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The Science at Cal Lecture Series

Science at Cal Lecture Series

Scienceat Cal is proud to present a series of free, public science lectures on the third Saturday of every month. These talks are given by renowned UC Berkeley scientists and aimed at general audiences.

Talks take place on the UC Berkeley campus at 11am. Doors open thirty minutes before the talk and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Each talk is planned to last an hour, plus time for at least a few questions at the end. We would like to start the talks on time, and avoid disruption from people entering the auditorium during the talks, so please try to arrive at least 10 minutes before the start. Most talks (see the calendar below for exceptions) take place in Genetics and Plant Biology, Room 100 (see map). Limited hourly pay parking is available on weekends on and nearby campus — please check the signs. We encourage you to take public transport — BART and bus lines are within walking distance. We also record the talks and post them on this site (click on the speaker names for previous months below). If you’re nearby though we encourage you to come to the talks in person!

All our upcoming talks are listed on our Berkeley Events Calendar.

2017 Calendar

Date Venue Speaker Topic
Jan 21 100 GPB Diego Melgar  The really big one: Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest
Feb 18 131 Campbell Hall  Casey Law  The Fast Radio Burst: An evolving cosmic mystery
Mar 18 100 GPB  Inez Fung  Water in Motion: Mysteries of Northern California
Apr 15 UC Berkeley No Talk
Apr 22 UC Berkeley Cal Day
May 20 100 GPB  Matt Walker  Why we sleep
Jun 17 100 GPB Anca Dragan

Cars that Coordinate with people

July 15 100 GPB Alex Huth Mapping how language is represented in the human brain
Aug 19 100 GPB Heather Gray Not the God Particle
Sept 16 100 GPB K.G. Lee Mapping the Universe 
Oct 21 100 GPB Philip B. Stark Leaving Election Integrity to Chance
Nov 18 100 GPB Courtney Dressing How to find a habitable planet

2016 Talk Calendar

Date Venue Speaker Topic
Jan 16 159 Mulford Hall Howard Isaacson From Puff-Ball Neptunes to Earth-sized Rocky planets: Exoplanets in the Kepler Era
Feb 20 159 Mulford Hall Holger Müller Shining light on dark matter and dark energy with lasers and atoms
Mar 19 159 Mulford Hall Peggy Hellweg Earthquakes and you: Be a citizen seismologist! 
Apr 16 UC Berkeley Cal Day
May 21 159 Mulford Hall Qingkai Kong  MyShake: Building a smartphone seismic network 
Jun 18 159 Mulford Hall Steve Croft

Breakthrough Listen-Expanding the Search for Life Beyond Earth

Jul 16 159 Mulford Hall Matt Francis Using Chemically Modified Biomolecules to Develop New Cancer Therapies
Aug 20 159 Mulford Hall

George Brooks

 What we have Learned about Exercise and Physiology at Cal
Sep 17 159 Mulford Hall Mark Richards  What really killed the dinosaurs?
Oct 15 159 Mulford Hall

Tim White

 Human Evolution
Nov 19 100 GPB Jim Bishop Probing the ocean carbon cycle with autonomous robots
Dec 17 100 GPB Adrian Lee Cosmic Microwave Background

2015 Talk Calendar

Date Venue Speaker Topic
Jan 17 100 GPB  Nadav Sorek  Biofuels and DNA sequencing: two sides of the same coin?
Feb 21 100 GPB  Dr. Andrew Siemion Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: The Quest to Find Ourselves Among the Stars
Mar 21 100 GPB Dr. Rebekah Dawson Exoplanet Surprises
Apr 18 UC Berkeley Cal Day
May 16 100 GPB  Raymond Jeanloz  Journey to the Center of Earth
Jun 20 100 GPB  David Schaffer & Kevin Whittlesey  Recent Advances in Stem Cell Research
Jul 18 100 GPB Jeff Benca  Jurassic Garden: Decoding how to grow prehistoric plants
Aug 15 100 GPB

Francois Foucart

black holes / neutron stars

Sep 19 100 GPB  Ken Shen  Revealing the Identity of Type Ia Supernovae
Oct 17 100 GPB

Andrew Westphal

 Stardust: Analyses of cometary and interstellar dust
Nov 21 100 GPB  Itay Budin Genesis on the benchtop: how do we study the origin of life in the lab?
Dec 19 100 GPB  Bob Jacobsen How to be Really Good at Not Finding Dark Matter 

Cal Day 2013 Videos

Videos from UC Berkeley’s Cal Day open house are also available. You can see Raphael Bousso talk about “Black Holes, Information, and the Quest for a Unified Theory of Nature”, or Adrian Lee talk about “The Microwave Background: A Cosmic Time Machine”.

Archives of 2009 International Year of Astronomy Talks

The Science@Cal lecture series was preceded by a 2009 lecture series presented by the Department of Astronomy as part of the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. To see videos of these talks, visit the astronomy lecture series website.


Contact Steve Croft at