As we keep pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, more of it is dissolving into the oceans, leading to drastic changes in the water’s chemistry. Triona McGrath researches this process, known as ocean acidification, and in this talk she takes us for a dive into an oceanographer’s world. Learn more about how the “evil twin of climate change” is impacting the ocean — and the life that depends on it.
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Where does OK Go come up with ideas like dancing on treadmills, flying in zero gravity or constructing a warehouse-sized Rube Goldberg machine for their music videos? In between live performances of “This Too Shall Pass” and “The One Moment,” lead singer and guitarist Damian Kulash takes us inside the band’s creative process, showing us how to look for wonder and surprise.
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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 biological way to stop the virus — and other deadly diseases — by preventing infected mosquitos from multiplying.
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In a quest to make sense of the political environment in the United States in 2017, lawyer and ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero turned to a surprising place — a 14th-century fresco by Italian Renaissance master Ambrogio Lorenzetti. What could a 600-year-old painting possibly teach us about life today? Turns out, a lot. Romero explains all in a talk that’s as striking as the painting itself.
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Once homebound by epilepsy, mental health advocate Sitawa Wafula found her strength in writing about it. Now, she advocates for others who are yet to find their voices, cutting through stigma and exclusion to talk about what it’s like to live with the condition.
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“Ideas can and do change the world,” says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea’s 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked — and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.
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“When black women walk, things change,” say T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, the founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek. They’re on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among black women — and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million black women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.
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Teens don’t get enough sleep, and it’s not because of Snapchat, social lives or hormones — it’s because of public policy, says Wendy Troxel. Drawing from her experience as a sleep researcher, clinician and mother of a teenager, Troxel discusses how early school start times deprive adolescents of sleep during the time of their lives when they need it most.
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Why are we so deadlocked on climate, and what would it take to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress? Policy entrepreneur Ted Halstead proposes a transformative solution based on the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. Learn more about how this carbon dividends plan could trigger an international domino effect towards a climate solution.
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In this deeply moving talk, Lucy Kalanithi reflects on life and purpose, sharing the story of her late husband, Paul, a young neurosurgeon who turned to writing after his terminal cancer diagnosis. “Engaging in the full range of experience — living and dying, love and loss — is what we get to do,” Kalanithi says. “Being human doesn’t happen despite suffering — it happens within it.”
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