More than 1000 people attended the live event at CERN on 24 September with many more watching remotely. With the videos now online, the TEDxCERN team hopes to encourage people to think about how science could help to solve global problems in the future.
“The compilation of talks and performances are thought-provoking and paints a beautiful landscape of what our future could be with science. We’d like to challenge everyone to continue the discussion,” says Claudia Marcelloni, who curated the TEDxCERN event and led the event team.
This was CERN's second TEDx event. The theme ‘Forward: Charting the future with science’, gave researchers, performers and philosophers a platform to talk about such topics as how science could help make better policies, create materials that are superlight and superstrong, exploit the anomalies of water to create a new drinking water source, save rainforests with recycled technology, carry out ECG remotely with touchscreen tablets, and more.
“The future depends on science, and if we are going to make the right decisions, both at the personal level and at a global level, we need to be able to think rationally about science,” says James Gillies, CERN’s head of communications and the head of the speakers selection committee for TEDxCERN. “For a big public-facing organization like CERN, I think it is almost a moral obligation for us to do events like TEDxCERN and get the word out about other areas of research.”
The event’s programme was grouped into three sessions – Adapt, Change, and Create – in which talks focussed on reacting to what’s here and now, developing new paradigms, and finally creating simple, ingenious solutions for complex problems.
“TEDxCERN, like many other TEDx events around the world, is a key part of the TED community, fostering idea-sharing and conversations and, with its specificity, highlighting important scientific and cultural themes. Both TED and CERN are global organizations focusing on exploring knowledge and rationally pursuing the answers to essential questions. TEDxCERN makes that link tangible,” says Bruno Giussani, European director of TED.