Category Archives: In the News

History in the Making: Libya in the Time of Revolution

For better or for worse, we live in a time of history-making moments, especially in the Middle East. Our long-running UC Berkeley series “Conversations with History” has been recording the voices of those making and uncovering history for more than 500 episodes and the latest installment, “Libya in a Time of Revolution,” is no exception.

Host Harry Kreisler welcomes war correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, who offers her first-person account of the revolution in Libya that toppled the dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In this fascinating interview, Hilsum, who chronicles her adventure in the book Sandstorm, discusses Gaddafi’s 40-year reign of terror and his role as an international actor. She then traces the factors that led to his fall, emphasizing Libyan nationalism, the Arab spring and the intervention of external powers, and analyzes the role of journalists in the continuing worldwide struggle for human dignity. Hilsum concludes with a discussion of what she learned from her experiences in the country and speculates on Libya’s future and how external intervention can bring about change in places like Syria.

Watch Conversations with History: Libya in the Time of Revolution with Lindsey Hilsum.


Affordable Care Act: SCOTUS Rules, Cal Responds

We’ve heard what the Supreme Court had to say about their 5-4 decision to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”  And if you’ve been paying even the slightest amount of attention, you’ve heard what the partisan pundits think on the various cable news talk shows. But how do scholars in public policy, economics and public health evaluate this hefty decision?

UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy wanted to find out — and share the experience with UCTV viewers–so they gathered together a panel of experts to analyze the impacts of the Supreme Court’s decision and what it means for future health reform, constitutional law, medical care, health insurance, public policy and politics.  It’s a thorough, reasoned assessment — and one you surely won’t find on cable.

Watch “SCOTUS Rules, Cal Responds:  UC Berkeley Experts Assess Decision on the Affordable Care Act” in its entirety, or stay tuned next week when we post shorter highlights from the event as part of our “UCTV Prime: Vote” series.



It’s Sugary Sweet in the Spotlight for UCSF’s Robert Lustig

UCSF's Robert Lustig in his viral video "Sugar: The Bitter Truth"

If universities had “rock stars,” we’d definitely have one on our hands with Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco. He may not carry a guitar or have flocks of cheering fans, but Dr. Lustig has earned himself a lot attention since his 90-minute talk, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” went live on UCTV’s YouTube channel in 2009.

In the video, Dr. Lustig urgently explains how his research points to sugar as a toxin that’s fueling the global obesity epidemic. To date, his message has been watched more than 2.1 million times on YouTube and downloaded another 1 million times through iTunes. It also inspired a much talked about New York Times Magazine article by Gary Taubes and sparked a national conversation. The spotlight will get even hotter this Sunday night, April 1, when Dr. Lustig appears on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to discuss his alarming research.

If you haven’t already been brought to attention by Dr. Lustig’s message, the “60 Minutes” report will undoubtedly do the trick — and will leave you hungry for more information. That’s why you’ll want to tune in to UCTV Prime’s “The Skinny on Obesity,” an original series featuring Dr. Lustig and his colleagues at UCSF’s Center for Obesity Assessment, Study & Treatment, who are opening new avenues in obesity research that will impact all of our lives. The exclusive, seven-part series premieres April 13 on UCTV Prime, a YouTube original channel, with new installments posted every Friday, along with additional material, blog posts, poll questions and more at the website. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:

Stay tuned!


UCR’s Juan Felipe Herrera, California’s Newest Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, UC Riverside

The experiences of Mexican Americans just got a higher profile with Governor Jerry Brown’s naming yesterday of California’s next Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, poetry professor at UC Riverside and author of 28 books.

The son of migrant farm workers and the first in his family to attend college, the 63-year old Herrera holds the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside and is known for chronicling the bittersweet lives, travails and contributions of Mexican Americans.

You can get a taste of Herrera’s lively style in this UCTV lecture/performance “A Natural History of Chicano Literature,” recorded in 2005.

We were also thrilled to receive this delightful 10th anniversary greeting from Herrera and his UCR colleage Karen Wilson back in 2010.

You can read more about Herrera’s two-year appointment at Governor Brown’s website and the UC Riverside website.

Herrera has published numerous volumes of poetry, prose, theater, children’s books and young adult novels, among them “Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems” (University of Arizona, 2008), which received the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, the International Latino Award in poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has been elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets, and has received the Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, and the UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship. Other honors include the Breadloaf Fellowship in Poetry, the Stanford Chicano Fellows Fellowship, the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction and the Focal Award.


Nobel Prize Winner in Physics Explores Dark Energy on UCTV

It’s hard to wrap your mind around the idea of an ever-expanding universe. But that’s what this year’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics did back in 1998. Using the best tools and minds that science has to offer, two distinct teams of scientists, one led by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and University of California Berkeley Professor Saul Perlmutter, arrived at the same conclusion — that the universe is not only expanding, it’s accelerating.

In addition to Professor Perlmutter at the Supernova Cosmology Project, the other half of this prestigious prize was awarded jointly to Brian P. Schmidt at Australian National University and Adam G. Riess at Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute. You can find the official announcement from the Nobel Prize organization here.

In January 2010, UCTV premiered a program from Lawrence Berkeley Lab featuring Saul Perlmutter, along with his colleagues Alexie Leauthaud of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics and David Schlegel of Baryon Oscillation Spectroscope Survey, in a public conversation about the suspected cause of the universe’s accelerated expansion, dark energy, an elusive force that remains science’s biggest unsolved mystery. You can watch the program or download and audio or video podcast file here:

Dark Secrets: What Science Tells Us About the Hidden Universe

Want to know more? Check out these related programs:

Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe

Millennium Lecture: Dark Matter And the Ultimate Fate of the Universe

Atoms to X-rays: The Mystery of Empty Space: Higgs Bosons, Vacuum Energy and Extra Dimensions

More programs in Astrophysics, Cosmology, Astronomy and Space Sciences

Congratulations Professor Perlmutter and all the Nobel Prize winners! You can find more Nobel Laureates on UCTV here.