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Science Speakers

Lavin’s science speakers illuminate our understanding of the world—without their groundbreaking work, our view of the planet, and of ourselves, is diminished. These speakers connect their discoveries to our everyday lives.

 
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Margot Lee Shetterly

Author of Hidden Figures: the #1 New York Times bestseller, and inspiration for the #1 movie.

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures—a #1 NYT bestseller and inspiration for the #1 movie in America—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.
Alan Lightman

Theoretical Physicist and Novelist

Both a theoretical physicist and a novelist, Alan Lightman bridges the gap between the worlds of art, the humanities, and science, and is an internationally recognized thinker on the meaning of science for understanding ourselves. 
 
David Eagleman

One of the World's Most Foremost Neuroscientists

How can we harness the brain for maximum creativity—at work, and school? In The Runaway Species, David Eagleman—“the hottest thing in neuroscience” (The Times)—reveals how any organization can adopt a...

Jared Diamond

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse

Jared Diamond is a celebrated scientist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and a dauntless explorer of the world. Likewise, his keynotes take audiences on a journey through some of the most profound ev...

Laurie Garrett

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Speaker on Ebola, Zika, Global Health, and Prevention

Laurie Garrett is one of America’s most trusted speakers on global public health, infectious disease, and, recently, the Ebola crisis and the emerging Zika virus. The only person to win the three P’s ...

Edward O. Wilson

One of the World’s Most Distinguished Biologists

E.O. Wilson has made a tremendous contribution to our understanding of biodiversity, while his insights on social and group behavior have changed our perception of ourselves. The stirring keynotes fro...

David Kong

Director of MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative

At the MIT Media Lab, David Kong is a passionate, brilliant exponent of biotechnology: the next major scientific innovation to transform life as we know it. But to start the revolution—and for human c...

Scott Barry Kaufman

Professor of Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania

Scott Barry Kaufman is a groundbreaking psychologist expanding our definitions of creativity, human flourishing, and intelligence: “a force of nature,” says Angela Duckworth (Grit). “He’s the epitome ...

Jordan Ellenberg

Author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

How early should you get to the airport? Why do tall parents have shorter children? What’s the best way to get rich playing the lottery? In his “refreshingly lucid” (The New York Times) bestseller How...

Jessica Green

TED Senior Fellow | Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder of Phylagen

How can we create sustainable cities and healthier buildings—including classrooms, hospitals, offices, and homes—by studying microbes? TED Senior Fellow Jessica Green explains how in visually rich tal...

Dr. Jennifer Gardy

Guest Host of The Nature of Things

Dr. Jennifer Gardy is the charismatic champion of science that we need today. Called “the Next Suzuki” by the Globe and Mail, Gardy unveils a fundamental truth that has resonated with audiences in eve...

Steven Pinker

Author of Enlightenment Now and The Better Angels of Our Nature

Steven Pinker asks the big questions about human progress—and sets out, in public, to answer them. In 2018’s Enlightenment Now, Pinker argues that, despite the headlines, the world is getting better, ...

Neri Oxman

MIT Professor at the Crossroads of Art, Science, and Technology

Neri Oxman combines breakthroughs in materials science (such as 3D printing) with design principles found in nature. Imagine a skyscraper made with concrete that can breathe and grow and “think,” or a...

Greg Gage

TED Speaker | Neuroscientist | Cofounder and CEO of Backyard Brains

Greg Gage is starting a neuro-revolution—or “neuroscience for the 99%.” That means affordable, DIY labs in classrooms around the world. From his live experiments on the TED stage (now with over 8 mill...

Vijay (Robert) Gupta

Founder of Street Symphony, TED Senior Fellow, and Mental Health Advocate

Vijay Gupta is a violinist whose interest in neurobiology and mental health issues has made him a world-renowned advocate for the regenerative power of music. A TED Senior Fellow, Gupta founded Street...

Eric Berlow

TED Senior Fellow and Complexity Scientist

Eric Berlow is an ecologist, complexity scientist, and speaker who specializes in not specializing. In an increasingly interconnected world, this TED Senior Fellow helps simplify things. Berlow untang...

Laurel Braitman

Author of Animal Madness, TED Senior Fellow

Bestselling author Laurel Braitman is an ‘uncertainty anthropologist’—someone who’s helping people navigate times of fear and chaos with grace and humor. With her insights into behavioral psychology, ...

Janna Levin

Author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

Janna Levin is changing the way we understand the cosmos. She brings originality, lucidity—and even poetry—to one of humanity’s oldest sciences. And in her new book Black Hole Blues and Other Songs fr...

Maria Konnikova

Science Blogger for The New Yorker | New York Times Bestselling Author of The Confidence Game and Mastermind

Mindfulness. Decision-making. Creativity. Attention. Resilience. When it comes to the mind, Maria Konnikova is a brilliant Swiss Army knife. A New Yorker writer and the bestselling author of Mastermin...

Lucianne Walkowicz

Astrophysicist | TED Fellow | Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology

Lucianne Walkowicz is an astrophysicist and multimedia artist. Her work delves into a question both scientific, and fundamentally human: what is the nature of life in the universe? In passionate and e...

Gina Kolata

New York Times Reporter for Science and Medicine; Author of Mercies in Disguise, Rethinking Thin, Ultimate Fitness, and Flu

Gina Kolata demystifies the science of personal health. The author of six books, including Mercies in Disguise, Kolata’s acclaimed writing and front page New York Times stories—on stem cell research, ...

Jennifer Jacquet

Author of Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool

How can shame lead to social change? Jennifer Jacquet is the author of Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool, which explores the social nature of shame—how it can be used to promote large-scale...

Carl Schoonover

Neuroscientist and Author of Portraits of the Mind

Carl Schoonover became a neuroscientist because, simply put, he is fascinated by how the brain works. And he wants to share that enthusiasm (and his findings) with as large of an audience as possible....

Priyamvada Natarajan

Yale Astrophysicist | Author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos

Priyamvada Natarajan is a charismatic astrophysicist from Yale who takes audiences on a tour of the most stunning breakthroughs of recent cosmology. Her specialty? Dark matter, black holes, and nothin...

Eric Klinenberg

Co-Author of NYT Bestseller Modern Romance with Aziz Ansari, Author of Going Solo

Eric Klinenberg is a social scientist who sheds light on massive demographic, social, and environmental transformations. In Heat Wave, he takes a look at the future of cities in the age of climate cha...

Mitchell Joachim

TED Fellow and Urban Designer

Architect and designer Mitchell Joachim tackles the urban issues redefining our built environments and cities: his work boldly reassesses the way humans live together in the 21st Century. In mind-bend...

Peter H. Diamandis

Chairman and CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, Innovation Speaker

It’s very likely that the future of space exploration lies in the hands of Dr. Peter Diamandis. As co-founder of the XPRIZE Foundation, he oversaw the creation of the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for com...

Alan Lightman

Theoretical Physicist and Novelist

Both a theoretical physicist and a novelist, Alan Lightman bridges the gap between the worlds of art, the humanities, and science, and is an internationally recognized thinker on the meaning of scienc...

Kenneth Miller

Expert on Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism

Kenneth Miller has been called “the public guardian of evolution in America.” In popular talks, he brilliantly defangs and debunks the Intelligent Design movement, which claims that evolution is “just...

Susan Pinker

Psychologist and Author of The Village Effect and The Sexual Paradox

Psychologist and award-winning author Susan Pinker is a seasoned observer of modern communication and social contact. Whether writing on gender differences, as in The Sexual Paradox, or on why face-to...

Margot Lee Shetterly

Author of Hidden Figures: the #1 New York Times bestseller, and inspiration for the #1 movie.

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures—a #1 NYT bestseller and inspiration for the #1 movie in America—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s grea...

Laurence C. Smith

UCLA Climate Scientist and Author of The World in 2050

How will the combination of a booming global population, global warming, and rising sea levels transform the world? To Dr. Laurence C. Smith, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, the North i...

Nina Tandon

CEO and Co-Founder of EpiBone, TED Senior Fellow

Nina Tandon is at the cutting edge of science where sci-fi meets reality. She works on growing artificial hearts and bones that can be put into the body, and studies the new frontier of biotech: homes...

Skylar Tibbits

TED Fellow | Speaker on 4D Printing | Author of Self-Assembly Lab

Skylar Tibbits is on the cutting edge of 4D technology. In his Self-Assembly Lab at MIT, the future of how we make things is being mapped out—and the implications are enormous. Imagine, as just one ex...

Nathan Wolfe

Expert on the spread of pandemics worldwide

The Indiana Jones of virus hunting, Nathan Wolfe travels the world to track, study, and eradicate the next pandemic before it strikes. One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, this Vira...