Wednesday Speaker Series

The 2023-2024 program will be held in person at 1115 11th Street with a box lunch. There will also be a Zoom Option. Please register for our events here:

For more information on speaking at UCCS contact Brooke Miller-Jacobs at, the Speakers Series Coordinator at the UC Center. To evaluate or provide feedback on any of our Wednesday speakers please use our new online evaluation form located here


The UC Center Sacramento (UCCS) offers weekly public lectures by UC faculty on a variety of public policy issues. Attendees include UCCS students, legislative staff, employees of state agencies and departments, advocates, and members of the general public. UCCS invites faculty members from any UC campus to deliver lectures summarizing new findings or synthesizing information with potential implications for state policy.

Lectures may address any policy-relevant topic, but each year the Center puts together several mini-series which emphasize special themes. For 2023-2024 the themes are:

Fire and Rain: Preparing for Wildfire, Drought, and Flooding in California

California is ground-zero for some of the most visible effects of climate change.  Wildfires have partially erased nearly 60 years of progress in achieving cleaner air.  Intermittent drought has become chronic, with the ironic twist that the risk of catastrophic flooding has not diminished. Adapting to these challenges will require both technical and policy innovation.  This mini-series will feature UC experts whose research examines wildfire and water policy from the perspectives of climatology, forestry, civil engineering, economics, environmental policy, and more.  The goal is to acquaint policymakers with cutting-edge ideas for managing what will likely be the Golden State’s new normal over the next century and possibly beyond.

Special Winter Symposium: Digital Apprentice or Existential Threat?  Implications of the AI Revolution for California and the World

New developments in artificial intelligence (A.I.) are already changing the ways people find and use information. In addition, these new tools have -- with startling speed -- upended previous notions of what computers can do.  Large language models like ChatGPT are quick, powerful, and versatile, and they are only the beginning.  General A.I. – capable of matching the accomplishments of the smartest humans (only faster and better) -- is on the horizon. These tools hold enormous promise for improving everything from transportation systems to manufacturing, from agriculture to health care, but they also pose threats related to privacy, job security, and perhaps the survival of the human species. This Special Winter Symposium will present to a general audience the basics of A.I. and its capabilities as well as the ethical, social, economic, and legal implications of A.I. in our state and beyond.

Solving California’s Biggest Challenges through Research and Innovation

“As California goes, so goes the nation.”  The state’s problems are complex, but so is its capacity for finding solutions.  The bulwark of that capacity is an outstanding network of colleges and universities, including the ten campuses of the University of California, home to 70 Nobel Prizes, 93 MacArthur “Genius” grants, 13308 patents, and 1502 business start-ups. This mini-series will feature outstanding UC natural scientists, social scientists, and engineers presenting cutting-edge ideas for addressing the many difficult challenges in California’s complex geophysical, ecological, social, and political environments.

Each of these themes is particularly timely in light of current circumstances and future trends. The first theme addresses California’s ongoing climate threats; the second introduces some of the University of California’s most innovative scientists, engineers, and thought leaders; and the Special Symposium will present the basics of A.I. and its capabilities as well as its many ethical, social, economic, and legal implications in our state and beyond.

For 2022-2023 the themes were: “Building a More Resilient Public Health System (Before the Next Pandemic)", "Adapting to a Drier, Hotter California: Policy Responses to Drought and Extreme Heat" and "Special Winter Symposium: Dimensions of Chronic Homelessness and the Search for Solutions."

In 2021-2022 the themes were: "Emerging from the Pandemic: Promoting Health and Prosperity for All Californians in the Wake of Covid-19."

The public talks are held on Wednesdays at noon and lunch is provided. A list of upcoming talks is available on the UC Center Sacramento website at Any individual who wishes to attend a public talk can register at views and opinions expressed during our hosted lectures are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of California or the UC Center Sacramento.

If you would like to receive invitations to upcoming UC Center Sacramento events, please fill out our form here: Sign Up For Events