Biogerontology at TEDMED 2009

Registration is open for TEDMED 2009, the biomedical cousin of the famed TED conference:

The fifth in a series created by Marc Hodosh and Richard Saul Wurman, TEDMED celebrates conversations that demonstrate the intersection and connections between all things medical and healthcare related: from personal health to public health, devices to design and Hollywood to the hospital. Together, this encompasses more than twenty percent of our GNP in America while touching everyone’s life around the globe.

Marc contacted me today to point out that there will be an aging focus at the meeting, including presentations from Sirtris co-founder David Sinclair (“Can a pill a day keep aging away?”) and popularizer/writer/theorist/thinker Aubrey de Grey (“Can we end aging?”).

True to the TED conferences’ traditional commitment to inclusiveness — especially important given the financial realities facing the academic scientists who actually do the work of biomedical research — registration at TEDMED will cost only $4000, exclusive of travel and lodging.

TEDMED 2009 will be held October 27th-October 30th.

UPDATE: Marc just advised me that

TEDMED is a completely separate organization from TED… but we do share the same founder. not a big deal, but minor point you might want to note.

So noted. The shared founder is Richard Wurman.



  1. I trust your comment about cheap registration was tongue in cheek? $4k is ridiculous, and far outside the budget of just about everyone in academia. For that much, I can take my entire lab’ (me, 3 students and a postdoc) to a US conference, including flights, hotels, registration and meals.

    Now that TED conferences have been going for a few years, I’d like to see a retrospective analysis regarding how many of the “cool, hot, sexy” ideas which they tout, actually make it into the mainstream. TED is very good at wowing people who want to believe the future is just around the corner, but not very good at the follow-through.

    It would also be nice to see a few speakers on the list actually addressing some of the issues facing those of us “in the trenches” of biomedical research, such as…

    – Why proteomics is a huge bust, plus how the human genome project is almost a bust and has not delivered as promised?

    – Why so few biologists grasp the importance of databases and data management tools? How to re-train them to speak “systems biology” and use computers more efficiently.

    – How to deal with the dumbing down of science in schools, and the “entitlement” attitude of many undergraduate and graduate students. Also how to get creationism/ID banned.

    – How to get legacy literature archived. For most younger academics, if it doesn’t exist as a PDF, then it doesn’t exist at all. This created the problem of people duplicating 20-30 year old science.

    – How to deal with the proliferation of “hangers on” to science research… Secretaries, administrative support staff, deans, and all the other leeches who think that academics work for them, when in fact it’s the other way round. Without our grant dollars there wouldn’t be any jobs for them.

    – How to make biomedical research more environmentally sustainable? I shudder to think at the sheer volume of waste plastics my lab produces every year. It completely cancels out my recycling efforts at home.

    – Why stem cells haven’t delivered a single FDA approved clinical therapy in widespread use, despite over 20 years of research? Sure they do some cool things, but people still die of some pretty nasty diseases which were being touted as “cured in 5 years” a while ago.

    – How to convince the government that pissing $12bn a month into a hole in the Arabian desert is a stupid idea, and how to divert that money to science?

  2. You trust correctly; it’s pretty clear that those of us in the trenches aren’t the target population they were thinking of when they set the price point.

Comments are closed.