Fall 2024

Oppenheimer movie poster

Oppenheimer

On the Same Page gives new students (and everyone else) at Berkeley something in common to talk about: a work that has changed the way we view the world. This year’s selection is the film Oppenheimer. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the Oscar-nominated film follows theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer’s career over several decades, beginning in 1929 when he came to UC Berkeley as an assistant professor at the age of 25. Our student reviewers were “fascinated by the questions the film raises about the value of technology” and “the role of academia in war.” Oppenheimer will change the way you see and think about UC Berkeley and our campus’s place in history and the world.

News and Events

Oppenheimer’s Berkeley Years: Pioneering Research & Personal Legacy
Friday, July 28, 2023
11:30 AM–1:00 PM
Chevron Auditorium at International House

Cathryn Carson, chair and professor of Berkeley’s Department of History, whose research includes nuclear history and the history of 20th century physics. She co-edited a volume of papers about Oppenheimer, Reappraising Oppenheimer: Centennial Studies and Reflections.
Mark Chadwick, chief scientist and chief operating officer for weapons physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who edited and published a suite of papers on the technical history of the Trinity test.
Jon Else, professor emeritus of Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, who created the documentary The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb.
Yasunori Nomura, a Berkeley professor of physics and director of the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics.
Karl van Bibber, professor of nuclear engineering at Berkeley, who spent 25 years conducting nuclear energy research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Film crew sends UC Berkeley back to the 1940s
June 2, 2022 | By Public Affairs

A major Hollywood studio sent UC Berkeley back to the 1940s at the end of May for a motion picture that was filmed on campus.

The set, which included old cars and costumes, was constructed over two days in an area near Sather Tower, Wheeler Hall and Physics North, a 1924 building designed by John Galen Howard and known as LeConte Hall until 2020.

The details of the movie production could not be released, but the team worked closely with the campus’ Capital Strategies department on coordinating the film shoot, said Kyle Gibson, the director of communications for the department.

Film crew on the UC Berkeley campus
Christopher Nolan brought his film crew to UC Berkeley in May 2022 to film scenes for the movie Oppenheimer, opening July 21, 2023, across the U.S. Along Campanile Way, cast members seen in 1930s attire include Josh Hartnett (gray suit) playing Berkeley professor E. O. Lawrence, and Cillian Murphy (brown suit, seen from rear), playing J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Berkeley theoretical physicist who led the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb. (Photo credit: Brittany Hosea-Small)
Oppenheimer, Fermi, and Lawrence in Front of the Emergency Classroom Building (now Minor Hall), 1940 [Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory]

Faculty Planning Committee​

Faculty with expertise in the themes of this year’s selection, from a wide range of disciplines, plan engaging events and activities for students throughout the academic year. In previous years, the faculty planning committee has organized panels, roundtables, film screenings, concerts, faculty dialogues, karaoke nights, contests, and more.

If you would like to join our efforts, please email Aileen Liu.

Cathryn Carson
Professor and Chair, Department of History

Steven Kahn
Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy

Yasunori Nomura
Professor, Director, Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics

Kent Puckett
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Ida May and William J. Eggers Jr. Chair in English

Alan Tansman
Professor, Japanese Program

Karl van Bibber
Professor and Executive Associate Dean for the College of Engineering

Acknowledgments

Selection Committee
David Ackerly, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, and Integrative Biology
Stephen Best, English and Film & Media
Elisa Diana Huerta, Centers for Educational Justice & Community Engagement
Corliss Lee, Library
Oliver O’Reilly, Mechanical Engineering
Aileen Liu, Chair, Director of Curricular Engagement Initiatives

Student Reviewers
Alaina Delsignore, Alexa Gutierrez Reyna, Carina Kim, Chris Harjadi, Daniela Arreola, Kierstyn Cohen, Kuldeep Dungarwal, Lucille Lorenz, McKinley Keys, Muhammad Ibrahim Noon, Nichelle Wong, Niki Ebrahimnejad, Prab Kaur, Samantha Lindsay, Sardaana Eginova, Sofia Gonzalez, and Zeyu Hou

Special thanks to Sonya Lee and Belinda White.