Like many entering their later years of graduate education at Cal, I find myself reflecting on all that I have learned since I started my scientific journey. Aside from the obvious technical and critical thinking skills, I have built an appreciation for the importance of collaboration, communication, and idea sharing among members of the scientific community. These values are well-embodied by one of my favorite proverbs, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I admittedly use this saying in reference to research projects and the Berkeley Science Review more than child rearing, but I think it demonstrates that almost any given feat is best done with the support and encouragement of the greater community.
I invite our readers to reflect upon the idea of community as they move through the pages ahead. “Carbon-powered inequality” shares the story behind an interdisciplinary team of scientists and lawyers that are working to understand why and how carbon pollution disproportionately affects minorities in California. “The natural killer in you” dives into the history and science behind cancer immunotherapy and shows how Berkeley scientists have come together to build a promising future in the battle against this pervasive disease. Of course, there are many important non-human communities. “Watch your step!” shares the story of an amazing, complex community of microbes that form a biocrust in the deserts of Moab, Utah. And in one of our From the Field articles, integrative biology student Shannon O’Brien writes about her work in South America, where she and others study a species of subterranean rodents, highland tuco-tucos, that are turning out to be much more social than anyone originally realized. In the following pages, I hope our readers will learn more about some of the many communities that help advance our understanding of the world around us.
There is one more community I’d like to highlight before I encourage our readers to move forward. The Berkeley Science Review is nothing without the community of graduate students and postdocs working behind the scenes all semester to produce the magazine you are now holding. This is my final issue as Editor in Chief, and I need to give an enormous thank-you to everyone that has been part of our magazine and blog over the last year. A special note of appreciation to both Emily Gonthier, our Art Director, and Maya Emmons-Bell, our Managing Editor. Both of these women have f lawlessly transitioned into their new roles, and I am confident that their knowledge and experience will help the magazine move forward. I am also happy to thank our blog Editor in Chief, Emilia Zin. Her leadership and commitment have been indispensable to the success of the BSR over the last few years. A very special thank-you goes to the timeless support and contribution from the Karmon family. I’d also like to thank everyone that has contributed financially—we literally could not print this magazine without generous donations from both individuals and departments here on campus. And finally, I’m excited to welcome Hayley McCausland to the driver’s seat as she takes over as the next Editor in Chief in 2020.
Please celebrate our communities and enjoy Issue 37 of the Berkeley Science Review!
Editor in Chief