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 ...
Surgeons are taught from textbooks which conveniently color-code the types of tissues, but that's not what it looks like in real life -- until now. At TEDMED Quyen Nguyen demonstrates how a molecular marker can make tumors light up in neon green, showing surgeons exactly where to cut.
International aid groups make the same mistakes over and over again. David Damberger analyzes his own engineering failure in India -- and calls for his friends in the development sector to publicly admit, scrutinize and learn from their missteps.
What is a mistake? By talking through examples with his improvisational jazz quartet, Stefon Harris walks us to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately.
Imagine having a surgery with no knives involved. At TEDMED, Yoav Medan shares a technique that uses MRI to find trouble spots and focused ultrasound to treat such issues as brain lesions, uterine fibroids and several kinds of cancerous growths.
Cheryl Hayashi studies spider silk, one of nature's most high-performance materials. Each species of spider can make up to 7 very different kinds of silk. How do they do it? Hayashi explains at the DNA level -- then shows us how this super-strong, super-flexible material can inspire.
After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the web quickly and accurately -- all for free.
People-powered resistance: can it work? Srdja Popovic led the nonviolent movement that took down Milosevic in Serbia in 2000; he lays out the plans, skills and tools that a people-powered movement needs -- from nonviolent tactics to a sense of humor.
Spoken-word poet Sarah Kay was stunned to find she couldn't be a princess, ballerina and astronaut all in one lifetime. In this talk, she delivers two powerful poems that show us how we can live other lives.
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.
Charles Limb performs cochlear implantation, a surgery that treats hearing loss and can restore the ability to hear speech. But as a musician too, Limb thinks about what the implants lack: They don't let you fully experience music yet. (There's a hair-raising example.) At TEDMED, Limb reviews the state of the art and the way forward.
Instead of a boring slide deck at your next presentation, how about bringing in a troupe of dancers? That's science writer John Bohannon's "modest proposal" in this spellbinding choreographed talk. He makes his case by example, in collaboration with dancers from Black Label Movement.
Pop quiz: When does learning begin? Answer: Before we are born. Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb -- from the lilt of our native language to our soon-to-be-favorite foods.