Swing, science, sentience make for a memorable Cal Day 2017

UC Berkeley welcomed the world to campus Saturday for Cal Day, its annual all-day open house, and tens of thousands prospective and current students, alumni, families and friends flooded the campus to explore its many resources and opportunities.

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Visitors chose from 400 events, performances, tours, faculty talks and hands-on activities designed to show off every side of the Berkeley campus. Some hopped on a trolley for a guided tour, while others got a bird’s eye view with a free ride to the top of the Campanile.

Science lovers could hold a human brain at the Valley Life Sciences Building, identify plants in the Jepson herbarium or examine some of the 6,400 unusual specimens used for research in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

Dozens of booths lined Sproul Plaza, where event goers could learn about the hundreds of academic departments on campus. Student groups, from the LEAD Center to the Cal Band, talked up their programs to prospective students. Staffers for the student-run newspaper the Daily Cal handed out copies.

At noon, a crowd gathered at Memorial Glade to rally for science, part of the larger international March for Science, where millions across the globe demonstrated their support for scientific research and evidence-based policies.

“This country is not alone in the march toward progress, and climate science will advance,” said 2013 Nobel laureate and professor of molecular and cell biology Randy Schekman, who spoke at the rally. “We may sustain a temporary setback in the U.S. But the march toward progress, fueled by the scientific method, will advance, and ultimately tackle, our greatest challenges.”

Not one to shy away from crowds, Oski, the Cal mascot, busted a move with the Cal Dance team during a performance to hoots and hollers from the audience. Those wanting to try out their own steps could take a free swing dance lesson on Lower Sproul. Some even got a hug from BRETT, the first general-purpose robot created in Berkeley’s Robot Learning Lab.

For a list of all the events offered and to see more photos from the day, visit calday.berkeley.edu/.