Friday, March 25, 2016

Thoughts on My TEDx Talk

Tonight I'll deliver a TEDx talk at the University of Florida.  I've never taken part in this forum, and in fact I've been critical of the crackpot topics that TEDx accepts.  Like this one.  And this one. 

However, I see my contribution to a durable time capsule.  I see this effort as a chance to push back against the credulous information that haunts the internet.  It is a chance to speak about science and truth, evidence and reason.  It is a time to put information out there that appeals to the many people that are simply concerned about genetic engineering.  

I'm grateful for this platform, to help people understand the technology that they don't like, even though it could do wonderful things for issues we all care about.  

The public has been misinformed.  They have been lied to.  They need to understand the science and stop listening to activists with foul messages.  That's why I'm so excited.  

And somewhere 5, 10, 20 years from now we'll look back and say, "Wow, that is where we were in the dark ages."

I hope it is five. 

You can watch the event live here. 

But this talk is also for science communicators. I want to do a presentation that shows those at the public interface how to stop preaching to the choir and start talking to people. It comes from what I've learned from talking to Tamar Haspel.  She is critical of other efforts to communicate in this space because speakers tend to alienate the very audiences they wish to influence. 

This is my sincere attempt to help people think about the cool things we can do with the tools science gives us.  

I have not felt more certain about something for a long time.  I think I finally understand.