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Apr 26

Scientists Intervene in TED Controversy

By Graham Hancock

There was a stunning intervention in the TED controversy by 19 leading scientists. In brief it looks like TED Curator Chris Anderson opened Pandora’s Box — further details below — when he authorised the removal of talks by myself and Rupert Sheldrake from the TEDx Youtube channel. Rupert’s talk was entitled “The Science Delusion”, my talk was entitled “The War on Consciousness”, and both can be viewed, in context — scroll down on this TED blog page.
The reason the talks are still on the TED website at all (even if sequestrated to the blog) is because of the internet furore that erupted following the removal of the talks from the TEDx Youtube channel. Let me put on record here how deeply grateful I am for the solidarity and intelligent, well thought-out intervention of many members my online community. Without this I believe TED would have been able to sweep the whole matter under the carpet. And I note how dismissive and insulting TED were: “Graham Hancock put out an immediate alert that he was about to be ‘censored’ [and] his army of passionate supporters deluged us with outraged messages”. See here.

There’s a lot to be learnt about TED’s attitude towards the general public from that short phrase, which does not recognise the intelligence, integrity and independent thought of the thousands who wrote to them but instead lumps all together as an “army of passionate supporters”. I for my part feel honoured to have been given that support but I recognise that it was never about me; rather it was about the ideas and principles that are at stake. Even so, TED demonstrated its contempt by refusing to answer the appeals that I and Rupert Sheldrake made for an open, live debate on the core issues (see here, and here) and by ignoring all the thousands of posts put on their blog by members of the general public (SEE HERE: http://www.ted.com/conversations/17190/the_debate_about_graham_hancoc.html
AND HERE: http://www.ted.com/conversations/17189/the_debate_about_rupert_sheldr.html
AND HERE: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/
AND HERE: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/18/graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake-a-fresh-take/)

Perhaps by turning a deaf ear to criticism TED hoped they would get away with it. But it is clear now that they are not going to be allowed to do so.

The mainstream media picked up the story on 7 April with this article in one of Britain’s leading national newspapers, the Independent on Sunday. The article also appeared in the Belfast Telegraph three days later on 10 April.

Then the following happened in quick succession:

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