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 hilarious. 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.

Levine's 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.

For more on Levine's thoughts about life and death, read her blog, "The Yoy of Dying," at, along with updates on "Emily @ the Edge of Chaos" and pronouncements from Oracle Em.

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

More news and ideas from Emily Levine

Live from TED2018

Insanity. Humanity. Notes from Session 8 at TED2018

April 13, 2018

The seven speakers lived up to the two words in the title of the session. Their talks showcased both our collective insanity — the algorithmically-assembled extremes of the Internet — and our humanity — the values and desires that extremists astutely tap into — along with some speakers combining the two into a glorious salad. […]

Continue reading
Live from TED

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 18, 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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading