playlist

A love letter to science

Dear science, where would we be without you? Enjoy these enthralling talks dedicated to the fun, funky and fascinating scientific world.

  1. 15:34
    Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz Your body was forged in the spectacular death of stars

    We are all connected by the spectacular birth, death and rebirth of stars, says astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz. Journey through the cosmic history of the universe as Ramirez-Ruiz explains how supernovas forged the elements of life to create everything from the air you breathe to the very atoms that make you.

  2. 13:55
    Kirsty Duncan Scientists must be free to learn, to speak and to challenge

    "You do not mess with something so fundamental, so precious, as science," says Kirsty Duncan, Canada's first Minister of Science. In a heartfelt, inspiring talk about pushing boundaries, she makes the case that researchers must be free to present uncomfortable truths and challenge the thinking of the day — and that we all have a duty to speak up when we see science being stifled or suppressed.

  3. 15:54
    James Beacham How we explore unanswered questions in physics

    James Beacham looks for answers to the most important open questions of physics using the biggest science experiment ever mounted, CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In this fun and accessible talk about how science happens, Beacham takes us on a journey through extra-spatial dimensions in search of undiscovered fundamental particles (and an explanation for the mysteries of gravity) and details the drive to keep exploring.

  4. 19:14
    Naomi Oreskes Why we should trust scientists

    Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists — but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitudes toward scientific inquiry — and gives her own reasoning for why we ought to trust science.

  5. 12:21
    J. Marshall Shepherd 3 kinds of bias that shape your worldview

    What shapes our perceptions (and misperceptions) about science? In an eye-opening talk, meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd explains how confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect and cognitive dissonance impact what we think we know — and shares ideas for how we can replace them with something much more powerful: knowledge.

  6. 16:38
    David Deutsch A new way to explain explanation

    For tens of thousands of years our ancestors understood the world through myths, and the pace of change was glacial. The rise of scientific understanding transformed the world within a few centuries. Why? Physicist David Deutsch proposes a subtle answer.

  7. 4:19
    Jedidah Isler How I fell in love with quasars, blazars and our incredible universe

    Jedidah Isler first fell in love with the night sky as a little girl. Now she's an astrophysicist who studies supermassive hyperactive black holes. In a charming talk, she takes us trillions of kilometers from Earth to introduce us to objects that can be 1 to 10 billion times the mass of the sun — and which shoot powerful jet streams of particles in our direction.

  8. 14:56
    E.O. Wilson Advice to a young scientist

    "The world needs you, badly," says legendary biologist E.O. Wilson in his letter to a young scientist. He gives advice collected from a lifetime of experience — and reminds us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life.

  9. 12:07
    Menno Schilthuizen How animals and plants are evolving in cities

    In cities, evolution occurs constantly, as countless plants, animals and insects adapt to human-made habitats in spectacular ways. Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen calls on peculiar beings such as fast food-loving mice and self-cooling snails to illustrate the ever-transforming wonders of urban wildlife — and explains how you can observe this phenomenon in real-time, thanks to a global network of enthusiastic citizen scientists.

  10. 10:58
    Christina Agapakis What happens when biology becomes technology?

    "We've been promised a future of chrome — but what if the future is fleshy?" asks biological designer Christina Agapakis. In this awe-inspiring talk, Agapakis details her work in synthetic biology — a multidisciplinary area of research that pokes holes in the line between what's natural and artificial — and shares how breaking down the boundaries between science, society, nature and technology can lead us to imagine different possible futures.

  11. 11:18
    Nadya Mason How to spark your curiosity, scientifically

    Curious how stuff works? Do a hands-on experiment at home, says physicist Nadya Mason. She shows how you can demystify the world around you by tapping into your scientific curiosity — and performs a few onstage experiments of her own using magnets, dollar bills, dry ice and more.

  12. 13:36
    Cathy Mulzer The incredible chemistry powering your smartphone

    Ever wondered how your smartphone works? Take a journey down to the atomic level with scientist Cathy Mulzer, who reveals how almost every component of our high-powered devices exists thanks to chemists — and not the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that come to most people's minds. As she puts it: "Chemistry is the hero of electronic communications."

  13. 6:05
    Janet Iwasa The wonders of the molecular world, animated

    Some biological structures are so small that scientists can't see them with even the most powerful microscopes. That's where molecular animator and TED Fellow Janet Iwasa gets creative. Explore vast, unseen molecular worlds as she shares mesmerizing animations that imagine how they might work.

  14. 11:07
    Amanda Schochet How bumble bees inspired a network of tiny museums

    Sometimes, small things make a huge impact. After studying how bees in urban environments can survive by navigating small land patches, ecologist Amanda Schochet was inspired to build MICRO, a network of portable science museums the size of vending machines. Learn how these tiny museums are being deployed in libraries, community centers, transit hubs and elsewhere to increase public access to science.

  15. 6:16
    Cady Coleman What it's like to live on the International Space Station

    In this quick, fun talk, astronaut Cady Coleman welcomes us aboard the International Space Station, where she spent nearly six months doing experiments that expanded the frontiers of science. Hear what it's like to fly to work, sleep without gravity and live life hurtling at 17,500 miles per hour around the Earth. "The space station is the place where mission and magic come together," Coleman says.