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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 23 2013: TED should apologize publicly for what they did period.
    • Comment deleted

      • Mar 23 2013: I'm tiring of you spamming this discussion, 'Lime Crime', with your baseless accusations and unsupported claims. Once you provide evidence I might read what you have to say. But so far you have contributed very little to this discussion, and are a disgrace to the "skeptical" community you represent.
      • Mar 24 2013: @Lime - IMHO - your last sentence here is untrue. YOU're still here ;-)
      • Mar 24 2013: No they didnt....The people at TED are trying to hold on to the old way of thinking, the old paradigm that dosent work anymore....You are afraid of the unknown, just like some of these TED organizers. Grahams talk, got "to real" for the conservative folks there..... You and the rest of them, are nothing more than stubborn scientist, with holding information from people....Its sad that you think that way.

        Its interesting to note, that out of all the TED talks I seen, this one was the only one to touch apon psychedelics and there uses in history... And they ruined there slogan, of "ideas worth spreading" because TED is now behaving like some sort of thought police........

        You sir should research, Terence Mckenna, Graham Hancock, shamanism, the sacred mushroom and the cross- John marco Alegro, etc.... Then come tell me these amazing people are quacks.

      • Mar 24 2013: you sound like a very angry person, Lime. If you could at the very least support your argumentation, perhaps it will useful, i say perhaps, because from what you're expressing, i doubt you can. please prove me wrong.

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