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.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

1. U.C. Berkeley launches Saudi-funded Philanthropy University
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has announced a new online education program for nonprofit executives, called Philanthropy University. With funding from Amr Al-Dabbagh, a prominent Saudi businessman, and others, the program already has more than 11,000 prospective students signed up for free online classes, including Global Social Entrepreneurship, How to Scale Social Impact, and Financial Modeling for the Social Sector. Lecturer Ben Mangan, executive director of the business school’s Center for Social Sector Leadership, says the program hopes to have 100,000 online participants by early 2016. “We're building a global online community of change makers," he says. Business professor Laura Tyson says: "Berkeley-Haas is proud to be a partner in this new effort to break down barriers to social change." She will chair Philanthropy University’s advisory committee.
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2. Bits Blog: Take a Deep Breath, Then Check Your Smartphone
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

Eko Devices, a startup founded by three recent graduates, has received FDA approval to market its Eko Core, a digital device that attaches to a stethoscope. The device can record, amplify and wirelessly transmit audio and sound wave images to an iPhone application. Set to go on sale Wednesday, the technology has “the potential to improve a physician’s diagnostic acumen," a leading cardiologist says, by letting a doctor hear and see the pattern of a patient’s heart rhythms in greater detail, comparing sounds over time. The students -- Connor Landgraf, Jason Bellet, and Tyler Crouch -- were inspired to “bring the stethoscope into the 21st century." Other stories on this topic appeared in Tech Crunch and MobiHealthNews.
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3. UC Berkeley Poll On Economic Issues Finds Californians Oppose Higher Gas Taxes, Registration Fees
Sierra Sun Times

A proposal pending in the California Legislature would raise the gas tax and vehicle registration fees to pay for road improvements, but a poll conducted by Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies finds that a majority of Californians oppose the increases. “Voters usually don’t like to pay more in taxes, especially a levy that is paid by nearly everyone, such as the gas tax," IGS director Jack Citrin says. “These results show that even when told about a pressing need, Californians do not want to pay more for registering their cars or driving them."
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4. Forum with Michael Krasny: Stronger Climate Regulations Make Their Way to State Assembly
KQED Radio

Energy professor Dan Kammen, director of Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, joins a discussion of legislative proposals to strengthen state climate regulations. Link to audio.
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5. ‘Restless’ Volcano Study to Include Kilauea
Big Island Now

UC Berkeley researchers will be participating in a National Science Foundation-funded collaboration with six other universities to study volcanic crises at Hawaii’s Kilauea and California’s Long Valley. “The goal is to improve our relationship with ‘restless,’ potentially dangerous, active volcanoes in the United States," says Kilauea project lead Bruce Houghton. “Moderate to large volcanic eruptions in this country are infrequent but long-lasting and high-consequence events with multiple hazards. ... The uncertainties in how the volcano, the community and decision-making institutions will behave can turn events into crises and sometimes disasters."
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6. Federal Funding Firms Up Earthquake Warning System’s Short-Term Future
Emergency Management

California has the technology -- co-developed by Berkeley scientists -- to provide enough early warning on earthquakes to save lives by slowing trains and otherwise letting people prepare for shaking, but funding will determine whether the system can be rolled out for everyone’s benefit. According to Berkeley estimates, a complete state system would cost roughly $80 million. An addition $38 million would extend the system throughout the Pacific Northwest. “If it’s not fully funded, it’s never going to be a statewide public system," says Jennifer Strauss, Berkeley’s external relations officer. “Five million is great and it keeps things toodling along as it is, but it’s only one-third of what our yearly operations cost would be for a full system."
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7. California DOJ unveils website with law enforcement data
KRON Online

The California Department of Justice is rolling out a website to provide data on law enforcement’s interactions with the public, including datasets on officers killed or assaulted in the line of duty, deaths in custody, and arrests and bookings. The site, called OpenJustice, includes an analysis of the numbers co-produced by Berkeley professors. Another story on this topic appeared on NBC Southern California Online.
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8. UC Berkeley Hires Staffers to Help Sexual Assault Victims
KGO Radio

UC Berkeley is strengthening its sexual assault prevention and support services for students, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has announced. All new students will be required to take online sexual assault prevention training as well as in-person training before they are permitted to sign up for classes, and two new employees will help support survivors. David Surratt, associate dean of students, says the staff will “support anyone who’s been harmed or may identify as survivors of sexual assault." They will offer “non-judgmental, emotional support and care" and “share information about resources, rights, and reporting options." The online class is a “multi-disciplinary workshop that actually emphasizes not only sexual violence, but also mental health and wellness and also alcohol and risk mitigation." Link to audio.
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9. Readers React: It's not 'the environment vs. jobs' anymore
Los Angeles Times

Responding to the article "Renewable energy requirement creates jobs, Berkeley study says" (Aug. 28), a reader remarks: “The conclusion in the UC Berkeley study that stronger requirements for renewable energy would create jobs is another piece of evidence that California has known for a long time. Renewable energy regulations have helped to make California a leader in the country in creating jobs, reducing harmful air pollution and strengthening our economy. ... Face it, the old, incorrect argument pitting the economy against the environment is dead and buried. And energy prices will rise no matter what. But we don't have to pay for renewable energy (which is becoming comparable to dirty forms of fossil fuel in price) with the livelihood of our citizens."
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