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The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk

Please use this space to comment on the debate around Rupert Sheldrake's TEDx talk, as described here:



Closing Statement from TED

Thanks to all who participated in this conversation on TED's decision to move Rupert Sheldrake's talk from YouTube to TED.com. It was scheduled as a 2-week conversation, and has now closed. But the archive will remain visible here.

We'd like to respond here to some of the questions raised in the course of the discussion.

Some asked whether this was "censorship." Now, it's pretty clear that it isn't censorship, since the talk itself is literally a click away on this very site, and easily findable on Google. But it raises an interesting question about curation. Should TED play *any* curatorial role in the content it allows its TEDx organizers to promote? We believe we should. And once you accept a role for curatorial limits, you have to accept there will be times when disputes arise.

A number of questions were raised about TED's science board: How it works and why the member list isn't public. Our science board has 5 members -- all working scientists or distinguished science journalists. When we encounter a scientific talk that raises questions, they advise us on their position. I and my team here at TED make the final decisions. We keep the names of the science board private. This is a common practice for science review boards in the academic world, which preserves the objectivity of the recommendations and also protects the participants from retribution or harassment.

Finally, let me say that TED is 100% committed to open enquiry, including challenges to orthodox thinking. But we're also firm believers in appropriate skepticism, or critical thinking. Those two instincts will sometimes conflict, as they did in this case. That's why we invited this debate. The process hasn't been perfect. But it has been undertaken in passionate pursuit of these core values.

The talk, and this conversation, will remain here, and all are invited to make their own reasoned judgement.

Thanks for listening.

Chris Anderson, TED Curator

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  • Mar 23 2013: Crisis IS Oppurtunity

    We all act unconsciously to some degree and to become more conscious of ourselves is one of the gifts of our experience.One of the most common unconscious assumptions we all carry is that a MISTAKE is a negative experience ,a sub text of our education systems unfortunately .However this is a very poor belief to carry for the re-cognition of. mistakes are superb creative moments and that moment of re-cognition should be cherished .There is an inspiring example of the enormous potential of this in the TED talk given by Allan Savory who recognised the error of his and the accepted theories and consequently has developed an elegant and beautiful world changing soloution to the desertification of our soils.It takes a little courage to admit a mistake, maybe because a mistake is a small crime in the classroom, but that courage swings open the doors to a myriad of. new possibilities.So this is where TED now finds itself, a small amount of courage is required (courage - le coeur ,the heart) not a lionheart just a little heart and an even greater soloution will be born.There seems to be something awry at TED at the moment some kind of “groupthink” issue according to Eddie Huang's experience but again the recognition of the issue is THE creation moment .

    Time to wake up..........I think you fell asleep..............We have to wake the others

    “Psuedoscience is the Brandspeak word for thoughtcrime (thoughts that are unorthodox or outside the official Brand platform) as well as the verb meaning “to commit thoughtcrime” Accepted, which is approved by the Brand , is the opposite of Psuedoscience

    .“psuedoscience does not entail death ,psuedoscience is death”


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