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Renowned journalist, author, and food intellectual Michael Pollan receives the 2014 Nierenberg Award for Science in the Public Interest and takes you on a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion from the personal to the global on the production, economics and politics of food.

UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute's Larry Smarr, noted authority in information technology and high-performance computing hosts a discussion with UC San Diego's Rob Knight, leading expert on microbiomes and bioinformatics who is widely renowned for his early and innovative investigations of the symbiotic relationships between microbial life and humans, about how the unique cyberinfrastructure resources for Big Data at UC San Diego will drive applications in the new frontier of microbiome research.

Cosmologist and author of "Losing the Nobel Prize" Brian Keating tells the inside story of BICEP2's mesmerizing discovery and the scientific drama that ensued in this interview with science fiction author David Brin. Keating describes a journey of revelation and discovery, bringing to life the highly competitive, take-no-prisoners, publish-or-perish world of modern science. Along the way, he provocatively argues that the Nobel Prize, instead of advancing scientific progress, may actually hamper it, encouraging speed and greed while punishing collaboration and bold innovation. In a thoughtful reappraisal of the wishes of Alfred Nobel, Keating offers practical solutions for reforming the prize, providing a vision of a scientific future in which cosmologists may, finally, be able to see all the way back to the very beginning. Recorded on 04/25/2018.

Beth Shapiro, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, explains her work on using ancient DNA to infer evolutionary history and processes. She is the MacArthur Award-winning author of "How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction," which considers the feasibility and desirability of bringing back passenger pigeons, steppe bison, mammoth and other currently extinct species. This program is presented by the Institute for Practical Ethics in the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.

This symposium addresses the interactive gene-culture co-evolution of the human brain with tool use and technology - ranging from simple stone tools millions of years ago to computers today. How human cultural norms and preferences have affected, and continue to affect, patterns of genomic variation in different populations. Marcus Feldman, Stanford University. Recorded on 10/12/2018.

Sooner or later, the food requirements of nine billion people with increasing appetites for seafood must be addressed. Although aquaculture may supply the majority of the global 'seafood', most aquaculture is fed meal from wild caught fish, such as sardine and anchovy. To estimate the distributions and abundance of these and other small fish off the west coast, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center routinely conducts "acoustic-trawl" surveys. David Demer will briefly describe the vessels, instrumentation and methods that are used to conduct these surveys, and provide a virtual tour of the world-class facilities in La Jolla that are used to develop the next generation of autonomous, ocean-sampling technologies. Join us to learn more about this exciting technology and be part of a discussion about possible ethical challenges.

Marion Nestle (NYU) and Laura Schmidt (UCSF) discuss nutrition policy and research, scientific conflicts of interest, the upcoming Dietary Guidelines, global food systems and more in this conversation about the food industry's influence on scientific research. Recorded on 02/07/2019.

The science of stem cells and how they impact your health.

Our planet is experiencing worldwide growth in energy consumption and CO2 emission and is experiencing temperature rise and climate change at an accelerating rate. This video introduces the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UC Santa Barbara and describes a path to reducing our energy consumption and CO2 emission. In his talk, John Bowers, Director of the Institute of Energy Efficiency and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials, discusses the evolution of photonics and what the future holds for more efficient, higher capacity data centers, which are important for machine learning and data processing. Recorded on 05/16/2019.

Increasingly, Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications require energy efficiency, low-latency, privacy and security of code and data, and programming support that simplifies IoT software development and deployment. UCSB Professor of Computer Science Chandra Krintz presents a new distributed software platform and programming model that addresses these requirements for the next generation of IoT applications. Her research lab (the UCSB RACELab) develops novel approaches to code portability for heterogenous devices and IoT tiers, energy efficiency for resource-constrained execution, privacy and security control, and integration of IoT services (e.g. data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc.), and automated, multi-tier application deployment and management at scale — which together enable write-once, run-anywhere software development for IoT. Recorded on 05/16/2019.

The ALERTWildfire camera network across California provides rapid confirmation of emergency wildfire 911 calls, situational awareness, and in the worst-case scenarios real-time data to help sequence evacuations. Join Neal Driscoll to learn how the great state of California is using technology to help firefighters and improve public preparedness during wildfire disasters. Recorded on 09/09/2019.

Members of the group of student computer scientists who created the widely used and influential UCSD Pascal programming language in the 70's gathered to discuss their exploits under the tutelage of the late Kenneth Bowles, UC San Diego professor of computer science. Recorded on 10/19/2019.

Ram Seshadri argues that energy efficiency can be as important to our future as renewable energy. LED lights are extremely efficient. In this talk he explores how white light emission from an LED lamp works and how researchers think about materials to understand their uses. Recorded on 07/15/2019.

Equitable and effective CS instruction is essential for broadening participation in computing, responding to the growing demand for computer scientists, and guiding the expansion of CS at the K12 level. Harvey Mudd College's Colleen Lewis shares a brief background of her work in this area and current projects from two newly-funded five-year NSF grants focused on understanding and optimizing CS learning, and understanding and removing barriers to CS. Recorded on 10/23/2019.

A major ambition of artificial intelligence lies in translating patient data to successful therapies. Machine learning models face particular challenges in biomedicine, however, including handling of extreme data heterogeneity and lack of mechanistic insight into predictions. Trey Ideker, PhD argues for "visible" approaches that guide model structure with experimental biology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of engineering that has traditionally ignored brains, but recent advances in biologically-inspired deep learning have dramatically changed AI and made it possible to solve difficult problems in vision, planning and natural language. If you talk to Alexa or use Google Translate, you have experienced deep learning in action. This new technology opens a Pandora's box of problems that we must confront regarding privacy, bias and jobs. Terry Sejnowski, PhD, explains how his research strives to understand the computational resources of brains and to build linking principles from brain to behavior using computational models.

Using natural killer, or NK cells to create safer, off-the-shelf immunotherapies to fight cancers, a summer academy to understand California's water sources and uses, a robot activated by neural signals, and more on this edition of On Beyond.

Infectious diseases have profound influences on the evolution of their host populations. In the case of humans, the host species has also shaped pathogen dynamics and virulence viaa multitude of factors from changes in social organization, group size, and exploitation of varied habitats and their animals and plant resources to agriculture, technology, rapid long-distance travel, medicine and global economic integration - which all continue to shape epidemics and the humanhost populations. This symposium will explore how infectious agents and humans have shaped each other over the eons.

Over the past two decades novel coronaviruses have spilled from the bat to the human population on three occasions. The first two breakouts in south China in 2003 and in Saudi Arabia in 2012 launched the SARS and MERS outbreaks, respectively. Both outbreaks were contained by aggressive case finding, contact tracing and quarantine activities. A third crossover of a novel coronavirus into the human population occurred in the fall of 2019. This event which is believed to have occurred around a wet market in Wuhan, China was unfortunately not efficiently contained and spread rapidly across China. Since its crossover events six months ago, the virus has infected over 4 million people and resulted in 300,000 deaths. This presentation by Dr. Chip Schooley, UC San Diego Professor of Medicine, focuses on the biology, pathogenesis and epidemiology of the SARS-2 coronavirus and containment efforts to date.


Human health is affected by environmental change. Those impacts are distributed unequally within and between populations and the disparity between those most responsible and those most affected by change. Dr. Thomas Newman describes how you can reduce your own environmental footprint by conserving energy, reducing travel, eating less meat, and offsetting carbon. But individual change alone will not be enough as greater change is necessary. Newman is Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Pediatrics at UCSF and the Chair of San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility Environmental Health Committee.
Recorded on 04/28/2020.

Throughout the US and around the world, extreme heat is on the rise. It's a trend that many of us have perceived even in our own lifetimes. We talk about how heat waves have gotten hotter, less bearable. Kristina Dahl, PhD Senior Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists, explains that extreme heat already presents serious dangers to our health and livelihoods. She looks at data and talks about the future. Recorded on 04/28/2020.

Ocean currents transport nutrients to the different regions of the ocean. But what function do the eddies that form in the water serve? What would the world look like without food waste? And: finding out who is the better gamer - a human or AI.
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