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TEDxCERN returns with ‘The Elephant in the Room'

Conference talk

A picture from the 2015 TEDxCERN event (Image: CERN)

The fifth edition of TEDxCERN returns this year on 20 November at Bâtiment de Forces Motrices in Geneva, from 14:00 to 18:30 CET, with the theme ‘The Elephant in the Room’. The event aims at bringing to the forefront challenges in the realms of science and society that go unnoticed.

“Society is dependent on scientific and technological development. There’s a gap between those who develop and those who consume. This event tackles the polarization that has occurred as a consequence, and asks the question: will we destroy or recreate ourselves?” says Claudia Marcelloni, project leader and curator of the event.

TEDxCERN seeks ways to understand, engage with and find solutions to one of the main challenges of our time: the incertitude of humanity’s destiny as a species. Fourteen speakers and thought-leaders will explore the kind of transformative scientific innovation that is impacting our world through the perspectives of their disciplines, ranging from biotechnology, genomics, systems ecology, artificial intelligence to blockchain and astrophysics. They will discuss contradictions in these disciplines and illustrate the disconnect between our science-dependent society and the science on which it is built.

“CERN promotes scientific inquiry and the sharing of knowledge to better understand our world. TEDxCERN is a platform that shares insights from different scientific fields, intersecting their relevance to society, opening doors to new opportunities for personal engagement in confronting the challenges of today,” says Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN Director for International Affairs.

Preceding TEDxCERN, two panel discussions titled ‘Trust and Rights in the Digital Age’ and ‘Future Ethics’ will be held on 19 November (17:00 to 20:00) at the Globe of Science and Innovation, featuring TEDxCERN speakers. Documentary filmmakers of The Cleaners, Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck, author of Hyper Machine, Sinan Aral, and director of Blockchain Hub, Shermin Voshmgir, will discuss the first topic. Author of Evolving Ourselves, Juan Enriquez, professor of Affective and Behavioral Computing, Maja Pantic, and founder of the University of Bath’s Intelligent Systems research group, Joanna J Bryson, will discuss the second.

Since its first edition in 2013, TEDxCERN has received global acclaim and has become an important idea-sharing platform and a renowned TEDx event. With more than 80 talks from leaders of science and technology, 15 million views and tens of thousands of social-media mentions, it showcases ideas worth spreading.

TEDxCERN is a CERN outreach event and part of the CERN & Society programme. CERN & Society activities are only possible thanks to voluntary support received from partners, for example Rolex and its long-standing association with the Organisation. The 2018 TEDxCERN is also supported by Fondation Didier et Martine Primat; with additional contributions received from Le Temps as official media partner.

A limited number of places for the TEDxCERN mainstage are available to the general public. Those interested must apply for tickets through the TEDxCERN website. The event will also be broadcast live online and at a number of webcast partner institutions.

Further information about the event and the speakers