Humorist, writer and trickster Emily Levine riffs on science and the human condition.

Why you should listen

Humorist Emily Levine works a heady vein of humor, cerebral and thoughtful as well as very, very amusing. Oh, she's got plenty of jokes. But her work, at its core, makes serious connections -- between hard science and pop culture, between what we say and what we secretly assume ... She plumbs the hidden oppositions, the untouchable not-quite-truths of the modern mind.

Her background in improv theater, with its requirement to always say "yes" to the other actor's reality, has helped shape her worldview. Always suspicious of sharp either/or distinctions, she proposes "the quantum logic of and/and" -- a thoroughly postmodern, scientifically informed take on life that allows for complicated states of being. Like the one we're in right now.

What others say

“I love to laugh and love a good mental workout. Rarely, if ever, have I had the two together. You have the rare gift of bringing philosophy to life AND of relating it to the major and mundane in our existence. AND of doing so with a wild and wonderful sense of humor.” — Los Angeles Women's Foundation

Emily Levine’s TED talks

Emily Levine on the TED Blog

Live from TED2014

Nuclear fission reactors, Africa’s Einsteins and the healing power of nature: A recap of “Beauty and the Brain,” All-Stars Session 2 at TED2014

March 19, 2014

By Liz Jacobs and Thu-Huong Ha Our brains work in mysterious ways. They make us laugh, they make us cry, and sometimes, they make us 19-year old geniuses. The 11 speakers in this All-Stars session specialize in areas of the brain as diverse as personality, trauma and gender, but they all agree: Our minds matter. […]

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Science

The World Science Festival is next week in New York City

June 5, 2009

We are excited to report that the World Science Festival is returning for its second year next week in New York City. The five-day program of events is jam-packed with amazing sessions that explore intriguing subjects such as nothingness, the science of traffic, perception of the human face, the neural basis for our enjoyment of […]

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The week in comments

April 11, 2009

We love your comments here at TED, and often what our community has to say is as interesting as the talk or post itself. The clever quips, the personal revelations and the hot debates don’t go unnoticed — we read every one. A few of our favorite comments this week: On our home page makeover: […]

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Quotes from Emily Levine

I thought narcissism meant you loved yourself. Then someone told me there is a flip side to it, it’s actually drearier than self-love: It’s unrequited self-love.
Emily Levine
TED2002 • 1.1M views Apr 2009
Funny, Ingenious
So you’re six years old, you’re reading ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,’ and it becomes rapidly obvious that there are only two kinds of men in the world: dwarves and Prince Charmings. And the odds are seven to one against your finding the prince.
Emily Levine
TED2002 • 1.1M views Apr 2009
Funny, Ingenious