In a recent TEDx talk in La Jolla, UCSD professor Benjamin Bratton criticized the popular, worldwide forum’s integrity, garnering the attention of publications such as Slate, Gawker, and Huffington Post.
Bratton asserts that TEDx has devolved into a form of infotainment, which often receives complex problems with motivational pats on the back.
Bratton does give TEDGlobal credit for telling TEDx organizers not to book speakers whose topics can be considered new age, conspiratorial, or “placebo science.”
This move by the organization came after controversy surrounding two video talks that were removed and then reinstated on a different part of the website.
One of the talks was given by biologist Rupert Sheldrake, who dissects unchallenged dogmas of modern science.
By reinstating his video, TED unintentionally made Sheldrake and fellow consensual science critic Graham Hancock viral sensations, sparking a lengthy discussion on the organization’s website.
TED first alleged that their team of scientific advisers found errors in Sheldrake’s suppositions, and in response, Sheldrake wrote a letter validating his talking points. The organization then took back their statement, striking out the text.
Case in point, Sheldrake illuminates the fact that the speed of light, which is commonly excepted as a constant has, in reality, varied over the years. Sheldrake proposes that this dogmatic perspective of constants could be holding scientific discoveries back.
If you want to learn more you can make a pilgrimage out to Joshua Tree on September 12 through the 14, where the Synchronicity: Matter and Psyche Symposium will feature Sheldrake giving talks about the TEDx controversy as well as his latest book, Science Set Free. The symposium will also feature Hancock, as well as a host of other speakers covering topics such as Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity.