What to watch for at TEDMED 2012

TEDMED 2012 speaker E.O. Wilson as interpreted by artist Hanoch Piven.

It’s almost here: More than 1,500 Delegates from hundreds of diverse medical and non-medical disciplines. Seventy-plus speakers and performers, brilliant innovators all.

TEDMED 2012 begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the Opera House stage at the Kennedy Center — and remotely for some 50,000 TEDMEDLive participants from medical schools, non-profits, government agencies and other organizations across the nation.  We’re anticipating three-and-a-half eye-opening, mind-blowing days.

Headline speakers include Otis Brawley/American Cancer Society; Larry Brilliant/Skoll Global Threats Fund; Dr. Lynda Chin/MD Anderson Cancer Center; Francis Collins/NIH; Katie Couric/Stand Up To Cancer & ABC News; Thomas Frieden/CDC; John Hoffman/HBO Documentary Films; Peggy Hamburg/FDA; Billie Jean King/Health and Social Justice Advocate; Gail McGovern/American Red Cross; Gabby Reece/Women’s Health Advocate; and renowned biologist E.O. Wilson.

The Great Challenges: In this inaugural year of the Great Challenges Program, the TEDMED 2012 Delegates and TEDMEDLive viewers will vote on the 20 most complex and pressing challenges facing health and medicine to achieve the multi-disciplinary understanding critical to tackling them. We’ll explore these throughout the following year via TV-style interviews with leaders from across fields, a series of webinars on each of the 20 Great Challenges, and the opportunity for TEDMED community members to add their voice throughout.

Other cool goings-on: Patient advocate and artist Regina Holliday will be painting and blogging on the scene, and visual learning experts Alphachimp Studio will graphically scribe the event (follow them at #TEDMEDScribe). TEDMED’s corporate partners will have interactive social spaces where Delegates can explore cutting-edge advances and issues. And the Innovations Bar will unveil new medtech like Cleveland HeartLab’s new “It” inflammation biomarker test.

Looking to attend TEDMED Live? Find a participating location here.

Calling one and all: Join us by following events online. We’ll be posting updates regularly on Twitter @TEDMED, #TEDMEDLive, #TEDMEDChallenges, on Facebook and here on our blog. We’ll also be posting links to coverage from leading blogs and sites throughout the following days.

Get ready for TEDMEDLive!

Wordle of TEDMED Talk Topics by 2012 Speaker Jonathan Eisen
TEDMED 2012 will be simulcast to an estimated 50,000 viewers in 52 states across America, in 300 auditoriums and 1500 clinics and healthcare locations. Participants include teaching hospitals, medical schools, research institutions, university life science departments, state and federal government agencies, health-oriented corporations and non-profits.

If you’re not hooked in yet, check out a map of participating locations here.

If you’re already attending a TEDMEDLive broadcast, please note that we’ll be releasing a speaker schedule next Tuesday on TEDMEDConnect, an iOS/Android app. We’ll also have a web-based version.

If you’re hosting, the next system test will be on Monday, April 9th. TEDMEDLive participants can test their connection (with a live stream directly from the Kennedy Center) between 3pm – 4pm EST OR 8pm – 9pm EST. We will be providing a link to the testing site and log-in information to everyone soon.

Last-minute tech questions? See our FAQs.

And be sure to join the conversation on Twitter at #TEDMEDLive. Let us know what’s happening at your locale!

Five new speakers for TEDMED 2012

Cookie Monster will speak at TEDMED 2012.

Presenting five more speakers who will join us at The Kennedy Center this April — each with as compelling a personality as his or her viewpoint on health and medicine.  And we’re not finished – more to come next week!

Bryan Stevenson

Public-Interest Lawyer


Howard Shapiro

Global Director of Plant Science and External Research, Mars Incorporated


Cookie Monster

“Om nom nom nom”


Lisa Nilsson

Visual Artist


Robert Gupta

Professional Violinist


Twitter Q&A with Jay Walker Feb. 16: The power of mental models

Why do so many of us make bad personal health choices? And why has this led to us collectively adding to our burden of challenges as we face the future of health and medicine? Why can’t we accelerate urgently needed progress in health and medicine?

The good news is that we’re on the cusp of change, big change – with the help of serious imagination, overwhelming consumer demand and the inevitable rocket boost of technology-driven innovation.

Curious? Jay Walker, Curator of TEDMED, will cover these topics and more at his Social Media Week keynote at the Health and Wellness Hub in NYC. Following his talk, Jay will host a live Twitter Q&A on February 16 at 2pmET.

Jay will answer questions about the coming upshift from slow “medspeed” to blindingly fast “techspeed,” the consumer-driven healthcare revolution, and any other questions you might have. Be part of the fascinating, groundbreaking conversation, as it happens!

How do you participate? Follow @TEDMED and submit your questions now ahead of time, and at 2pmET at February 16, with the hashtag #askTEDMED.

See you next Thursday at 2pmET.

Five TEDMED 2012 speakers announced today

Five new folks are joining our stellar lineup for this April. They are:

Frances Arnold
Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology
Why should we engineer for uncertainty?

Elizabeth Bonker and Virginia Breen

Elizabeth Bonker with Virginia Breen
Author, Poet, Aspiring Doctor
When you finally find your voice, what do you most want to say?

Ivan Oransky
Executive Editor of Reuters Health
Is the “disease model” sick – or just exhausted?

Seth Cooper
Creative Director, Center for Game Science, University of Washington
Why is my joystick smarter than your stethoscope?


Ben Goldacre
Best-selling author, broadcaster
Where’s the rest of the data iceberg?

More to come soon!