Dr. Irwin Redlener spends his days imagining the worst: He studies how humanity might survive natural or human-made disasters of unthinkable severity. He's been an outspoken critic of half-formed government recovery plans (especially after Katrina).

Why you should listen

After 9/11, Irwin Redlener emerged as a powerful voice in disaster medicine -- the discipline of medical care following natural and human-made catastrophes. He was a leading face of the relief effort after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and is the author of Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now. He's the associate dean, professor of Clinical Public Health and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.

His parallel passion is addressing the American disaster that happens every day: millions of kids living without proper health care. He and Paul Simon are the co-founders of the Children's Health Fund, which raises money and awareness toward health care for homeless, neglected and poor children.

Irwin Redlener’s TED talk

Irwin Redlener on the TED Blog

How to survive a nuclear attack: Dr. Irwin Redlener on TED.com

September 9, 2008

The face of nuclear terror has changed since the Cold War, but disaster-medicine expert Dr. Irwin Redlener reminds us that the threat of nuclear attack is still real. He’s passionately committed to making sure that — if the worst happens — we’ll have the tools and knowledge we need to recover. In this talk, he […]

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TED2008: Will Evil Prevail?

February 28, 2008

(Unedited running notes from the TED2008 conference in Monterey, California. Session five.) Will evil prevail? This promises to be a hard session — there will be moments that are hard to watch and listen to, looking evil right in the eye — but discussions of evil will mix with experiences of good. The best person […]

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Quotes from Irwin Redlener

Somebody once said, Al Qaeda does not have a return address, so if they attack us with a nuclear weapon, what’s the response, and to whom is the response? They’re retaliation-proof.
Irwin Redlener
TED2008 • 527K views Sep 2008
Informative, Persuasive