Sharing Wonder: Jennifer Kaban

O.K. Now that we're back in the swing of things - Here is talk number five from the TEDx Terry talks event I helped organize. This might seem like a talk about science, but if you think about it, there's a lot of the humanities when it comes to fully appreciating something as magical as wonder.

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Name: Jennifer Kaban

Talk Title: "Sharing Wonder"

Notes: Unclassified Student

Topic: Jennifer believes that the most precious gift we can give each other is a sense of wonder. And she believes that the best way to achieve this is to share the world of science with non-scientists. She thinks maintaining wonder becomes more important as we move along in life, as we move away from childhood, through and then away from academia, and into the real world. Because its out there, in the real world where most of us live out our lives, wondering who we are, where we came from, and how we got here. These questions, taken out of the existential context, are the exact questions science asks.

There are so many things that happen around us, that she feels, science can only help us to appreciate more deeply. The way a flower grows, how it evolved; how our brains talk to our bodies, and how easily this can be disrupted or altered; how we dont really know how we, our earth formed, or how matter, for that fact, came to be, and how we may never know, but gosh darn, were going to keep on looking.

As it did when we were children, she believes, as adults, a sense of wonder is the best motivator we have. So much of our lives are filled with the mundane, she thinks its imperative to build excitement in the world. To look around and appreciate what we have, together, on one planet, in this cosmos. Without this sense of wonder, she thinks, we get lost as individuals and as a species. But with wonder, we keep going. We keep thinking, we keep growing, we keep asking, we keep existing, together.


Filmed by Craig Ross at TEDx Terry talks 2009 (October 3rd, 2009). Video edited by David Ng.

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I loved it. I'm a humanities student, but science gets me really excited. I'd like to work with scientists someday, or work at a museum where I can help to share some of the knowledge that awes me the most.

Thanks, Jennifer!

I met Jennifer at AAAS last week. We could not figure out how we knew each other but knew that we did know each other - not Twitter, not Facebook....we are friends on Nature Network but she has no picture there....and yet I recognized her from her face, instantly, as soon as I saw her. I only now realized I recognized her from this video which I reposted on my blog just a couple of weeks ago, seeing it here first. She is curiously invisible online - is there any method one can get in touch with her?