What happens when two monkeys are paid unequally? Fairness, reciprocity, empathy, cooperation -- caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.
"Secrets can take many forms -- they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful." Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret.com, shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards.
At TEDYouth 2011, performance artist Carvens Lissaint shows how to use language, metaphor and imagery to express a powerful idea -- as in this spoken-word performance, a stirring plea to make college education more accessible.
TED Fellow Lucy McRae is a body architect -- she imagines ways to merge biology and technology in our own bodies. In this visually stunning talk, she shows her work, from clothes that recreate the body's insides for a music video with pop-star Robyn, to a pill that, when swallowed, lets you sweat perfume.
A skyrocketing demand for food means that agriculture has become the largest driver of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental destruction. Jonathan Foley shows why we desperately need to begin "terraculture" -- farming for the whole planet.
Onstage at TED2012, Jack Choi demonstrates a powerful tool for training medical students: a stretcher-sized multi-touch screen of the human body that lets you explore, dissect and understand the body's parts and systems.
Chip Kidd doesn't judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book -- and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In this deeply felt (and deeply hilarious) talk, he shares the art and the philosophy behind his cover designs. (This talk is from The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication -- and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.
New videography techniques have opened up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Explore this hidden world that underpins our own food chain -- in the first-ever TEDTalk given by a fish ...
The Pirate Party fights for transparency, anonymity and sensible copyright laws. At TEDxObserver, Rick Falkvinge explains how he became the leader of Europe's tech-driven political party, which so far has won 17 seats across national parliaments in Europe.
Solar-powered LED lightbulbs could transform the lives of rural Haitians, but as Daniel Schnitzer found, they don't simply sell themselves. At TEDxPittsburgh, he shows how smart health and energy products for the developing world are useless unless the market works too.
Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity -- all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.
Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee has two powerful stories to tell -- of her own life's transformation, and of the untapped potential of girls around the world. Can we transform the world by unlocking the greatness of girls?
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects -- a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet -- that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail. (Followed by a Q&A with TED's Chris Anderson)
What's the key to using alternative energy, like solar and wind? Storage -- so we can have power on tap even when the sun's not out and the wind's not blowing. In this accessible, inspiring talk, Donald Sadoway takes to the blackboard to show us the future of large-scale batteries that store renewable energy. As he says: "We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big. We need to think cheap."
Jer Thorp creates beautiful data visualizations to put abstract data into a human context. At TEDxVancouver, he shares his moving projects, from graphing an entire year's news cycle, to mapping the way people share articles across the internet.
We can't control if we'll die, but we can "occupy death," in the words of Peter Saul, an emergency doctor. He asks us to think about the end of our lives -- and to question the modern model of slow, intubated death in hospital. Two big questions can help you start this tough conversation.
Combining dry wit with artistic depth, Billy Collins shares a project in which several of his poems were turned into delightful animated films in a collaboration with Sundance Channel. Five of them are included in this wonderfully entertaining and moving talk -- and don't miss the hilarious final poem!
Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents' garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.
Surprising, but true: More women now die of heart disease than men, yet cardiovascular research has long focused on men. Pioneering doctor C. Noel Bairey Merz shares what we know and don't know about women's heart health -- including the remarkably different symptoms women present during a heart attack (and why they're often missed).
The US consumes 25% of the world's oil -- but as energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens points out onstage, the country has no energy policy to prepare for the inevitable. Is alternative energy our bridge to an oil-free future? After losing $150 million investing in wind energy, Pickens suggests it isn't, not yet. What might get us there? Natural gas. After the talk, watch for a lively Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson.
Architecture can bring people together, or divide them -- witness the skyscraper, costly, inefficient, and only serving small portions of the community. At TEDxPortofSpain, Mark Raymond encourages city governments to let go of their old notions of success and consider the balance of environment, economy, and society to design cities for social change.
Prosthetics can't replicate the look and feel of lost limbs but they can carry a lot of personality. Designer Scott Summit shows 3D-printed, individually designed prosthetic legs that are unabashedly artificial and completely personal -- from macho to fabulous.
Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt asks a simple, but difficult question: why do we search for self-transcendence? Why do we attempt to lose ourselves? In a tour through the science of evolution by group selection, he proposes a provocative answer.
Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.
In the deepest, darkest parts of the oceans are ecosystems with more diversity than a tropical rainforest. Taking us on a voyage into the ocean -- from the deepest trenches to the remains of Titanic -- marine biologist David Gallo explores the wonder and beauty of marine life.
TED curator Chris Anderson shares his obsession with questions that no one (yet) knows the answers to. A short intro leads into two questions: Why can't we see evidence of alien life? And how many universes are there?