An exhibit revealing what inspired and challenged the world's best known biologist, Charles Darwin, is now open at the University of California, Berkeley's Bancroft Library in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. The Bancroft joins a worldwide commemoration not only of Darwin's bicentenary, but of the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book, "The Origin of Species."
Kenneth Stampp, noted historian of the Civil War and slavery, dies
Kenneth M. Stampp, a University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus of history and a formidable scholar best known for paving the way to a sharply revised assessment of American slavery, the coming of the American Civil War and Southern Reconstruction, died in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, July 10. He was 96.
Tougher controls sought for DNA ancestry testing
As the popularity of take-home DNA kits to trace ancestry or calculate the risk for serious medical conditions grows, there is an increasingly critical need for federal oversight of "direct-to-consumer" genetic testing, as well as of the use of DNA samples for research, according to researchers from UC Berkeley,and several other academic institutions.
Linking fast-food proximity to obesity
A high school within a tenth of a mile of a fast-food restaurant is a high school with a higher-than-average number of obese students, Berkeley researchers have found.
Law schools at UC Berkeley and UCLA launch new environment blog
The law schools at UC Berkeley and UCLA today announced the launch of a new blog, Legal Planet, which provides insight and analysis on climate change, energy, and environmental law and policy. This collaborative blog draws upon the individual research strengths and vast expertise of the law schools' think tanks and legal scholars.
Hinshaw on environment, genes, and risk
Stephen Hinshaw, in his new book about increasing mental-health problems among today's adolescent girls, The Triple Bind, points to interactions between "vulnerable" genes and environmental pressures as a key to that dilemma.
Pressure to be a supergirl is causing teen mental health crisis
Expectations for teenage girls to be brainy, athletic, nurturing, and look like supermodels - while juggling homework, social networking and resumé-padding activities - are fueling a generational mental health crisis, according to a new book by UC Berkeley psychologist Stephen Hinshaw.
Survey Research Center marks half-century of data-based insight
Not just accumulating and disseminating reams of data, but interpreting it to help shape public policy, is the mission of Berkeley's Survey Research Center.
Research explores policy research and impressions of bias
A University of California, Berkeley, study shows that when people learn about research findings that conflict with their own beliefs about politically controversial topics, they not only doubt the conclusions, but also question the researcher's objectivity.The study by Robert MacCoun, a UC Berkeley professor of public policy, law and psychology, will be published in the February issue of the journal Political Psychology and already is online.
Retrofitted and revamped, Bancroft reopens to regular hours
The Bancroft Library is back - and it's better than ever. One of the University of California, Berkeley's premier special collections libraries, it reopened this week with regular hours following a three-year, $64 million seismic retrofit and upgrade.