In Academe, we tend to think of scholarly journal publications as “the gold standard.” I’m here to argue that in the Digital Age, there is a new gold standard for disseminating findings, and it is way more than publishing in a joural and then reading your paper at a conference.

Easy-to-understand video explaining your scholarly work for a more general audience is the new standard, and TED (Technology, Education, and Design) is the gold standard of that work. If you haven’t ever seen TED Talks, you need to go out and do a little sampling.

TED is an absolutely stunning conference which puts the word “interdisciplinary” as we know it in Academe, to shame. Here is a small collection of some of my favorites in the STEM fields. My advice? Give up television for a few weeks and explore the TED collection instead. You will gain a radical new understanding of the world of technology that we (academics and the rest of the population) are about to enter.

David Bolinsky Animates a Cell (Biology, Medicine, Animation, Chemistry – TED 2007, released 2007)

Blaise Aquera y Arcas: Jaw-dropping Photosynth Demo (Computer Science, Mathematics, Social Networks, Photography)

Robert Full: How Engineers Learn from Evolution (Engineering, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Physiology – TED 2002, released 2008)

Jonathan Harris: The Web’s Secret Stories (Social Networks, Computer Science, Art, Behavioral Science)

George Dyson: The Birth of the Computer (Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, History – TED 2003, released 2008)

Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight (Biology, Physiology, Neurology, Spirituality – TED 2008, released 2008)

Arthur Ganson: Sculpture that’s truly moving (Engineering, Physics, Art, Design, Graphic Design – TED 2004, released 2008)

Brian Cox: An Inside Tour of the World’s Biggest Supercollider (Physics, Engineering – TED 2008, released 2008)

Will Wright: Toys that make Worlds (Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics, Behavioral Science, Computer Science, Geology – TED 2007, released 2007)


About Author