Category Archives: UCTV

Looking Back and Looking Forward

As we welcome 2022, we at UCTV wish you a happy and healthy new year and thank you for your enthusiastic interest in fact-based videos from the University of California. We are proud to bring you scientists, composers, public policy experts, doctors, authors and more. If it crosses your mind, it crosses a UC campus.

Despite COVID restrictions that have meant most of the videos are being recorded remotely, we introduced a record 450 videos this year and added 250,000 YouTube subscribers, bringing us to over 970,000. That will put our total subscribers at one million in just a few months! There are 37 million YouTube channels out there but less than one percent reach that milestone. Thank you for making that possible.

This year we have endeavored to keep you up-to-date on COVID discoveries, what’s new in stem cell research and applications, explored the origins of humans with CARTA and showcased interviews and talks with filmmakers and authors. Contending with Climate Change continues to be a topic of interest and we’ve provided valuable information on the path to college, in English and Spanish.

We are ending the year with some highly viewed programs – among them is the recent Dark Persuasion on the history of brainwashing, Adapting to a COVID World, and Inflammation, the Brain and Fatty Acid. Other programs you enjoyed this year include Santa Cecilia in Concert, Mengele: Unmasking the Angel of Death and Solar Probe Touches the Sun, just to name a few. It’s been quite a year!

The UCTV team is already busy preparing new programs for you in the coming year. On a personal note, the end of this year is also the end of my tenure at UCTV. It’s been an amazing adventure taking a small local station to the powerhouse it is now. This is truly a team effort and I have been privileged to work with this group of talented individuals for close to 30 years! I’m excited to watch the future unfold along with all of you.

Thank you!
Lynn Burnstan
Executive Director, UCTV


Global TV

Television has traditionally been understood through national frameworks, corresponding to national networks of television distribution. The Carsey-Wolf Center series “Global TV” explores the way some contemporary television programs and formats have become unmoored from their national contexts of production and distribution. The series spotlights a number of recent shows that showcase this phenomenon, including a French heist caper, a South African vigilante thriller, and a crime drama set at the epicenter of political and social change in twenties Berlin; each of these shows both transcends and is rooted in its national context and culture. The conversations in the series examine how and why a particular program might travel and take hold with an international audience, addresses questions about the role of contemporary streaming services and global flows of creative labor.

Programs include:

The Hollow Crown
Ben Power discusses his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III for the BBC series, The Hollow Crown. Power discusses various elements of the series, including the challenges of adapting from Shakespeare, the casting choices, and political context.

Moderator Wendy Eley Jackson speaks with Gareth Crocker about his South African television show, Shadow. Crocker discusses various elements of the series, and the bandwidth issues faced by some parts of the country.

Babylon Berlin
Scott Frank explores the influence of the German series Babylon Berlin on his own series, The Queen’s Gambit. Scott discusses multiple aspects of Babylon Berlin that contributed to his appreciation of German history and television.

UCSB’s Lisa Parks, Jean Beaman, and France Winddance Twine discuss the sociological impacts of Netflix’s Lupin. They dive into the show’s political relevance and nuanced portrayal of Paris, and what makes the show an effective critique of state power.

Explore these programs and more from the Carsey-Wolf Center.


Threats of Climate Change

We are all exposed to the consequences of climate change but some populations are more vulnerable than others. In these presentations three UCSF doctors explore the impact on maternal and child health, and the health of older people.

Dr. Tracey Woodruff explores climate, pollution, and prenatal and child health. Climate change worsens air pollution and extreme weather which can have severe impacts on health during and after pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to air pollutants can increase the risk of preterm birth, low birthweight and stillbirth. Air pollution is also associated with heart birth defects, autism, and neurodevelopmental delays along with pre-eclampsia and hypertension during pregnancy, a leading cause of maternal death. She argues that public policy is necessary to create lasting and fair solutions for all.

Dr. Pooja Singal focuses on children’s unique vulnerability to climate change. She notes that worldwide 1 in 5 deaths each year occurs in a child under 5. Children have greater exposure – they breathe more air, drink more water and eat more food per unit of body weight compared to adults. They also spend more time outside, contact the ground frequently and put their hands in their mouths more. Because childhood is a unique window of development, effects of malnutrition, toxins and pollutants are heightened. Children are also less able to understand what to do and are reliant on caregivers and the context in which they live.

Dr. Anna Chodors looks at the special risks to older adults. From wildfires to extreme heat and flooding, the elderly are disproportionally affected. In part this is due to physiological changes associated with aging and the associated biological vulnerabilities. Social vulnerabilities such as poverty, isolation and the digital divide contribute to their exposure.

Dr. Chodros encourages you to be aware of local weather conditions, understand that medications and health conditions can increase vulnerability, and make a plan to handle emergency situations.

Dr. Dan Lowenstein then encourages us to take climate change seriously because it is the existential crisis of our time.

Watch Climate Change: The Special Risks to Children, Pregnant Women and Older Adults .


Rebels with a Cause

As Dr. Henry Powell notes in “Irish Women of Resilience,” until the late 20th century the history of Ireland is a sad one. The Emerald Isle had the great misfortune of proximity to an aggressively expansionist, colonialist power that went on to dominate ad exploit the Irish people for nearly 700 years. That period was further scarred by famine, failed rebellions, civil war, and religious repression.

In response to the Irish people’s yearning for solace and preservation of cultural identity, the aisling (ASH-ling) was developed in the late 17th and 18th centuries as a uniquely Irish poetic genre. Aisling means “dream” or “vision,” and in the verses Ireland appears to the poet as a woman, frequently young and beautiful but occasionally old and haggard, who laments the current state of affairs in Éireann and predicts a revival, a resurgence of the Gaelic nation. Often this revival is linked to the return of the House of Stuart to the British and Irish thrones. Powell explains that women have long held a special place in Gaelic culture and literature, especially poetry, and the aisling is emblematic of that revered status.

“She is a girl and would not be afraid to walk the whole world with herself.”
– Lady August Gregory, poet

After establishing the importance of women in the collective Irish consciousness Powell turns his attention to women who have had a profound impact on Irish society in more recent times, including Hazel Martin (Lady Lavery) , an early Irish nationalist; the renowned ”Rebel Countess” Constance Markievicz, who advised women preparing for insurrection to “Dress suitably in short skirts and sitting boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank, and buy a revolver;” popular novelist Elizabeth Bowen, who cast a sharp eye on social mores; Mainie Jellett and Evie Hone, artists and lifelong companions who rocked the art establishment by introducing cubism to Ireland; the first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and her immediate successor Mary MacAleese; crusading journalist Nell McCafferty, who pursued the most powerful judicial figures in the country; and Mary Raftery, who exposed and documented decades of systemic abuse of children in State-funded, Church-run institutions.

This list is, of course, only a sampling of women who have influenced Irish society in virtually all respects. Powell notes that while each of these women has a unique story, their commonality is a fierce devotion to justice and a disdain for societal conventions meant to control, hinder, and demean women. Ireland is ending its first century of independence with increased prosperity and a forward-thinking, modern outlook, and that is due in no small part to resilient – some might say stubborn, but admiringly – Irish women.

Watch Irish Women of Resilience with Henry Powell – Osher Online Lecture Series.


The Red Tide of 2020

With a confluence of unusual ocean conditions during the early spring of 2020, glowing blue waves wowed the world during Southern California’s recent history-making red tide event. But waves were only the stimulus and conveyance for what was really glowing in the ocean.

Join Scripps Institution of Oceanography bioluminescence expert Mike Latz and dive into the world of living light, get an insider’s look at the most recent red tide event, learn why scientists still have so many questions about this natural phenomenon, and get some insight into how Mike was compelled to dedicate much of his oceanographic career to understanding this bioluminescent event.

Watch The Red Tide of 2020.