I recently sat down with Kit Pogliano, UC San Diego Dean of Biological Sciences, as part of the division’s "A Deep Look into COVID and a New World of Innovation." The event featured several scientists describing groundbreaking innovations related to detecting and analyzing SARS-CoV-2, as well as the future of at-home diagnostic testing in response to COVID-19. I shared with Kit my reflections on the fact it was nearly a year ago that I issued the order to send students home due to the onslaught of the SARS CoV-2 global pandemic. There was so much we were still learning at that time: how it spreads, its impact and its evolution.
I knew at that moment that UC San Diego was uniquely positioned to lead the way in finding innovative solutions to the challenges this virus threw at us. Our university had all of the right resources—world-renowned faculty, researchers and scholars across multiple disciplines and specialties who could address the issue from literally all sides; students who were invested in responsibly and safely returning to campus; a preeminent health system that is ranked among the top health systems in the country; and as importantly, a spirit of collaboration and commitment that has always defined us as a community—the desire to address and solve the most pressing issues facing our society. It is what we do. It is who we are.
We didn’t get to this place easily. We were building and sailing at the same time, evolving our approach and our understanding as the virus evolved. We dove deep to find answers and made significant contributions that positively impacted the health of our campus, local and global communities. We have a lot to be proud of.
To watch the full webinar and see others in the series, visit the Deep Look website.
On Thursday, February 18, I had the pleasure of throwing the switch with Joan and Irwin Jacobs to illuminate the Gilman Bridge with our new "University of California San Diego" sign. The new sign tells everyone passing under the bridge on Interstate 5 that they are where innovation happens.
2021 will be full of exciting openings: the new Design & Innovation Building, Franklin Antonio Hall and the long awaited UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley Extension. This sign marks the home of great things for our students, our employees and our San Diego community. Fiat Lux! Let there be light!
UC San Diego strongly condemns the violence perpetrated by a mob of rioters who today breached security at the U.S. Capitol. By interfering with the important work of our elected lawmakers, the perpetrators of these actions have undermined our very democracy.
I am also disturbed by what appears to be a stark contrast in the response by law enforcement when compared to actions toward Black and other minoritized communities who have gathered in recent months to exercise their constitutional right to protest systemic racism and injustice.
While peaceful protests are a mainstay of our country’s history, there is no place in a democracy for what transpired today. Such lawless behavior is unacceptable and weakens the core of our democracy. Every leader has a responsibility to oppose these events and to discourage such behavior.
I am saddened by today’s unlawful actions, but I am confident that our country can and will come together to meet the challenges of our times. The United States is founded on a set of shared principles that include a commitment to the rule of law. The founders created a system that provides avenues and channels to peacefully settle disputes and disagreements.
As Tritons, these events reinforce the need to advance and practice civil engagement and also to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as we help build communities and strengthen civic life. In these actions, we demonstrate our fundamental commitment to democracy and a healing process for all those who consider America their home.
Pradeep K. Khosla
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