Spring 2022

UC Berkeley is renowned for cutting-edge, curiosity-driven scientific research that results in paradigm-shifting discovery — fundamentally changing our understanding of nature, the universe, and ourselves. This tradition continues as strong as ever. Do you share our curiosity? The College of Letters & Science’s Division of Biological Sciences and Division of Mathematical & Physical Sciences invite you to join this series of enlightening virtual discussions, featuring our brilliant faculty and students.

All events will be held via Zoom at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Use one of the Register buttons below to sign up in advance.

Follow Your Curiosity


You can register for this season’s events below:

Mass Extinctions and Ancient Climate Catastrophes
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 | 5:00 PM

What was the "Snowball Earth?" What caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period? An expert panel discusses the disasters of the distant past, and what the geological and fossil records tell us about the future.

Please register in advance. To access the presentation, join the Zoom meeting.

Moderated by
Lisa White, Director of Education, UC Museum of Paleontology
Nicholas Swanson-Hysell, Associate Professor of Earth & Planetary Science
Seth Finnegan, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology
Paul Renne, Professor in Residence, Earth & Planetary Science
The Future of Quantum Materials
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 5:00 PM

Quantum materials, such as superconductors, graphene and topological insulators, are materials with "exotic properties" and great promise. A panel of experimentalists describes how these materials will enable many important technologies of the future, from energy to quantum computing.

Please register in advance. To access the presentation, join the Zoom meeting.

Moderated by
Robert Birgeneau, Chancellor Emeritus; Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Professor of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Public Policy
James Analytis, Assistant Professor of Physics, Chair of the Department of Physics
Veronika Sunko, Postdoctoral Researcher, Orenstein Research Group
Kwabena Bediako, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
The Life of a Brain - From Development to Degeneration
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 | 5:00 PM

Berkeley's brightest neuroscientists shed light on the mysterious functions of the brain across the life span - what causes neurological developmental disorders, how perception and thought are coded, and how disease and injury may affect the mind.

Please register in advance. To access the presentation, join the Zoom meeting.

Moderated by
Dan Feldman, Professor of Neurobiology
Helen Bateup, Associate Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology
Daniela Kaufer, Professor of Integrative Biology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
Michael Yartsev, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Science at the Extremes
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | 5:00 PM

From studying the origins of the universe in a low-oxygen desert in Chile, to large-scale volcanic eruptions in remote parts of the world, to highly infectious coronaviruses in biosafety level-3 labs, Berkeley researchers discuss what it's like to conduct science in extreme environments.

Please register in advance. To access the presentation, join the Zoom meeting.

Moderated by
Julia Schaletzky, Executive Director, Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases, Drug Discovery Center
Adrian Lee, Professor of Physics
Stephen Self, Adjunct Professor of Earth & Planetary Science
Britt Glaunsinger, Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology and Plant & Microbial Biology


To connect with us, please fill out this form or contact Cardis McKines-Jones at . If you require an accommodation for effective communication in order to fully participate in this series, please provide as much advance notice as possible and at least seven days before a specific event date.