The 10 Best Talks from TED 2010

Posted by Patrick James

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Every year, the technology, entertainment, and design worlds' most inspired movers and shakers convene in Long Beach, California, for a week of forward thinking revelry. TED 2010, which ran from February 9 to 13, and which a few GOOD team members attended, was no exception. After taking some time to reflect on the event, we've compiled our 10 favorite talks from TED 2010.

1. Mark Roth, biochemist and cell biologist, on suspended animation
In maybe the most jaw-dropping talk of the entire event, Roth explained "reversible metabolic hibernation," wherein we could put animals into states of suspended animation-and bring them back, safely.

2. Sam Harris, neuroscientist and philosopher, on fact-based morality
Harris argues that questioning religious faith might be the only way to save the human race; his Reason Project attempts to erode "the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world."

3. Dan Barber, chef, on food
Barber's work to transform the way we interact with food, and to tell the stories of why we eat what we do, has made him an indelible force in the world of eating.

4. Christopher Poole, founder of 4Chan, on anonymity and censorship
Poole, also known as "moot," has built what's arguably the most bizarrely influential community on the internet.

5. Jane McGonigal, game designer, on how reality ought to be more like video games
The idea that video games could improve the world might seem far fetched, but McGonigal wants to make that a reality.

6. Seth Berkeley, vaccine researcher, on HIV vaccination
As Berkeley races to find a vaccine for HIV, he wants to ensure that meds make their way to the places they're needed most: throughout the developing world.

7. Nathan Myhrvold, polymath, on shooting mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers
The former Microsoft employee has been a barbecue champion, a wildlife photographer, a chef, a contributor to SETI, and a volcano explorer, and now he's invented a mosquito death ray, which could be the x-factor in the effort to solve the global malaria crisis.

8. William Li, cancer researcher, on how what we eat can save us from cancer
Could your diet keep you from getting cancer hard? Li shows just how how easy to swallow that idea might be; here's his list of antiangiogenic foods.

9. Nicholas Christakis, physician and sociologist, on how social networks affect our health and happiness
We previously profiled his research partner, James Fowler, and we're still endlessly fascinated by the way that social networks can determine whether we smoke-and how healthy or happy we'll be.

10. Cheryl Hayashi, spider silk scientist, on the tremendous strength of spider silk
Hayashi sees in spider silk the potential to supplant armor and protect soldiers on the battle field-this is biomimicry at its best.

Note: Videos of the talks are on a delayed roll-out; you can view the recently released talks here.