Media Advisory: Panel discussion with four Nobel laureates

ATTENTION: General assignment, technology and higher education reporters

For the launch of the UC Berkeley’s newest speaker series “Berkeley Talks: Thought Leaders in Conversation,” Chancellor Nicholas Dirks will gather four of UC Berkeley’s Nobel Laureates to moderate an enlightening dialogue on the role of science in modern society and how this esteemed panel would apply scientific methods to approach complex global issues we are dealing with today. “Berkeley Talks” is co-presented by Cal Performancesnobel laureate

“Nobel Minds: A Conversation with UC Berkeley’s Most Honored Professors,” will take place on Cal Day, an annual public event that brings the entire university together to host more than 300 free lectures, performances, tours and concerts for the community and prospective students. Cal Day draws more than 30,000 attendees annually to the campus.


  • Randy W. Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology, won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his role in revealing the machinery that regulates the transport and secretion of proteins in our cells.
  • Saul Perlmutter, professor of physics and a faculty senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), led one of two teams that simultaneously discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe and was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • George Smoot, professor of physics and an astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), led a team that obtained the first images of the infant universe — findings that confirmed the predictions of the Big Bang theory — and was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Daniel L. McFadden, professor of economics, was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economics for his development of statistical methods relating to the economic theory of “discrete choice,” tools that have been used to determine how people and organizations make choices from a distinct set of alternatives.


This signature event will be held in Wheeler Auditorium on April 12, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; limit two per person. Sorry, no reserved or advance tickets available. The box office (located right outside of Wheeler Auditorium on the UC Berkeley campus) will open at 2:00 p.m. and the event will run from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Interviews with the panelists will be available upon request.


“Berkeley Talks: Thought Leaders in Conversation” is a new series of conversations moderated by UC Berkeley’s chancellor, Nicholas B. Dirks, bringing together international thought leaders, public scholars, creators and innovators to examine the distinctive issues of our time. Co-presented by Cal Performances and the University, these luminaries will engage in dialogue at the sometimes surprising nexus between their area of expertise and the university’s core mission of teaching, research and public service. Look for more “Berkeley Talks” as part of Cal Performances’ 2014/15 season, including a special event in Fall 2014 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.

UPDATE: The entire event is available for viewing online at the link below

Nobel Minds: A Conversation with UC Berkeley’s Most Honored Professors