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Robert J. Birgeneau
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Previous conversations:

Current edition
An international campus

February 2010
The battle for Berkeley's future

January 2008
Confronting the challenges of the affordability and access to higher education

September 2007
The Hewlett Challenge, the Energy Biosciences Institute, and equity and inclusion

March 2007
The Energy Biosciences Institute

Dec. 2006
Exploring intercollegiate athletics at UC Berkeley

Oct. 2005
From stem cells to smart buildings: The world of research at UC Berkeley

May 2005
Christopher Edley, Maria Mavroudi, and Tyrone Hayes on the challenges facing UC Berkeley

July 2004
Introducing Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau

Sept. 2002 - April 2004
Episodes hosted by previous chancellor Robert M. Berdahl


What the Energy Biosciences Institute means for UC Berkeley — and the world

 On February 1, the global energy firm BP announced that it had selected UC Berkeley, in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to lead an unprecedented $500 million research effort to develop new sources of energy and to reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment.

In this edition of Bear in Mind, UC Berkeley's ongoing webcast series about campus issues, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau delves into the details of the university's winning proposal and discusses the emerging plans for the new Energy Biosciences Institute. (The EBI website has links to the complete proposal and news updates.)

In addition to the RealPlayer links below, Bear in Mind is now available on Google Video, which requires no special software for viewing, and will also be made available as an audio-only file.

audio Watch entire episode (parts 1-2):
36:48 minutes: Google Video | RealPlayer high bandwidth (T-1 speeds) and lower bandwidth (DSL speeds)

Listen to entire episode (audio only)
Streaming MP3 file | Downloadable MP3 file | iTunes Podcast feed

audio A full transcript of the episode is available

Don't have RealPlayer? Follow these links to get it.

Energy professor Dan Kammen and research chief Beth Burnside, and Chancellor Birgneau.

audio Watch Part One: The campus context

21:12 minutes: High bandwidth | Low bandwidth
'We’re not the easiest date … in the sense that we’re going to poke and prod in not just the basic science, but also in the systems and engineering and ethics and impacts and the whole management of biofuels. Because land issues, land tenure, land quality are critically important to sustainability — not just on an ecological basis but also in terms of people around the world, rich and poor.'
-Dan Kammen

audio Part One transcript

The chancellor is joined by two people who played a significant role in crafting the proposal: Vice Chancellor for Research Beth Burnside and Dan Kammen, a professor in the campus's Energy Resources Group (ERG). Among the topics covered:

• Why BP chose the UC Berkeley-LBNL-UIUC consortium

• Their hopes and aspirations for the institute's research endeavors

• EBI's potential impact on graduate and undergraduate education

• The proposal's intellectual-property provisions

• Is $500 million over 10 years enough?


Steve Chu, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics and director of LBNL.

audio Watch Part Two: How the EBI can help "save the world"

15:36 minutes: High bandwidth | Low bandwidth
'It’s irrelevant whether it’s a 50 percent chance that some of these predictions are true or an 80 percent  chance. It’s like fire insurance, except the probability that your house will burn down might be 60 percent, so under those circumstances, everyone would insure their house against fire. It’s the same thing here.'
-Steve Chu

audio Part Two transcript

Steve Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, joins Birgeneau to explain why, "in order to achieve our goals, partnering with a large energy company is really central to our strategy." Among the topics covered:

• The scientific challenges the new institute will confront, and why fuel from Miscanthus grass might be a better bet than from grains and sugarcane

• The role and importance of public-private partnerships in addressing the energy crisis and climate change

• The roots of Chu's commitment to developing renewable, carbon-neutral sources of energy

• How to channel undergraduate students' excitement and enthusiasm into productive educational initiatives

How to get RealPlayer: Follow these links to download the software's free version for your specific platform: Mac OS 8 or 9; Mac OS X; Windows 95; Windows NT 4.0, 98, ME, XP, or 2000.


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