Conversations with History

Unraveling CRISPR-Cas9
Jennifer Doudna
Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology and Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Professor in Biomedical and Health UC Berkeley

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley for a discussion of her intellectual odyssey that led to the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary tool for gene editing. In the conversation, they explore the implications of CRISPR-Cas9 for agriculture, biotechnology and biomedicine. They also discuss how education and public advocacy can broaden insight into the ethical and policy dimensions of the biological revolution that is upon us.

Neanderthal Man
Svante Paabo
Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Svante Pääbo, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Svante Pääbo highlights both the opportunities and obstacles that characterized his 30 year quest to uncover the genome of Neanderthal Man. In the course of his reflections, he elucidates the nature of scientific inquiry and highlights the possible long-term implications of using genetic research to understand the genome of human ancestors and thereby understand the uniqueness of humans. Svante Pääbo was the 2014 Foerster Lecturer at Berkeley.

Leadership
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Prime Minister of Norway (1981,86-89,90-96) ,Chairman of the Global Commission on Environment and Development (1983-87), Director General of the World Health Organization (1998-2003)

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Gro Harlem Brundtland, Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford, for a discussion of her lifelong commitment to public service at the national and international level. She traces her intellectual odyssey and recalls her many roles--Norwegian Prime Minister, Chair of Global Commission on Environment and Development, and Director General of the World Health Organization. She also describes the attributes of her leadership: the combination of political skills and scientific training that she developed as she worked to implement a vision of a just society in which women's rights, global health, and sustainable development were insured.

Understanding the Global Environmental Crisis
John Harte
Professor, Energy and Resources Group and the Ecosystem Sciences Division, University of California, Berkeley

Host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor John Harte of UC Berkeley for a discussion of what environmental science teaches us about the potentially catastrophic consequences of a failure to address the current environmental crisis. His intellectual odyssey from physics to environmental studies offers important insight into how scientists have come to understand the relationship between humanity and nature and the necessary conditions for providing a balance that insures the well being of future generations. The conversation concludes with a discussion of how the present moment can be seized to meet the challenge of global warming.

http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people9/Harte/harte-con0.html

Science, Climate Change, and Leadership
Ralph J. Cicerone
President of the National Academy of Sciences

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences for a discussion of the challenges facing the scientific community. Dr. Cicerone describes his research interests and explains the qualities of a scientist and what makes science a unique enterprise. He also focuses on leadership in science discussing his work at UC Irvine to establish a department of geosciences and his goals as President of the National Academy of Science and Chair of the National Research Council. He reflects on his work on,“Climate Change Science: An Analysis on Some Key Questions,” which he chaired-and delivered in one month-in 2001. Dr. Cicerone also considers the problem of the politicization of the Climate Change debate and concludes with positive signs that over time the international community will confront the challenges posed by climate change.