Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Seth Berkley explains how smart advances in vaccine design, production and distribution are bringing us closer than ever to eliminating a host of global threats — from AIDS to malaria to flu pandemics.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts.

Comments

  1. #1 Birger Johansson
    June 1, 2010

    “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery”
    -This is actually an important topic, since until now mystics and charlatans pretty much have a monopoly on this particular allure.
    But, as Carl Sagan mentioned in his last book, the real world can -and should- be a source for amazement (like the better episodes of the X File, my comment).
    This is why I like (good) science fiction -it takes the fantastic implications of reality, and uses it to spin a yarn far beyond mundane fiction, what SF fans call “the sense of wonder”.

    Vaccine strategies: Unfortunately it does not matter if they are effective. HPV vaccines are a good prevention against disease, but are tagged as “promoting promiscuity”.
    Likewise, if we ever get an effective HIV vaccine, it will be opposed since it obviously would promote promiscuity (in the same way that it is obvious that proctology examinations promote sodomy…..NOT).
    Things are better in Europe, but if Europeans adopt effective vaccine strategies, some in USA might actually use it as an argument *against* adopting the same strategies at home. Stupidity and ideology are harder to fight than pathogens.

  2. #2 Tony P
    June 1, 2010

    Birger Johansson makes a good point. To this day even with the HPV vaccine pretty widely available you have Christian Fundamentalists refusing to vaccinate their daughters.

    This strikes me as the height of absurdity on the part of the fundies. You’d prefer your daughter suffer cervical cancer instead of just vaccinating her now. Strange indeed.

    I do think if you solve the HIV problem and then by default you’d solve the herpes problem you might see a bit more promiscuity but really, is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.

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