Ninety-nine percent of cancer drugs never make it to tumors, getting washed out of the body before they have time to do their job. How can we better deliver life-saving drugs? Cancer researcher Joy Wolfram shares cutting-edge medical research into nanoparticles — tiny particles that could be used to deliver drugs accurately to tumors — and explains how they could keep drugs in the body longer to attack malignant cells.
Over the course of dozens of scuba diving trips, marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson fell in love — with a fish. In this ode to parrotfish, she shares five reasons why these creatures are simply amazing (from their ability to poop white sand to make colorful “wardrobe changes”) and shows why they need our protection from the destruction of coral reefs.
We need a radically new approach to ocean conservation, says marine biologist Alasdair Harris. In a visionary talk, he lays out a surprising solution to the problem of overfishing that could both revive marine life and rebuild local fisheries — all by taking less from the ocean. “When we design it right, marine conservation reaps dividends that go far beyond protecting nature,” he says.
During the winter of 2018-2019, one million tons of salt were applied to icy roads in the state of Pennsylvania alone. The salt from industrial uses like this often ends up in freshwater rivers, making their water undrinkable and contributing to a growing global crisis. How can we better protect these precious natural resources? Physical organic chemist Tina Arrowood shares a three-step plan to keep salt out of rivers — and create a circular salt economy that turns industrial byproducts into valuable resources.
How does psychological trauma affect children’s developing brains? In this powerful talk, social worker Luis H. Zayas discusses his work with refugees and asylum-seeking families at the US-Mexico border. What emerges is a stunning analysis of the long-term impact of the US’s controversial detention and child separation policies — and practical steps for how the country can do better.
Over his eight-year prison sentence, Marcus Bullock was sustained by his mother’s love — and by the daily letters and photos she sent of life on the outside. Years later, as an entrepreneur, Bullock asked himself: How can I make it easier for all families to stay connected during incarceration? Enter FlikShop: an app he developed that lets families send quick postcards to loved ones in prison and help keep open a critical line of support.
Social entrepreneur Julie Cordua works on a problem that isn’t easy to talk about: the sexual abuse of children in images and videos on the internet. At Thorn, she’s building technology to connect the dots between the tech industry, law enforcement and government — so we can swiftly end the viral distribution of abuse material and rescue children faster. Learn more about how this scalable solution could help dismantle the communities normalizing child sexual abuse around the world today. (This ambitious plan is part of the Audacious Project, TED’s initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
Theoretical physicist David Deutsch delivers a mind-bending meditation on the “great monotony” — the idea that nothing novel has appeared in the universe for billions of years — and shows how humanity’s capacity to create explanatory knowledge could be the thing that bucks this trend. “Humans are not playthings of cosmic forces,” he says. “We are users of cosmic forces.”
“Dance can elevate our human experience beyond words,” says Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In between performances of excerpts from Alvin Ailey’s classic works “Revelations” and “Cry,” Jamison reflects on the enduring power of dance to transform history into art that thrills audiences around the world. (Performances by Solomon Dumas, Samantha Figgins and Constance Stamatiou)