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The debate about Graham Hancock's talk

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



Closing Statement from TED

Thanks to all who participated in this conversation on TED's decision to move Graham Hancock'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 22 2013: Wow such a lot of energy. What are the deep deep roots of this energy and where is it drawn from.

    I welcome the comments I have had back an I am enriched by them. I wont respond to the points raised

    I don't think this is about the talks anymore. For me its about our response to broken trust. Ekhart Tolls "pain body" idea is relivent here - ie the idea that a bad think happening to me now reminds me of all the bad things that have happened in the past and my response is filtered through all those experiences.

    I have been cynical and distrusting in my earlier life and could have been easily persuade to join the ranks of the outraged and critical.

    I cant do that anymore - I trust in the goodness of stuff to work things out. And I know that my negativity will generally make thnigs worse.

    I trust TED, I respect the effort and care that has gone in to creating it. I've heard Chris Anderson talk here in Bath and got masses of powerful insights from it.
    • Mar 22 2013: I hate to break it to you, but you are in the ranks of the outraged and critical. You're outraged by Hancock and critical of his talk. That's why you had to turn it off after 5 minutes in disgust and then rush here to tell us about it/you and how bad it/we are.

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