Jamelle Bouie is the Chief Political Correspondent of Slate. In October 2015 he sat down with Lance Knobel at the Uncharted Festival of Ideas in Berkeley to talk about the 2016 election. Rather than delve into the horse race of candidate nominations, Knobel asked Bouie to offer a framework for understanding this election — does the party actually decide who the nominees should be, how does campaigning and financing impact outcomes?
Nicholas Dirks is the Chancellor of the University of California Berkeley. He spoke with Quentin Hardy, deputy technology editor of the New York Times, about how UC Berkeley is planning to cement its position as one of the top public universities in the world with the launch of a global campus.
Elñora Tena Webb is president of Laney College, a community college in Oakland, California. Every day, Webb grapples with the issues of how to get young, often disenfranchised, people into colleges and universities. She spoke with bestselling author Julia Flynn Siler about how her personal journey informs how she tackles the job, and has given her a strong faith in the power of education.
Described by Rolling Stone as “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform globally. He spoke with bestselling author and Berkeleyside co-founder Frances Dinkelspiel about viable alternatives to the war on drugs.
Wherever he’s worked, Robin Sloan, author of “Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore," has been figuring out the future of media. Sloan and media innovator Peter Leyden here explore the difference between online writing — which, he says, can sometimes feel like consuming sugar — to publishing a book, which he compares to eating protein-heavy leafy greens.
Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, a technologist, and an entrepreneur, and the scope of her work is more than impressive. In October 2015, she sat down with Quentin Hardy, the deputy technology editor of the New York Times at the Uncharted Ideas Festival. Whether talking about research on lie-detection or face recognition to help refugee children, Ming’s studies of the brain are eye-opening.
Masha Gessen calls Vladimir Putin a ‘playground bully’ and a ‘thug.’ She should know: Russian herself, she is one of the world’s leading experts on Putin and his regime. A journalist who writes for the New Yorker and the New York Times among others, and the author of several books, including The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Gessen spoke at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, which took place in Berkeley, California in October 2015.
Malo André Hutson is the Associate Director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. His work focuses on neighborhood change, or, to use the more loaded term, gentrification. In October 2015, Hutson sat down with John King, the San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic, at the Uncharted Festival of Ideas to unpack what gentrification really means: is it economic progress or the death of thriving, diverse communities — or both?
How are technology, artificial intelligence, robots and drones impacting our society and our economy? Brad DeLong says the disruptions and dislocations they prompt are nothing new. Think about Andrew Carnegie’s father in the 19th century being forced to abandon his Scottish handloom and move to America to work a telegraph operator — what was then the ‘high-tech’ sector. DeLong is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley. He spoke with media innovator Peter Leyden at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas in October 2015.
Alice Dreger is an historian of medicine and science, a sex researcher, a mainstream writer, and an (im)patient advocate. Her most recent book is Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. She also made headlines in 2015 when she resigned from her position at Northwestern University for what she said was a lack of academic independence. In October 2015, Dreger sat down with Lance Knobel, curator of the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas, for a spell-binding conversation.
In December 2012, Berkeleyside brought together three bestselling Berkeley-based writers, all named Michael — Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan — for a conversation about their writing and the city they call home. Their conversation was a riot!
For his latest book, “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness,” health-science expert Timothy Caulfield of the University of Alberta set out to answer a simple question: why do we believe in the health and beauty treatments that celebrities tell us will transform our lives, when they have no scientific foundation? Caulfield is in conversation with the Uncharted Festival curator, Lance Knobel, at the 2015 Uncharted Festival of Ideas.
Chris Anderson was Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine for 12 years, but he gave all that up to devote himself to drones after an epiphany brought on by playing with a Lego Mindstorms robotic kit one Friday afternoon with his kids. As the founder of 3D Robotics, a drone manufacturer based in the Bay Area, he sees exciting possibilities for how drones can be put to work to solve some of our most pressing problems, in areas like agriculture and climate change. He talked about them with journalist and media innovator Peter Leyden at the 2015 Uncharted Festival of Ideas.
Shannon Brownlee is a national leader in highlighting the scope and consequences of overuse in healthcare, and she explores many of these worrying issues in her book, “Overtreated: Why too much Medicine is Making us Sicker and Poorer.” Millions of people in the U.S. are being harmed — and are even dying — by having unnecessary health interventions, as she discusses with KQED Health Editor Lisa Aliferis. Recorded at the 2015 Uncharted Festival of Ideas.
Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, arguably the most outspoken judge on the federal bench, believes our criminal justice system is broken. He says we often rely on guesswork to convict people and suggests the firing squad is a more honest way of putting people to death than lethal injection. At the 2015 Uncharted Ideas Festival, Judge Kozinski is in conversation with William Turner, a first-amendment expert who teaches at UC Berkeley.
Shortly after Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri, Pastor Michael McBride, a church and community leader in the Bay Area, went to Ferguson. He has since emerged as a spokesperson on gun violence prevention, boys and men of color and police-community relationships. At the 2015 Uncharted Ideas Festival, McBride spoke to KQED news anchor Joshua Johnson about the roots of the Black Lives Matter movement, and where it goes from here.