Category: Public Affairs

In the Living Room with Henry E. Brady: UC Public Policy Channel

8232We’ve always loved Henry Brady, the dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, for his wit and intellect. But when we went to talk with him about developing a theme channel on public policy for UCTV, we discovered something else.

He is equally passionate about the building that houses the GSPP, so much so that he held his own wedding there. After one look around, we could see why. It’s an old English-style house built in the late 1800’s with wood-paneled public rooms filled with natural light, Craftsman lamps, Stickley-style furniture and energetic graduate students. That became the setting, minus the students, for the new interview series, “In the Living Room,” featuring Dean Brady in conversation with UC faculty and other leading analysts of public policy.

28511Check out the premiere with economist Sol Hsiang detailing the economic risks of climate change on the new UC Public Policy Channel, a platform for, as Dean Brady says, policymakers, critics, and innovators to come together and debate solutions for the good of all.

Watch Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change with Sol Hsiang

Visit the new UC Public Policy Channel to browse more programs from The Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley.

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Submitted by Shannon Bradley, UCTV Executive Producer

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Economic Growth or the Environment? A False Choice

8232The Industrial Revolution ushered in fundamental change. The global economy and prosperity grew exponentially, primarily through the use of vast amounts of fossil fuels.

Science, particularly climate science, has shown that our current course of a fossil-based economy is unsustainable but our society is often presented with a dilemma. Should we continue our exponential economic growth based on fossil fuels and ignore the environment, or should we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at the cost of our economic growth?

Arun Majumdar, who once held the title of Vice President for Energy at Google and is now a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, argues that this is a false choice because it is based on extrapolating the past and does not account for the capacity of research in science and engineering to create a new industrial revolution for a sustainable energy future.

Majumdar was the founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he served till June 2012. He looks at some of the research going on around the country that will allow us to support both the undeniable coming population growth and the economic growth we all want. Where will our energy come from in the future and how much will it cost? Solar, wind, biofuels, or something entirely new like tobacco oil? Storage may be the key but we still need to get the cost down and the scale up. And, when we are making the necessary energy what will need to happen to our aging power grid? As Mujumdar says, “If it does not violate the laws of science, we give it a shot.”

The future is upon us. See how we might power it.

Watch Energy and the Industrial Revolution: Past, Present and Future, with Arun Majumdar.

Browse more programs from the Institute for Energy Efficiency.

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Playing Solomon: How Much is a Life Really Worth?

8232Placing a dollar amount on a life or an injury may sound heartless, but such is the work of Kenneth Feinberg, and very few of us envy him the job. By the time an organization calls him, the tragedy itself is oftentimes long over with. Its victims, however, remain. And it is Feinberg’s job to figure out a way to quantify their loss.

A man well-versed in tragedy, Kenneth Feinberg is the go-to attorney when it comes to compensation funds. He mediated the 1984 class action lawsuit brought by 250,000 Vietnam War veterans against the manufacturers of Agent Orange, and oversaw the compensation funds for 9/11 victims, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the 2012 Aurora movie theater mass shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Currently, Feinberg is working with General Motors to vet the claims that are now being made as a result of a defective ignition switch that has so far been blamed for at least 13 deaths. In January, Feinberg spoke with UC Hastings law professor Evan Lee about the challenges he’s faced in the UC Hastings College of the Law and California Lawyer presentation “Legally Speaking,” a series of in-depth interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics.

Tune in and watch Playing Solomon: How Much is Life Really Worth? with Kenneth Feinberg

Watch other Legally Speaking programs.

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Dirty Sexy Policy

Dirty-Sexy-PolicyDirty Sexy Policy brings together prominent scholars, attorneys, activists, regulators, and journalists to explore current challenges facing media.

Participants and speakers engage in lively discussion and debate through a moderated Q&A to explore content regulation of obscenity and indecency, structural regulation of broadband technologies, and the broader stakes that citizens and policy critics share.

Tune in for each of these shows on UCTV from the Carsey-Wolf Center at UC Santa Barbara.

Media Policy and Fetishism
Des Freedman, Professor of Media and Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London, talks about the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking and regulation.

Communications Evolution, Revolution, and the Role of the Academy
Nicholas Johnson was the FCC Commissioner from 1966-1973. He fought for reform by battling the status quo in the broadcasting industry. He takes us from those turbulent times to these. Many of the issues are similar but there are more and different players.

The Politics of Infrastructure
From net neutrality to what broadband means, the politics of the infrastructure we rely on to move information is evolving. A panel of experts discusses the idea that everything should be delivered equally and at the same speed regardless of who is sending it. Though much of the infrastructure is invisible, it has big impacts.

Obscenity and Indecency
How are obscenity and indecency officially defined and what does it mean for the current digital age? How are policies different for adult films and why is the first amendment applied differently?

Content and Conduits
How fast is our internet and how fast could or should it be? Explore the common ground between content and infrastructure policy. What role do the media giants play and how should they be regulated?

Watch more programs from the Carsey-Wolf Center.

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Goldman Talkers

28277Trained in fiction with an MFA in creative writing, a young Ben Rhodes soon found himself writing foreign policy speeches — first, for a think tank and then later, for the President of the United States. He shares his colorful journey from graduate school to the White House with the 2014 graduates of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.


28272For more non-fiction, check out former Obama advisor and UC Berkeley professor Michael Nacht as he recounts how he explained his career choice to his perplexed father. This, before offering thoughtful analysis on Vladimir Putin’s moves in Ukraine and the impact of new nuclear technologies.


Like these programs? Stay tuned for the late summer launch of The UC Public Policy Channel, anchored by none other than the Goldman School, home of some of the best thinkers and talkers on issues that matter.

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