Suzanne Taylor and TedxWest Hollywood: The word is ‘Science’

Suzanne Taylor has had Tedx revoke her license in regards to her event due to take place in West Hollywood. Now, this clash between a more mainstream scientific approach and something more left-field has been rumbling within Ted since Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock first felt they had been ‘censored’ by Ted. (That’s another story, let’s not get into it, this post is connected with crop circles as we shall see)

According to Tedx, in an email to Suzanne: “And when we look at your speaker line-up, we see several people who promote — as fact — theories that are well outside what most scientists would accept as credible. We’re not saying all the speakers are off-base. Perhaps you could make a case for each of them individually. But when we look at the program as a whole, it’s clear that it doesn’t meet our guidelines.The problem is not the challenging of orthodox views. We believe in that. We’ve had numerous talks which do that. But we have rules about the presentation of science on the TEDx stage. We disallow speakers who use the language of science to claim they have proven the truth of ideas that are speculative and which have failed to gain significant scientific acceptance.”

The speakers who have irked Ted are: Russell Targ who will discuss ESP and Remote Viewing, Larry Dossey who will discuss the revolution in consciousness and Marilyn Schlitz who will be discussing how we can “shift our paradigm”

In fact, the guidelines for an Ted event are very explicit: “Speakers must be able to confirm the claims presented in every talk — TED and TEDx are exceptional stages for showcasing advances in science, and we can only stay that way if the claims presented in our talks can stand up to scrutiny from the scientific community. TED is also not the right platform for talks with an inflammatory political or religious agenda, nor polarizing “us vs them” language. If Talks fail to meet the standards above, TED reserves the right to insist on their removal.”

The aforementioned speakers are presenting subjects that are fringe at best. Whilst the speakers may have credentials in their chosen field, the subject matter they are discussing can not stand up to the scientific scrutiny that Ted and Tedx demands. This is the same problem that Suzanne has with her films on the subject of crop circles. Namely, dressing something up as science that can never withstand proper scientific scrutiny and promoting scientists who were not as qualified as she had led people to believe (namely Mr. Levengood).

Those involved in this little spat will yell about censorship, challenging the scientific status quo etc etc but the bottom line is that some of the these speakers and Suzanne have been disingenuously promoting their beliefs as science. They have been throwing around their credentials to try and convince that what they say is science because they have qualifications, credentials and experience. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that. If some of these speakers actually produced some quality research, they’d have something to argue with.