TED Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour draws from the vast archive of TED Talks and weaves in new interviews to tackle a central theme or question. It’s a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create.

Recent Episodes

The End of Privacy (R)

Everyone expects a degree of privacy. But who holds the reins over our personal information? And does it matter if it’s collected by government, by a search engine, or if we willingly give it away? In this hour, TED speakers explore ideas about our changing notions of privacy, the consequences and benefits. When Hasan Elahi’s name was mistakenly added to the U.S. government’s watch list, he fought the assault on his privacy by turning his life inside-out for the world to see. Hacker and security expert Mikko Hyppönen says virtually every international internet user is being watched — and he makes the case for privacy in the age of government surveillance. Former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck shares her vision of practical openness – connecting bureaucracies to citizens, and creating a truly participatory democracy. Health IT expert John Wilbanks explores whether the desire to protect privacy is slowing research, and if opening up medical data could create a wave of health care innovation.Behavioral economist Alessandro Acquisti explains how everyday decisions contribute to blurring the line between our public and private lives.

Transformation

Are we simply the sum of our experiences? Or can we choose our own path? In this hour, TED speakers share stories of undergoing remarkable transformations despite extraordinary challenges.  Zak Ebrahim tells the story of being raised to hate, as the son of terrorist El-Sayyid Nosair, and how he chose a different path. Fashion model Geena Rocero talks about being born a boy, and becoming who she was meant to be. MIT professor Hugh Herr describes how he lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago, and how he’s now building the next generation of bionic limbs. Writer Shaka Senghor recounts his long journey from crime to prison to redemption.

From Curiosity to Discovery

Why do some people spend years trying to answer a single question; or even risk their lives to discover something new? In this hour, TED speakers explore how curiosity leads to unexpected places. Director James Cameron's blockbuster films create unreal worlds. He reveals his childhood fascinations and how they fueled the passion behind his movies. Designer Thomas Thwaites explains what compelled him to build a toaster, literally from the ground up. Geneticist Wendy Chung describes what it’s like to chip away at the mysteries of autism, and the excitement of uncovering tiny but critical clues.  Biologist Nathan Wolfe says the unseeable world of microbes is fertile ground for new discoveries.  Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage talks about three people who inspired him to be curious: his dad, a former Earth Science teacher, and physicist Richard Feynman.

Animals and Us

In this hour, TED speakers explore the complex relationships we have with animals. Writer Jon Mooallem tells the story of the teddy bear and considers how the tales we tell about wild animals have real consequences for a species' chance of survival — and the natural world at large. Animal trainer Ian Dunbar says we need to see the world through the eyes of our dogs if we want them to behave better. Poet Billy Collins imagines the inner life of a former canine companion. Science historian Laurel Braitman explores why some animals get anxious, depressed, and stressed out. Biologist Frans de Waal studies how primates display other human traits, such as empathy, cooperation, and fairness.