6 public health TED talks from this year

Everyone knows TED.


TED is in our pockets, on our desks, follows us on our commutes, and sometimes even to work. That’s because TED is short, TED is inspiring, and most of all TED gets us thinking!

If you haven’t already guessed it, the TED we are talking about isn’t the guy in that corner cubicle, but those amazing short videos called TED TALKS.

“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.”

Here are 6 public health TED talks posted this year. We hope you get inspired watching these!

A secret weapon against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases
Nina Fedoroff at TEDxMidAtlantic

“Where did Zika come from, and what can we do about it? Molecular biologist Nina Fedoroff takes us around the world to understand Zika’s origins and how it spread, proposing a controversial way to stop the virus — and other deadly diseases — by preventing infected mosquitoes from multiplying.”

In praise of conflict
Jonathan Marks at TEDxPSU

“Conflict is bad; compromise, consensus and collaboration are good — or so we’re told. Lawyer and bioethicist Jonathan Marks challenges this conventional wisdom, showing how governments can jeopardize public health, human rights and the environment when they partner with industry. An important, timely reminder that common good and common ground are not the same thing.”

How racism makes us sick
David R. Williams at TEDMED

“Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system — and offers hopeful examples of programs across the US that are working to dismantle discrimination.”

Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one
Michael Botticelli at TEDxMidAtlantic

“Only one in nine people in the United States gets the care and treatment they need for addiction and substance abuse. A former Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli is working to end this epidemic and treat people with addictions with kindness, compassion and fairness. In a personal, thoughtful talk, he encourages the millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard and confront the stigma associated with substance use disorders.”

Why civilians suffer more once a war is over
Margaret Bourdeaux at TEDxBeaconStreet

“In a war, it turns out that violence isn’t the biggest killer of civilians. What is? Illness, hunger, poverty — because war destroys the institutions that keep society running, like utilities, banks, food systems and hospitals. Physician Margaret Bourdeaux proposes a bold approach to post-conflict recovery, setting priorities on what to fix first.”

A young scientist’s quest for clean water
Deepika Kurup at TEDWomen

“Deepika Kurup has been determined to solve the global water crisis since she was 14 years old, after she saw kids outside her grandparents’ house in India drinking water that looked too dirty even to touch. Her research began in her family kitchen — and eventually led to a major science prize. Hear how this teenage scientist developed a cost-effective, eco-friendly way to purify water.”

Hope you enjoy(ed) these talks. Which one(s) did you enjoy? Have you watched any other public health TED talks that’s worth sharing with the PH SPOT community? Let us know at hello@phspot.ca!


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