Few would have predicted that an online platform showing 20-minute educational videos would become a global phenomenon, so much so that being invited to give a TED talk has become a career highlight for many academics and public speakers.
TED began as a non-profit conference organiser, providing experts in technology, entertainment and design (hence the TED acronym) with an opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise. It has since expanded to cover every imaginable topic, highlighting potential solutions to the world’s most intractable problems and showcasing amazing innovations and ideas from technologists, scientists, academics, artists, businesspeople and the occasional celebrity. Jamie Oliver received a TED prize in 2010 for his campaign against unhealthy school food. The TED archive, which is free to access and currently contains over 3,700 talks, is an incredible source of enlightenment and inspiration.
One of the areas that has benefited most from TED is the presentation of science, with some of the world’s best speakers succeeding brilliantly in bringing science to life. TED’s 10 most-watched science talks – a “spellbinding, stimulating, seductive” selection ranging from organisms to orgasms, from space travel to the science of sleep – is a good way to dip your toes into the archive.
If you’re looking for a deeper dive into a specific topic, TED offers curated playlists to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming amount of content. Here are our favourites:
Jaw-dropping science breakthroughs
Great examples of how science is transforming our world, from a potential cure for Alzheimer’s to the development of bionic limbs.
The future of medicine
More amazing technological breakthroughs, from 3D printing a kidney to using lasers to cure HIV.
What doctors worry about
Fascinating perspectives from doctors, scientists and medical researchers on healthcare and better health practices.
Let’s redesign the medical experience!
A short selection of videos highlighting the importance of adopting a patient-centric approach to the provision of healthcare.