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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 26 2013: Okay so instead of just expressing here on the debate's page our desire of a proper response from TED curators & their scientific board maybe we should contact TED directly using their contact form (by clicking on contact on the bottom of the page)? If we send them direct messages asking why they haven't yet responded to Sheldrake & Hancok rebuttal of their accusations or to any of the hundreds of comments on this page, I assume it's their responsibility to respond? Or will they choose to ignore direct messages too? Let's find out.
    • Mar 26 2013: I've had no response to my email sent over a week ago.
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        Mar 26 2013: Really eh? Yet another disappointment.
      • Mar 27 2013: I got a response linking me to the "A fresh take" page and letting me know that links could be found there to the conversations, which I am welcome to join.

        Thanks TED.
    • Mar 27 2013: Camila, thanks. Consider me an avid fan of both your writing and your intelligence. Keep up the work.
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        Mar 27 2013: Thanks Barnard! Truly appreciate it.

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