My friend just shared this video and I felt it was worth passing on. In this insightful talk, Benjamin Bratton of UCSD managed to put into words a sentiment I’ve had for a while: that TED talks tend to gloss over complicated and difficult political issues with techno-utopian and naive ‘solutions.’ As he also points out, it is very important that the noble goal of academics trying to communicate their ideas in an engaging and straightforward way not slide into infotainment. This is a useful commitment to keep in mind as our research team thinks about ways to disseminate our research.
I wonder what Bratton would think about the 3MT project in comparison to TED? A Ph.D. student from UBC Geography – Craig Jones – recently got 1st at the regional level and I was impressed with his ability to summarize his research in a pointed way. In my initial glances 3MT doesn’t seem to get as much attention from the social sciences and humanities as it should. Most people I know develop ‘elevator speech’ versions of their research, but this more structured and competitive format is an interesting one. Perhaps when my writing is further along I’ll give it a go!