Photo of three students looking with wonder into a reflective, gold machine

You never know where curiosity can lead

At Berkeley, a cafe conversation can turn wonderment into a research collaboration that will change the world.

Research for the Public Good: Illuminating Solutions

Drawing from a wellspring of fundamental research and a deep desire to serve, we have identified several themes that represent complex challenges facing our world that Berkeley is ideally suited to address. Since each problem is much bigger than any single discipline can understand or solve, this campaign, more than any before it, will support groundbreaking research that builds on our historic leadership and integrates the disciplines in ways still unimagined. Your support of these areas will motivate faculty and students to break from the status quo and find a better way forward.

Data Science and Artificial Intelligence — Give students from all backgrounds the skills to analyze and compute data in a rapidly evolving digital world, and then apply them to any field. Ensure that the uses of artificial intelligence are safe, fair, ethical, and compatible with human intelligence.

Energy, Climate, and Environment — Understand the depths of environmental change, speed up strategies for mitigating and adapting to it, and ensure that vulnerable populations can participate in transitioning to clean energy and other needs.

Democracy and Equality — Study the institutions and practices of democracy and how to make them better, such as closing the income gap and making access to education, work, and well-being more inclusive, just, and equitable. Read some of our stories highlighting diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice.

Health and Basic Discovery — Uncover the molecular mechanisms of disease and build new tools, therapeutics, and treatments for human health, particularly for neurodegenerative and genetic diseases.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship — Inspire all undergraduates to become agents of innovation and social change by building their capacity to turn imagination into novel products or new industries that will make a difference in the world.

Related stories

  • UC Berkeley chemist Omar Yaghi describes his research developing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), their utility to combat climate change, and the work of the new Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet.

    Read Story » Water and carbon capture for climate resilience
  • Dr. Teresa Puthussery, an optometry professor, is part of a team that won a major grant with an audacious goal — to one day cure blindness by replacing damaged neurons of the retina and restoring their connections to the brain’s visual centers.

    Read Story » Horizon: An audacious goal to cure blindness
  • Alex Pines, Glenn T. Seaborg Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, has had a remarkable career as a groundbreaking researcher and beloved teacher. The new Pines Magnetic Resonance Center advances Berkeley’s prominent position in the vital methodology of nuclear magnetic resonance.

    Read Story » New Pines Center at the College of Chemistry resonates with promise
  • Over the last several decades the gap between rich and poor Americans has widened considerably, exposing related issues of racial justice and social mobility. UC Berkeley researchers in the social sciences and public policy are at the forefront of revealing root causes and identifying paths toward a brighter future for all.

    Read Story » We do the hard work of democracy
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