The Philomathia Foundation Symposium at UC Berkeley served as a platform where leading scientists and experts to explored ways to achieve a sustainable energy future. The best course of action for a clean, green energy future was outlined through this series of engaging and thought provoking presentations.  This conference emphasized the alarming rate at which the planet’s climate is changing as a result of human activities. Despite this dire situation, the response to this has been inadequate both in terms of the fund invested in research and the speed at which potential technologies are implemented. Important to investigate where this energy is coming from as well as the demand for it. Moreover, the role of policy must be integrated into the solution to climate change. While  improved energy efficiency is needed and has the potential to elicit significant changes, this alone is not suficient to remedy this problem. Thus, new breakthroughs in sustainable energy technologies are needed. The overarching themes of the conference included the environment, energy supply, energy demand and energy policy which each theme headed lined by a keynote address as follows:
Conference HostGraham Fleming, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California (UC) Berkeley and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
Opening Address: Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences

Key Note Speakers:

Environment – Chris Field, Co-chair, IPCC Working Group 2: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

Energy Supply – Arun Majumdar, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)

Energy Demand – Arthur Rosenfeld, Commissioner, California Energy Commission

Energy Policy – Dian M. Grueneich, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

Other Distinguished Presenters included:

Paul Alivisatos, Director, Berkeley Lab, Professor, Chemistry and Materials Science, UC Berkeley

Severin Borenstein, Co-director, Energy Institute at Haas, UC Berkeley

Bill Collins, Head, Climate Science Department, Berkeley Lab

David Culler, Associate Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley

Harrison Fraker, Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, UC Berkeley

Inez Fung, Faculty Director, Berkeley Institute of the Environment, UC Berkeley

Dan Kammen, Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, UC Berkeley

Jay Keasling, CEO, Joint BioEnergy Institute, Professor, Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, UC Berkeley

Chris Somerville, Director, Energy Biosciences Institute and Philomathia Professor of Alternative Energy, UC Berkeley

Catherine Wolfram, Co-Director, Energy Institute at Haas, UC Berkeley

The conference registered nearly 1000 participants with more individuals viewing the presentations online. These videos can be viewed at the following link. While climate change is indeed a daunting problem, it is also important to realized that we are also undergoing a exciting period of research, discovery and collaboration.
For additional information including conference proceedings, the program and a full list of speakers please visit The Philomathia Foundation Symposium at Berkeley website. Please see the UC Berkeley Press Release for an outline of the conference.