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People

TED got me thinking

What do a model and reptile enthusiast, a food scientist and a geneticist have in common? Fresh perspectives on the world, as Chrystal Chan found out at the TEDxNTU event on campus

“When the government tried to warn people about Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, no one was concerned. Why? Because it is such a mouthful. A journalist, David Brown, changed the term to describe what the disease does. And now you all know it as Mad Cow Disease.” – on how word choice and the way issues are communicated can make a big difference in our perception
Christopher Cummings
Communications researcher, Assistant Professor at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information
“If you can learn fear, you can also unlearn it.” – on how fear of snakes and most reptiles is a learnt response not based on actual experience, since snakes only bite as a last resort when threatened, as her research shows
Yamini Bhaskar
Scientist, model and reptile enthusiast
“Over the last 35 years, the world’s economic centre of gravity has moved 5,000km, three quarters of the earth’s radius eastward, towards us.” – on how the liberal promise of freedom and individual rights that used to signify prosperity in the past is losing its lustre
Danny Quah
Economist
“700,000 deaths a year are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That’s about 10 percent of the deaths from cancer.” – on why antibiotics may no longer be life-savers
Jorgen Schlundt
Food scientist, Professor at School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
“Many of us attribute all kinds of phenomenal powers to our DNA. Some of you might find that comforting, because if you’re destined to gain weight no matter what, then you might as well enjoy yourself at lunch.” – on how we tend to think our DNA is our destiny, but this might not be true
Irene Gallego Romero
Geneticist, Assistant Professor at School of Biological Sciences
“Some of you are filled with passion to want to solve the world’s problems. But here’s a catch. Without compassion, how do you have passion? If you can’t recognise the people in front of you, how do you go overseas?” – on how foreign workers like Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore are often unseen and unnoticed by residents of the country
Raj Singh
Management consultant