Watch TED@NAS: On Stage/Back Stage

Written by: The Exchange

Science catalyzes progress. It allows us to explore our biggest questions, generate new ideas and seek out solutions. At its best, science ignites change and fuels our way forward. In November 2019, TED partnered with the National Academy of Sciences to bring the first-ever all-science TED lineup to the stage. Join us as we receive updates from three of the scientists who were part of that incredible event, learning more about the way in which their work seeks to expand our basic human understanding of realms that are largely unexplored: Kay Tye’s exploration of the mysterious connections between brain and behavior; Mike Brown’s search for distant planets at the outreaches of space; and Bethanie Edwards’ examination of tiny microbial communities in the Earth’s vast oceans. After their talks, all three will engage in a moderated conversation with TED Science Curator, David Biello, for a behind-the-scenes look at TED@NAS, providing insight into the highly successful TED format and the way in which it can be applied to telling inspiring stories of science.


Mike Brown is a Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. He explores the solar system using telescopes on the Earth and in space. He is interested in trying to tell the story of the evolution of the solar system, in discovering unseen distant planets, in swimming the oceans of Europa, and in playing with massive data sets.

Bethanie Edwards is a Professor at University of California, Berkeley and a sea-going oceanographer who hails from rural Arkansas. She is deeply interested in how marine microbes interact with one another, the chemical language that they use to do so, and the impact this has on ocean chemistry and climate.

Kay M. Tye is a Professor and Wylie Vale Chair of the Systems Neuroscience Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. Her research program is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying social and emotional processes at the circuit, cellular and synaptic levels, particularly those relevant to psychiatric disease.


David Biello is the author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth’s Newest Age. He is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting on the environment and energy since 1999—long enough to be cynical but not long enough to be depressed. He is currently the Science Curator for TED and a longtime contributor to Scientific American.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.