What makes you, you? Is it how you think of yourself, how others think of you, or something else entirely? Philosopher Julian Baggini draws from philosophy and neuroscience to give a surprising answer.
Scott Rickard set out to engineer the ugliest possible piece of music, devoid of repetition, using a mathematical concept known as the Costas Array. In this surprisingly entertaining talk, he shares the math behind musical beauty ... and its opposite.
We all want customized experiences and products -- but when faced with 700 options, consumers freeze up. With fascinating new research, Sheena Iyengar demonstrates how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.
What does a bill like PIPA/SOPA mean to our shareable world? At the TED offices, Clay Shirky delivers a proper manifesto -- a call to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share, rather than passively consume.
Cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen talks us through three types of online attack on our privacy and data -- and only two are considered crimes. "Do we blindly trust any future government? Because any right we give away, we give away for good."
What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a "religion for atheists" -- call it Atheism 2.0 -- that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence.
After a crisis, how can we tell if water is safe to drink? Current tests are slow and complex, and the delay can be deadly, as in the cholera outbreak after Haiti's earthquake in 2010. TED Fellow Sonaar Luthra previews his design for a simple tool that quickly tests water for safety -- the Water Canary.
There are millions of prodigiously gifted musicians of disability around the world, and Charles Hazlewood is determined to give them a platform. Watch the debut performance of the British Paraorchestra.
We have no ways to directly observe molecules and what they do -- but Drew Berry wants to change that. He demos his scientifically accurate (and entertaining!) animations that help researchers see unseeable processes within our own cells.
In politics, it seems counterintuitive to engage in dialogue with violent groups, with radicals and terrorists, and with the states that support them. But Jonas Gahr Støre, the foreign minister of Norway, makes a compelling case for open discussion, even when our values diverge.
In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair. Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah describe their extraordinary projects -- and their route to a passion for science.
Like all of us, economist Tyler Cowen loves a good story. But in this intriguing talk, he asks us to step away from thinking of our lives -- and our messy, complicated irrational world -- in terms of a simple narrative.
For a full year, AJ Jacobs followed every piece of health advice he could -- from applying sunscreen by the shot glass to wearing a bicycle helmet while shopping. Onstage at TEDMED, he shares the surprising things he learned.
Alberto Cairo's clinics in Afghanistan used to close down during active fighting. Now, they stay open. In this powerful talk, Cairo tells the moving story of why -- and how he found humanity and dignity in the midst of war.
Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.
Every morning we wake up and regain consciousness -- that is a marvelous fact -- but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self.
Sad but true: Many of the cures and vaccines our world desperately needs -- for illnesses millions of people have -- just aren't being produced or developed, because there's no financial incentive. Thomas Pogge proposes a $6 billion plan to revolutionize the way medications are developed and sold.
When Ramona Pierson was 22, she was hit by a drunk driver and spent 18 months in a coma. In this talk, she tells the remarkable story of her recovery -- drawing on the collective skills and wisdom of a senior citizens' home.
Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche come from Moto, a Chicago restaurant that plays with new ways to cook and eat food. But beyond the fun and flavor-tripping, there's a serious intent: Can we use new food technology for good?
Every day, we use materials from the earth without thinking, for free. But what if we had to pay for their true value: would it make us more careful about what we use and what we waste? Think of Pavan Sukhdev as nature's banker -- assessing the value of the Earth's assets. Eye-opening charts will make you think differently about the cost of air, water, trees ...