From the Editor

By Sierra Lear

May 28, 2021

Dear readers,

The Berkeley Science Review celebrates its 20th birthday this spring, an incredible feat for an entirely graduate student-run publication. I marked the occasion by revisiting the first magazine issue released in 2001. Although the magazine’s aesthetic has evolved over time, the depth, clarity, and quality of the science writing is just as strong now as it was then. 24 different editors in chief have written this letter over the years, and the BSR was impacted by each of them. But we have never forgotten our original mission. Our founder, Eran Karmon, wrote in his very first letter from the editor, “We wanted a multidisciplinary look at UC Berkeley science, past and present, and that’s what the BSR is.”

True to Eran’s vision, the articles in issue 40 reveal how science has changed over tens, if not hundreds, of years in a gamut of different fields. “Shaking expected” reveals the decade-long story of how scientists developed a system to warn people about impending earthquakes, potentially saving millions of lives. Or in “The never-ending search for the elixir of life,” we see how different—and similar—scientists’ approach to immortality is now compared to King David’s three millennia ago. “Tiny brains, huge gains” discusses how scientists, struggling to grow balls of cells in a dish during the mid-20th century, today are potentially creating consciousness in a jar. But, as science progresses, so does the need to effectively communicate new discoveries. Check out the toolbox article “Small words for big ideas” where graduate students grapple with how to explain their research without relying on jargon.

Just as science progresses with time, the Berkeley Science Review is constantly trying to update and improve. As we look forward to many anniversaries past our 20th, we have been working hard behind the scenes on a huge website redesign to give our readers better access to our work. We are incredibly grateful to those who donated to our crowdfunding campaign in February to help make this redesign possible. I also want to give a special shoutout to our designers Kamran Ahmed and Patrick Kim, former Editor in Chief Hayley McCausland, and Maiko Kitaoka, Blog Editor in Chief, for preparing the new website. Please check it out at!

The incredible work you see today would not be possible without some key members of our team. The Art Director, Santiago Yori Restrepo, spent hours organizing the design team and fine-tuning the beautiful graphics and illustrations you see. Andrew Saintsing, the Managing Editor, handled the finances and logistics surrounding this issue. I would also like to say a sad farewell and huge thank you to Katie Deets and Hayley McCausland—super-star editors and backbone to the editorial staff for several years—who are graduating this semester. Beyond the other work they did for this issue, they also played essential roles in teaching me the ropes as Editor in Chief. Maiko Kitaoka played many important roles by running our Twitter and Instagram pages (@BerkeleySciRev) and writing a magazine feature article on top of her blog and website responsibilities.

Finally, thank you again to all the incredible donors and subscribers to our magazine. I am especially grateful to the Karmon family for their generosity throughout the years. This magazine would not exist without them or their son Eran.

We hope you enjoy reading about all the latest science at UC Berkeley in Issue 40 of the Berkeley Science Review!


image (19)_crop.png Sierra Lear

Editor in Chief

This article is part of the Spring 2021 issue.

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