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.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

1. L.A. Now: UC Berkeley repeats as top public university in U.S. News rankings
Los Angeles Times

U.S. News & World Report has issued its annual ranking of colleges in the United States, and UC Berkeley again ranked as the leading public school. Link to video. The original ranking is available at U.S. News & World Report. Stories on this topic have appeared in hundreds of sources, including the Washington Post (AP), Los Angeles Times, and Sacramento Bee. Full Story

2. Richest 1 percent of Americans collected a record share of household income in 2012
Washington Post

A new survey of the U.S. income gap coauthored by economics professor Emmanuel Saez has found that the top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012. This was their largest share in a century, according to Internal Revenue Service data. Professor Saez says the surge in the richest Americans' incomes could be attributable to cashed-in stock holdings which enabled investors to avoid the higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January. Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources worldwide, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Al Jazeera America. Full Story

3. Opinion: From ‘Inequality for All,’ a challenge for America
Washington Post

A "chilling" new documentary "Inequality for All," directed by Jacob Kornbluth and featuring Berkeley public policy professor Robert Reich, is reviewed in advance of its release on September 27. The reviewer writes: "Following the diminutive Reich on his 'statistics-driven and impassioned' crusade, 'Inequality for All' throws into sharp relief the numbers and stories we hear. Combining footage from Reich’s electrifying Berkeley lectures with interviews, news clips and rich graphics, the film weaves a compelling narrative about how and why, since the late 1970s, income inequality has risen to crisis levels." Full Story

4. UC Berkeley Study Finds Link Between Air Pollution and Heart Disease Deaths

A new Berkeley study led by public health professor Michael Jerrett has linked high levels of ozone pollution to premature heart disease deaths. Link to video unavailable online.

5. People: Drawn to Mentoring, Gates Foundation AIDS Expert Moves to Berkeley
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

Stefano Bertozzi, a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and director of the foundation's HIV and tuberculosis programs, has been named the new dean of Berkeley's School of Public Health. Provost George W. Breslauer says about Dean Bertozzi: "He is a strategic 'big picture' thinker, charming, and an engaging, inspiring speaker. ... Professor Bertozzi would bring both credibility and the 'wow' factor to the School of Public Health. ... We anticipate that Dr. Bertozzi will be a transformative dean." Full Story

6. Op-Ed: Cellphones and Health
Green Gazette

Joel Moskowitz, director of Berkeley's Center for Family and Community Health, discusses his reviews of cellphone radiation studies. He writes: "Although further research is needed, we cannot afford to wait for conclusive evidence. There are more than 300 million cellphones in use in the U.S. Two-thirds of children eight and older use them. The government's regulations are outmoded and need to be revised. About a dozen nations have issued precautionary health warnings. It is time to publicize practical ways in which people can minimize their personal health risk. In addition, I have recommended an annual assessment of $1 on each cellphone. In the U.S., this would generate $300 million annually for vitally needed research and education." This article is on pages 8-9 at the source. Full Story

7. Personal Finance: How To Stop Your Mind From Working Too Hard

Research coauthored by associate neuroscience professor Daniela Kaufer is cited in a story about stress management. Professor Kaufer and her Stanford coauthor, Elizabeth Kirby, found evidence that limited stress can be beneficial to the brain. They observed that the brains of rats who had spent many hours immobilized in a box started generating newborn nerve cells in the hippocampus. Furthermore, those new neurons became especially active two weeks after the acute stress, suggesting that the brain-strengthening benefits of stress take time. “A certain amount of stress can definitely increase performance in future stressful situations,” Professor Kaufer says. Full Story

8. Today on Your Call: How does public transportation affect economic mobility?
KALW Radio

Assistant city and regional planning professor Dan Chatman joins a discussion of the economic importance of mass transit systems. In a new paper, he makes the case that transit brings more people -- and jobs -- together in a concentrated area. He estimates the economic value of transit is between $1.5 million to $1.8 billion a year, justifying public investment in its improvement. Link to audio. Full Story

9. Consumers could be surprised at tax time due to federal health law
Los Angeles Times

A study led by Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, has warned that some families may have to repay the government some of the money they received to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. "There's the potential for some sizable repayments," he says. "Even if a small number of people owe a lot of money back that could generate fear of taking the subsidies. You don't want to scare people from enrolling." The people most at risk are those who are near the eligibility cutoff for subsidies, the authors reported. Full Story

10. Which Airlines Are Most Fuel-Efficient?
Bloomberg Businessweek

Berkeley professor Mark Hansen helped develop the methodology used in a new ranking of airline fuel-efficiency. The report, issued by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), found that Alaska Airlines is the most fuel efficient carrier, followed by Spirit and Hawaiian. Another story on this topic appeared in the Aviation Blog. Full Story

11. Politics Blog: Nancy Pelosi a “team player” on Syria
San Francisco Chronicle Online

Public policy dean Henry Brady and political science professor Eric Schickler weigh in on House minority leader Nancy Pelosi's handling of the Syria crisis. Dean Brady says she is "being a team player," who as an inside player is "very attuned to the president’s status and prestige and the sense that he’s efficacious. That is what is on the line now."
Professor Eric Schickler says the Syria crisis has put Pelosi “in a really difficult position. ... One of the jobs of the party’s leader is to support the president of your party, except under the most extenuating circumstances. ... If she didn’t have such liberal credentials already, she would be in much more vulnerable position.” Full Story

12. Wonkblog: British austerity was even worse than you thought
Washington Post Online

A commentary on a new study of the macroeconomic effects of austerity discusses two types of empirical analysis, one of which was pioneered by Berkeley economics professors David and Christina Romer. Full Story

13. Angelides endorses Yellen for Federal Reserve chair
Sacramento Bee

Former State Treasurer Phil Angelides has endorsed Berkeley economics professor emeritus Janet Yellen to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Angelides led the government's inquiry into the 2008 financial market crisis, and he describes Professor Yellen as someone "who will be resolute in the oversight of the big banks in the face of their no-holds-barred, rear-guard action to scuttle reform." Full Story

14. Bits Blog: Beyond Passwords: New Tools to Identify Humans
New York Times Online (*requires registration)

An article about new types of user authentication technology mentions a "fantastical solution" developed at Berkeley, where computer scientists have found a way to use a simple and inexpensive headset to verify thoughts, eliminating the need for a password. Full Story

15. China Cracks Down on Online Opinion Makers
New York Times & International Herald Tribune (*requires registration)

Adjunct information professor Xiao Qiang weighs in on the Chinese government's offensive against influential and politically challenging bloggers. "We’re only seeing the beginning of this campaign," he says. "This is going to last at least a few months. ... You can intimidate people for a while, and those leading voices will be less vocal. ... But it doesn’t mean that the government wins real credibility among people." Full Story

16. BackStory with the American History Guys: Professors, Professionalism, and Profit
BackStory Radio

BackStory, a public radio program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, interviews assistant history professor Caitlin Rosenthal about the history of higher education and the rise of "for-profit" universities in the 19th Century. Link to audio. Full Story

17. SaySomething Blog: Student Regent Wants to Debate Policy, Not Her Muslim Faith
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

Sadia Saifuddin, a Berkeley social welfare student appointed the first Muslim student representative to the UC Board of Regents this summer, is interviewed about her nomination and the controversy it spurred. Link to audio. Full Story

18. Retiree Start-Ups With Age and Youth as Partners
New York Times & International Herald Tribune (*requires registration)

Alum Jessica Arellano, 36, a graduate of the College of Natural Resources, has founded a startup called Earth Safe Finishes with her retired mother. The company makes nontoxic paint and finishes, and the venture joins a nascent trend of retirees finding young partners to launch new ventures. Full Story

19. Plácido Domingo review: Dazzling
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

A reviewer of tenor Plácido Domingo's appearance at Berkeley's Greek Theatre this past weekend writes: "It doesn't matter how prepared you are to be dazzled by Plácido Domingo, or think you are. Hear the man sing, and you still wind up with your jaw open in awed disbelief." Full Story

Today's Edition of UC Berkeley in the News