Friday, December 26, 2008

TED 2009

As most of my regular readers will know, I'm a huge fan of the yearly TED conference so it should come as no surprise that I was unreasonably excited about the release of the TED 2009 speaker schedule (also have a look at the program guide). The theme for this coming year's conference is "The Great Unveiling" (whatever that's supposed to mean) and there are some awesome speakers scheduled: Bill Gates (you know, the Microsoft guy), Tim Berners-Lee (a key figure in the rise of the web), Jill Tarter (the SETI astronomer), Mary Roach (author of Bonk and other cool sciency books), Dan Ariely (the noted behavioral economist and Ig Nobel Laurette) and Alex Tabarrok (the economist and Marginal Revolution co-author).

I can hardly wait. Srsly.

(Via the TED Blog)


  1. The speakers list sounds very interesting, especially the emergence of new fields of study combining the knowledge of other existing fields, like "Neurological Anthropology", "Behavioural Economics" and even "Virus Hunter". Very exciting.

  2. What I find entertaining is how Dan Ariely manages to get everywhere with his research, it's cool and fun and interesting but somehow he's become a poster boy for Behavioral Economics. Quite strange. Cool, but strange.

    (Aside: what annoys me, having watched videos of him speak and having read his book is that I haven't seen him do anything 'new' in a while (for pop appearances), I really hope he pulls it out for TED.)

  3. James - yeah, that's one of the reasons I love TED so much: it introduces me to amazing new fields. Though, frankly, I'm not so sure about the 'neurological anthro' tag...

    Simon - it's amazing how path dependent becoming the poster-child or spokesperson for some field is. I suspect it's mostly arbitrary. And, I find that it unfortunately often happens that someone becomes suddenly famous, and they stop doing new stuff. It's a rather odd transition from scientist / researcher ot public intellectual. Dawkins is a nice example of this...