TED Conversations

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A new policy of censorship on TEDx, what happened to open conversations?

Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock's talks were both censored after radical atheist Jerry Coyne started a campaign to have these talks removed. Does TED really believe the public needs to be protected from new ideas? Are we not smart enough to make up our own minds?

BTW, TED's claim that the talks remain (in a secret and difficult to access corner of the web) online, so that doesn't "count" as censorship is completely disengenious. Why not have open debates bewteen Sheldrake and Coyne? Shouldn't the discussion be opened up rather than closed down?


Closing Statement from sandy stone

I think the strongest points have been made by the many, many internet bloggers who have spoken out against TED on the issue of censorship. I wish TED would have allowed me to continue posting the links, but they are shutting down this conversation early. Thankfully, the conversation continues elsewhere.

I have to say it surprising how little the TED faithful have to say in defense of TED. Even I don't think TED is all bad. I've enjoyed many of the videos posted over the years. I would suggest that anyone who likes a particular video should download it in case it does get censored at some point.

I'll give the final word to the many bloggers out there who refuse to be silenced:


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  • Mar 15 2013: As a long-term professional scientist, I agree with you, Sandy. Personally I do not agree with everything that Sheldrake and Hancock say, but to censor free speech like this is no different from having an "Index of Prohibited Books"', or like they censor the Dalai Lama in China (his book "Freedom in Exile" is prohibited there). If someone disagrees factually with what those speakers says, then the factual disagreements can be cited or discussed on any page which provides their talks.
    The current editors of TED have no idea what it means to do real science, or to be open-minded, and I will not associate with that organization any further, until substantial changes are made to reverse this poor decision, and how it could be made in general. Dr. Horace R. Drew, Caltech Ph.D. 1976-81, MRC LMB 1982-87, CSIRO Australia 1987-2010. Either you believe in free speech, and free science, or you don't. If there is a factual disagreement, then you air and discuss those disagreements, you do not cover them up.
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      Mar 15 2013: An open discussion between Sheldrake and Coyne would have been a much better solution to this, but Coyne probably doesn't want to go up against someone so likely to make him look foolish.

      Thanks for your comment. I opened up this discussion out of the hope that TED will reconsider it's policy. If it doesn't, I won't be back again either. What TED has done is pretty disgusting.

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