FBF Spotlight

Welcome to the FBF Spotlight, highlighting successful France-Berkeley collaborations.

Julia Nelsen

FBF Program Manager Julia Nelsen has received a 2021 SPOT Award from the UC Berkeley Vice-Chancellor for Research.

Larry Hyman

Larry M. Hyman, Professor of Linguistics and Director of the France-Berkeley Fund at UC Berkeley, has been named Chevalier in France’s prestigious Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

By Megan Mallen - Flickr: Côte de Beaune, Burgundy

Wine is an ancient alcoholic beverage with profound historical origins. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates back to 4,100 BCE. Winemaking is a trade deeply rooted in the chemical and natural sciences, involving factors like soil quality, geography and climate, which heavily influence production. In addition to the natural sciences, what are the economic, political, and social factors at play in the conception of wine and its terroir?

Hominid teeth from the Omo Valley, Ethopia

From Berkeley, to France, to Ethiopia, 2017 grantees Leslea Hlusko and Jean-Renaud Boisserie explore Hominid evolution across millennia through fossilized teeth.

Photo of Lisa Garcia-Bedolla, Daylin Ramirez and Marie Mallet

How do social assistance programs shape the integration of immigrants in different countries? To answer this question, FBF 2017 grantees Lisa García-Bedolla, Professor in UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, and Marie L. Mallet-Garcia, Assistant Professor of Law at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, examined the experience of Latino immigrants in France, Spain, and the United States.

Life expectancy at birth in 1980 and added years of life in 1980-2015 in the 50 US states and the District of Columbia (black dots) and in the 95 French départements (red dots)

How does the average length of life in France compare to the US, and what does this comparison reveal about the two countries? In 2019, the FBF supported the efforts of Magali Barbieri, Hippolyte d’Albis, and Florian Bonnet in analyzing mortality data from both countries, resulting in a remarkable and extensive data series accessible to the public and a foundation for future research.

The Global Hands-On Universe

The Global Hands-On Universe has been delivering interactive astronomy lessons to classrooms around the world since it began as an FBF collaboration nearly twenty years ago. Carl Pennypacker shares how his team harnesses the power of the imagination to help students find the scientists in themselves.

The "Decentered Disciplines" project team

A key priority of the France-Berkeley Fund is to support the involvement of early-career scholars in international collaborations. While past Spotlights have primarily featured faculty grantees, in this edition we highlight the graduate students and postdocs who played an integral part in a recent project.


Participants in the Berkeley "French in Comparison" workshop

What can learners of French discover from different time periods, geographic varieties, and codes of the language? FBF 2017 grantees Mairi McLaughlin and Benjamin Fagard have created an online tool to test these questions in the language classroom. We sat down with McLaughlin to learn more about their project, “French in Comparison: The Comparative Approach from Historical Linguistics and Language Pedagogy.”

Ambassador Philippe Étienne (photo by Thomas Lee, College of Engineering)

On his first official visit to the Berkeley campus, French Ambassador Philippe Étienne calls for a "collective and stirring conversation" to address global challenges.

Ethan Elkind (left) and Yannick Perez

How do city dwellers use electric vehicles in France and California, and what can the two regions learn from each other? Collaborators Ethan Elkind (Berkeley Law) and Yannick Perez (CentraleSupélec, Université Paris-Saclay) tackled these questions with dozens of participants at their FBF-funded international conference in June 2019. We sat down with Elkind to learn more about the project and the policy ideas it has generated.

SHRIMP project collaborators

This month's Spotlight features 2016 grantee Stephen Glaser (Berkeley Engineering), who developed the “SHRIMP: Smart Harbor Implementation” project with Thomas Watteyne (INRIA, Paris) to help marinas monitor boat traffic using smart wireless sensors.

Richard Koci Hernandez

Welcome to the FBF Grantee Spotlight, our new series showcasing successful France-Berkeley collaborations. Our first conversation features Berkeley School of Journalism professor Richard Koci Hernandez, who revisits his 2016 “Digital Storytelling Workshop” project with Valérie Jeanne-Perrier (CELSA, Sorbonne Université).