Things are getting dreary in the TEDx office as our summer interns gear up to leave us for the great wilds of college.
But before they leave, you get to benefit from their season of TEDx Talk watching experience by tuning in to some favorites. Below, fearless TEDx Screening Intern Henry Kaye picks 10 TEDx Talks you must watch before the summer ends:
Why All Good, and Some Bad, Research Is Improbable: Marc Abrahams at TEDxCERN
Marc Abrahams, founder of the Ig Nobel Prize, talks about this award for unexpected and humorous research. As Abrahams says, these experiments aren’t just funny, but stick with you long after the initial laugh.
Where to store big data? In DNA: Nick Goldman at TEDxPrague
As information scientist Nick Goldman tells us, if we were to use DNA to encode our data, all of the world’s information would fit in the back of a van! Through his research, Goldman has encoded an MP3 of Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 speech into a single strand of DNA.
Tactical performance — thinking theatrically for powerful protest: Larry Bogad at TEDxUCDavis
Author Larry Bogad talks on the value of the unexpected in social activism. He gives us some hilarious and thought-provoking examples, including kissing clowns and staged citizen arrests.
How to manually change a memory: Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu at TEDxBoston
Have you ever wanted to erase a memory colored with a negative emotion? Researchers Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu do just exactly this in mice. Through shooting laser beams into the rodent’s brains, they can manipulate and erase their memories, and even create artificial ones.
The computer teaches you: Philip Parker at TEDxSeattle
Complex algorithms can now write books, which may be horrible for authors, but is great for students who cannot access books in their native language. Dr. Philip Parker shows us what these amazing supercomputers can do and exactly how they do it.
Pills that improve morality: Julian Savulescu at TEDxBarcelona
At the core of every human-made problem is a human being. So what if instead of fixing these problems externally, we made some internal changes? Philosopher Julian Savulescu talks about the prospect of using medication to boost our morals, so that we can effectively apply them to a world at the mercy of our flaws.
Love in a shoe box: Verna St. Rose Greaves at TEDxPortofSpain
Condemned to die, a severely premature baby perseveres with just a shoebox and the relentless care of her family. Verna St. Rose Greaves tells this story in a frank, yet delicate way, making this talk almost inexplicably compelling.
Installing values in children through play: Michael Bakas at TEDxJacksonHole
While holding a glass of wine, engineer Michael Bakas tells us, “Children are sociopaths.” In this talk at TEDxJacksonHole, we learn how Bakas instills questionable morals in children — told with more than a dash of irony and sarcasm — which makes this talk less about parenting and more of a caustic critique of society.
Escape from Camp 14 — Shin Dong-hyuk’s odyssey: Blaine Harden at TEDxRainier
This is the harrowing story of Shin Dong-hyuk’s, the only man who has ever escaped a North Korean concentration camp and made it out alive. Blaine Harden, a reporter for PBS, tells us the details of Shin’s life — the public massacre of his family, the day he learned the earth was round, and his dangerous escape.
Seeing with the ears, hands, and bionic eyes: Amir Amedi at TEDxJerusalem
Seeing happens in the mind, not in the eyes. This was the idea behind Dr. Amir Amedi’s tool for the blind, which enables people to “see” their environment with sounds. Watch this talk for a brief tutorial on how to use this new device that could change life for millions.
Says writer Matt Chase, “It’s been estimated that 51 percent of all hospitals have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care, but still nearly 90 percent of data is discarded by healthcare providers.”
Luckily, there are big thinkers all over the world on the case. Below, 4 TEDx Talks on new ideas and big data in healthcare:
The surprising seeds of a big-data revolution in healthcare: Joel Selanikio at TEDxAustin
While big data is revolutionizing modern business, the global public health industry is lagging. From using text messages to track birth rates in Sierra Leone to monitoring vaccination needs across the world, Joel Selanikio explains how collecting medical data in new ways is key to making healthcare more efficient.
Open-source cancer research: Jay Bradner at TEDxBoston
How does cancer know it’s cancer? At Jay Bradner’s lab, they found a molecule that might hold the answer, JQ1 — and instead of patenting it — they published their findings and mailed samples to 40 other labs to work on, encouraging data-sharing in medical research.
Using data to make medical decisions: Dr. Piroska Bisits Bullen at TEDxPhnomPenh
At TEDxPhnomPehm, Dr. Piroska Bisits Bullen proposes that just a simple bit of research and consideration of the masses of data collected on populations over the years can help governmental and health care professionals make better decisions.
Rethinking healthcare: Jay Parkinson at TEDxMidAtlantic
In 2007, physician Jay Parkinson moved to New York to start his practice. But unlike most doctors, Parkinson didn’t need to find a building or a staff — he opened shop online, asking patients to schedule appointments via Google calendar, and making house calls from appointment alerts sent to his iPhone. At TEDxMidAtlantic, he discusses how a bit of creativity, the Internet and the willingness to take risks can help solve big problems in healthcare.