Classical Political Economy in Contemporary Perspective

This course will examine six themes and theories in classical political economy—and put them into contemporary perspective. The course will explore issues such as: the nature and purpose of government, inequality, the relationship between government and the economy, the ways in which individuals interact with government and vice-versa, industrialization, liberalism, and bureaucracy. Each week will consist of a lecture based on original theorists (such as Rousseau or Smith), followed by a discussion that places these theories in conversation with contemporary and current events.


Fourth Age Salon- Remembering, Aging and the Brain

This talk will discuss REMEMBERING, my recently published book, and answer questions about memory and the aging brain. Central to REMEMBERING is H.M., an ordinary man who devoted his life to helping scientists understand his amnesia, trusting in their promise that what they learned about him would “help others.” REMEMBERING fulfills that promise for readers wishing to maintain the everyday functioning of memory, mind and brain (their own or others’). It also reveals the profound importance of memory for all that makes a normal human mind and brain worth having: creative expression, artistic endeavors, awareness, the ability to plan, comprehend sentences, appreciate humor, imagine hypothetical situations, and perceive novelty in the world.

Curing Cancer by Mobilizing Your Natural Immune Defenses: The Revolution in Cancer Immunotherapy

The last 8 years have seen a revolution in approved cancer treatments, based on the development of medicines that arouse our immune systems to attack and eliminate our own cancer cells. These breakthroughs in immunotherapy of cancer were based on a deep understanding of the immune system itself, coupled with the first direct evidence that immune responses that attack human cancers occur naturally, albeit weakly. The treatments amplify natural immune responses against cancer, and are effective in some types of cancer, leading effectively to cures in many patients. They are less effective or not effective in many other types of cancer. The success has galvanized major new efforts by researchers and drug companies alike to develop complementary and more broadly effective medications to treat other types of cancer. The talk will describe how these medicines work, their current limitations, and the prospects for novel and more effective immunotherapy approaches, including those based on research in the speaker’s laboratory.

OLLI @Berkeley Speaker Series events are free to current OLLI members and UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students; $10 general admission.  Registration is not required.

Berkeley 2050

Climate change is a pressing and urgent global issue and a challenge that needs planet and human focused solutions. Join UC Berkeley’s Director of Sustainability and UC Berkeley’s Executive Director, Center for Environmental Public Policy, for a lively discussion highlighting policy and implementation action happening in the state, bay area cities, and the UC system to reduce carbon emissions.

The state has signed into law numerous policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emission from buildings, industrial processes, vehicles, agricultural and solid waste management, electric power and fossil fuel production and freight transport.  Those policies are continuously evolving to reflect change in technology, markets and public opinion In similar suit, UC Berkeley and the UC system have pledged to be carbon neutral from building and fleet energy use by 2025 and from transportation and other sources by 2050. The presenters will cover what is underway in green building, energy efficiency, clean electricity, resource management, and behavior-based programs, and how these can help meet these ambitious but achievable goals.

OLLI @Berkeley Speaker Series events are free to current OLLI members and UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students; $10 general admission.  Registration is not required.

Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States

The injustices of the American criminal justice system are blatant, confirming the common sense prejudice that poor people are the most criminal, the most dangerous, the most deserving of social exclusion and persistent distrust. Under the Trump administration, law and order policies have intensified, but they have a long, bipartisan history. Drawing upon his latest book, Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States, Tony Platt also explores the long history of efforts by reformers and activists to change the inequities that permeate policing, courts, and prisons. They have mostly failed, and in some cases resulted in the expansion of the net of social control. We need bold new ideas and a strategic vision of what it will take to achieve justice for all in this era of authoritarian disorder.

OLLI @Berkeley Speaker Series events are free to current OLLI members and UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students; $10 general admission.  Registration is not required.

Weaving a Dialogue Between Science and Religion and Spirituality

Weaving a Dialogue Between Science and Spirituality
There is widespread agreement that the nature of mind is among the greatest mysteries in contemporary science: who are we as conscious beings and how do we relate to the physical world we find ourselves in? How does our mind / consciousness relate to our brain and body? Questions concerning the nature of mind can easily evoke associations to spirit and soul, and the many emotional reactions people may have in response to these notions. This can bring us close to what is often considered the domain of religion (and apparently outside the domain of science), a proximity that can be disturbing to some. I argue that the science of mind is poised at a revolutionary turning point, with profound implications for an evolving dialogue between science and spiritual / religious traditions. Indeed, I view this evolving dialogue as perhaps the major challenge of our present era.


OLLI @Berkeley Speaker Series events are free to current OLLI members and UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students; $10 general admission.  Registration is not required.

Six Great Rock and R&B Singers

Take a cultural and musical journey through the lives and careers of six legendary rock and R&B singers: the “Genius” Ray Charles; the “King of Soul” Sam Cooke; the “Voice” Roy Orbison; Dusty Springfield, the “Big O” Otis Redding; and the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. Explore these musical giants through lectures, photographs, recorded and live music, film clips, and question-andanswer sessions.


Understanding Russia

Russia continues to dominate the news cycle — but how much do you actually know about it? Gain an inside view of Russian history, politics, and culture. What is behind its current slide into autocracy? Which national myths, beliefs, and historic developments feed Putin’s anti-democratic ideology? This course will intertwine the country’s latest political and cultural developments with historical perspectives expressed in film, music, and literature.


U.S./Mexico Relations from Reagan to Trump

Examine the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico from the Reagan presidency (1980-1988) to the present. Emphasis will be given to the current state of that relationship in light of the election of a reformist, leftof-center Mexican president in November 2018 and the Trump administration. We will discuss the border, immigration, NAFTA, the drug trade, Central American migration, energy and transnational cultural flows, as well as other related topics.



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