Sept. 2002 - April
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.
A full transcript of the episode is available
Don't have RealPlayer? Follow these links
to get it.
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, 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