Researcher Kwabena Boahen is looking for ways to mimic the brain's supercomputing powers in silicon -- because the messy, redundant processes inside our heads actually make for a small, light, superfast computer.
Educator Roy Gould and researcher Curtis Wong show a sneak preview of Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope, which compiles images from telescopes and satellites to build a comprehensive, interactive view of our universe.
Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase's investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. He's made some unexpected discoveries along the way.
Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.
Real narratives are complicated: Africa isn't a country, and it's not a disaster zone, says reporter and researcher Leslie Dodson. She calls for journalists, researchers and NGOs to stop representing entire continents as one big tragedy.
In this perspective-shifting talk, energy researcher Rose M. Mutiso makes the case for prioritizing Africa's needs with what's left of the world's carbon budget, to foster growth and equitably achieve a smaller global carbon footprint.
How do fast-paced video games affect the brain? Step into the lab with cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier to hear surprising news about how video games, even action-packed shooter games, can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.
Legendary ocean researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean -- and shocking stats about its rapid decline -- as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.
Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation -- so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.
Fraud researcher and documentary filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope shares lessons from some of the most high-profile whistle-blowers of the past, explaining how they've shared information that has shaped society -- and why they need our trust and protection.
Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.
In the last century, our sleep patterns have been heavily influenced by artificial light sources. (Think about your smartphone.) In this instructive talk, sleep researcher Dragana Rogulja outlines the damage this does to our health and suggests some ways to combat the problem.
Everyone experiences loss, but how do you cope with the tough moments that follow? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone shares three hard-won strategies for developing the capacity to brave adversity, overcome struggle and face whatever may come head-on with fortitude and grace.
What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.
For decades, researcher Mina Bissell pursued a revolutionary idea -- that a cancer cell doesn't automatically become a tumor, but rather, depends on surrounding cells (its microenvironment) for cues on how to develop. She shares the two key experiments that proved the prevailing wisdom about cancer growth was wrong.
Why do some people do selfless things, helping other people even at risk to their own well-being? Psychology researcher Abigail Marsh studies the motivations of people who do extremely altruistic acts, like donating a kidney to a complete stranger. Are their brains just different?
As the world's population increases, food production must match growing need. How do we achieve this with a fixed — and, in some regions, dwindling — amount of tillable land? Researcher Ranveer Chandra explains how data could be the answer, helping farmers everywhere maximize production while minimizing costs and resource drain.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world die of malaria. Aided by a demo from Freya the malaria-sniffing dog, infectious disease researcher James Logan describes the role of scent in the spread of malaria and explains how dogs can help break that cycle.
Looking to get ahead in your career? Start by being respectful to your coworkers, says leadership researcher Christine Porath. In this science-backed talk, she shares surprising insights about the costs of rudeness and shows how little acts of respect can boost your professional success -- and your company's bottom line.
What is killing the Tasmanian devil? A virulent cancer is infecting them by the thousands -- and unlike most cancers, it's contagious. Researcher Elizabeth Murchison tells us how she's fighting to save the Taz, and what she's learning about all cancers from this unusual strain. Contains disturbing images of facial cancer.
Chris Domas is a cybersecurity researcher, operating on what's become a new front of war, "cyber." In this engaging talk, he shows how researchers use pattern recognition and reverse engineering (and pull a few all-nighters) to understand a chunk of binary code whose purpose and contents they don't know.
Around the world, indigenous food cultures disappear because of industrialized agriculture and a shifting, often Western-influenced concept of the ideal diet. Journalist and food researcher Aparna Pallavi makes an urgent case for preserving these cultures and shedding the stigma-laden attitudes that are driving them into extinction.
Democracy needs an update -- one that respects and engages citizens by involving them in everyday political decisions, says writer and researcher Max Rashbrooke. He outlines three global success stories that could help move democratic systems forward and protect society against the new challenges this century is already bringing.
Media and advertising companies still use the same old demographics to understand audiences, but they're becoming increasingly harder to track online, says media researcher Johanna Blakley. As social media outgrows traditional media, and women users outnumber men, Blakley explains what changes are in store for the future of media.