Securing the Vote

Democracy withstood the assaults of misinformation during the contentious 2020 American Presidential election but did not emerge unscathed. The Center for Security in Politics at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy explores what it means to have free and fair elections from three perspectives: the international comparative aspect, lessons from battleground states, and election security.

With more than 100 democracies currently in the world, there are potentially many examples of how we might improve our election process in the future. The first panel brings together a distinguished group of experts to focus on election security practices in Latin America, South Asia, and West Africa. What might the United States be able to learn from what’s being done in these regions?

The panelists include Katherine Casey, Associate Professor of Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; Thomas Fujiwara, Associate Professor of Economics at Princeton University; Gianmarco León-Ciliottais, Associate Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Aila M. Matanock, Associate Professor of Political Science at the UC Berkeley; and moderator Susan Hyde, Professor of Political Science at the UC Berkeley. These scholars focus on election security practices in Brazil, India, and Sierra Leone while also citing examples from other countries.

Then, get firsthand accounts from a cybersecurity expert and election officials from Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The panel of experts examined the 2020 election, current debates about voter suppression and what to expect in future electoral contests. States like Arizona and Michigan put in tremendous effort to educate voters and demonstrate the integrity of the process. They built robust election infrastructure, created resources to demystify the election process and invited people to participate in the process of keeping elections transparent.

The panelists include Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State; Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General; Matthew Masterson, Former Senior Cybersecurity Advisor at CISA, Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; and moderator Janet Napolitano, Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley.

The third panel features domestic experts in election security practices. They focus their discussion on how we can advance our own election security practices by using the knowledge we’ve gained from our experiences in 2020 as well as looking at best practices in other countries to improve our system overall.

The panelists are Wayne Williams, former Colorado Secretary of State; Kammi Foote, Clerk Recorder and Registrar of Voters for Inyo County; Jennifer Morrell, former Colorado local election official and Partner at The Elections Group; Philip Stark, UC Berkeley Professor Statistics; and moderator Henry Brady, Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley.

Watch Free and Fair Elections: Lessons for the US from the Rest of the World.

Lessons Learned During the Pandemic: What the Science Says

The medical breakthroughs that have accompanied the heartbreaking realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have been hard won. Years of research in the areas of AIDS and infectious diseases, epidemiology, aerosols, and more have come together to create vaccines at an unprecedented pace and community health guidance to reduce transmission rates.

What are the takeaways from all this? How will it impact current treatments for patients as well as management of future pandemics? Experts from UC San Diego share what the medical and scientific communities have learned, what is next for COVID-19 therapies, and what the statistics tell us about the past, present, and future.

Join Robert “Chip” Schooley, MD, Davey Smith, MD, Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH and Catriona Jamieson, MD, Phd for A Closer Look at…COVID-19.

Altered States

In this new CARTA series, experts address altered states of the mind that are deliberately induced by humans – from the use of psychoactive compounds both natural and man-made, to self-induced states of consciousness and awareness, to anomalous states precipitated by different physical conditions and behaviors. Find out what is known about origins and mechanisms of these mind-altering practices, and also (when known) how they affect the minds of other species. In doing so, researchers hope to gain new insights into the origins and workings of the human mind.

Browse more programs in CARTA: Altered States of the Human Mind: Implications for Anthropogeny.

A Deep Conversation with Rita Colwell

For over a quarter century, Rita Colwell has led a research effort that provided a more complete understanding of how one of the oldest and most chronic scourges of humanity – cholera – proliferates and spreads. But her efforts did not come easily or without challenges.

In this special presentation and open forum, she discusses her pioneering research into cholera and addresses themes and issues covered in her recently published book, “A Lab of One’s Own—One Woman’s Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science,” addressing many of the hurdles she faced as a woman scientist while advancing this research. Considered a science book for the #MeToo era, Colwell offers an astute diagnosis of how to fix the problem of sexism in science—and a celebration of the women pushing back.

Watch A Deep Conversation with Rita Colwell.

Reimagining Policing

Following the police murder of George Floyd, there have been calls to “Abolish, Defund, and Reform” the police. Elected officials around the country have called for 50% reductions in the police budgets that account for much of local government spending. At the same time, there is little agreement on the meaning of what could or should be defunded or what can be reformed; in many cases, the very language of this movement has impeded the necessary public debate about the appropriate role of police and policing in our society.

Dan Lindheim, professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, asked the panelists to address the meaning of abolishment and defunding the police in relation to the disproportionate levels of crime and violence that affect low-income communities of color.

Philadelphia chief of police, Danielle Outlaw, cited a Philadelphia poll showing majority support for reform rather than abolishment or the reduction of department size.

Nikki Fortunato Bas, President of the Oakland City Council and co-chair of Oakland’s Reimagining Police Taskforce, discussed an effective public safety system that includes alternative responses to non-violent calls and linked the policing crisis to the federal government’s dismantling of the social safety net.

As a leading national expert on police bias and police reform, Jack Glaser, professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, discussed the clear racial bias that lies within the policing system especially with “proactive policing.”

The views of experienced police, elected officials and faculty experts at UC Berkeley sheds light on these critical, and timely, issues.

Watch Reimagining Policing.