10 Harvard professors. 10 fascinating ideas. 10 minutes each. That was the gist of Harvard Thinks Big, a TED-esque event held on February 11th. Now fast forward several weeks, and the talks all appear online for free. Find them on YouTube, iTunes, or Harvard’s dedicated web site.
Of all the 10 talks, we decided to feature one: Daniel Gilbert, a psych professor known for his book Stumbling On Happiness, presents a talk called “It’s the End of the World as We Know it, and I Feel Fine.” (Yes, a nod to R.E.M.) And it tries to make sense of a baffling question. Our planet is on the brink of an ecological catastrophe and we’re calmly sitting here watching videos. Humans have thrived because we take threats seriously. But why not this one?
Other speakers at the event include Steven Pinker, Lawrence Lessig, Richard Wrangham, and Elaine Scarry – some well known Harvard names. One figure not present was Michael Sandel. But here we have his TED Talk from 2010: The Lost Art of Democratic Debate.