The Story of the Experiment

January 5th, 2009

This is an excellent TED talk about the human story of science and experimentation. I highly recommend taking half an hour to enjoy and learn from scientist story-teller, Kary Mullis.

10 Responses to “The Story of the Experiment”

  1. alloycowboy on January 5, 2009 7:37 pm

    So Kirsten let me get this straight. Their absolutely no chance that I will be able to grow palm trees and bananas in Canada by 2050 like Al Gore is saying. Gee your going to have a lot dissapointed Canadians eh. Well at least on the upside we will still be able to play curling and ice hockey outdoors.

  2. Kerry Fowler on January 5, 2009 8:54 pm

    Did you actually listen to his talk all the way through? Ok, it was 2002, but time has shown that he was wrong about global warming. But there’s more…
    Dr. Mullis gave a talk at my biotech company some years ago and, as he did this video, started off entertaining us. The longer he spoke the stranger it got. We heard not only the global warming rant but another about how HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. By this point we had all turned on him and pinned him to the wall with questions. He was quickly hustled out of the room by the CEO.
    Mullis has the unfortunate habit of blaming THEM (count how many times he says that word). And all of those scientists only in it for the money? Please.
    Dr. Mullis, thanks for PCR, but you’re not a credible spokesperson for science and experimentation.

  3. The Science Pundit on January 7, 2009 11:26 am

    I’m with Kerry Fowler on this one. I can give Dr. Mullis a pass on the global warming because it was 2002. Global warming skepticism was somewhat more defensible then. But most intelligent “skeptics” have come around since then–including many prominent libertarians (I’ve really been fascinated by the apparent correlation between libertarianism and global warming denialism). At the last TAM, Penn & Teller said they regretted making their GW episode (as well as their awful second hand smoke episode).

    But I didn’t know that Mullis was an HIV denier. Wow! That’s unexpected.

    I agree. Thanks for the PCR and the fun stories, but nobody’s interested in your conspiracy theories.

  4. Norris Krueger on January 7, 2009 3:14 pm

    Off-topic maybe but do YOU ever do speaking gigs? Like mountains? If so, ping me (email above or @entrep_thinking)

    Also: My research area includes neuro-entrepreneurship.. my crew would love to hear your thoughts re the neural substrates of entrepreneurial decision making. (Hmmm.. evenr go to academic conferences these days?)

    Cheers! Dr. Optimism

  5. jerseyguy on January 8, 2009 2:50 pm

    I’d love to see some rebuttal of his argument based on the science rather than innuendo.

  6. sdunkart on January 8, 2009 11:07 pm

    If the planet isn’t warming, then why is the ice melting? Look up some data on the sea ice in the Arctic. Watch the time lapse photos from NASA with your own eyes; then, try to explain it away with a reason that doesn’t involve warmer ocean water or, more generally, warmer temperatures.

  7. Chales-A Rovira on January 9, 2009 2:59 pm

    Even if he’s 100% right and global warming is total bull sh*t, nobody’s going to tell me that we’re not better off without the smoke and crap that’s been hurled up in the air.

    The clean air and clean water acts have done some repair to the environment.

    Getting rid of fossil fuel burning is going to do MORE good that harm.

    To use pure observation, I’d tell him to drink from the Manongahela river.

    If it hadn’t been cleaned up, that would be committing flaming suicide.

  8. Tim on January 11, 2009 4:11 pm

    Reminded me of an interview with Michael Crichton on Charlie Gibson. Global warming chat starts at about 22:03.

  9. alloycowboy on January 14, 2009 8:00 pm

    Wow, you environmental people are touchy. I was just giving Kirsten a hard because it’s been an exceptionally cold winter here in Canada. Global warming is indeed a fact. How do we know this to be true? Well because the world’s glaciers are getting smaller and not larger; this is actually a good thing. The real issue here is the rate at which climb change is occurring. If this happens to fast the biosphere will not adapt quickly enough and we will surely loose a few animal and plant species. The upside of Global warming is a lot more of the Earths Northern Hemisphere will become habitable as the mean average temperature rises. This is a good thing as currently most Canadians live two hundred miles from the US boarder because of the climate. As the growing season in Northern Canada and Siberia gets longer so does it’s ability to photosynthesis carbon dioxide. All photosynthesis stops below 4 degrees celcius. Check out the map to get an understanding of how a longer growing season will improve global photosynthesis. ( )

    The problem with global warming models is estimating how much heat is being used to convert ice to water (glacial melting) and water to water vapor (global diming). The latent heat of fusion and the latent heat of vaporization absorb quite a bit of the earths energy, 334 J/g (ice) and 2260 J/g (Water Vapor) respectivley. Looking for a change in earth’s average tempture (sensible heat) is therefore a bit misleading because of latent heat absorbtion and the constant conversion of H2O from one state of mater to another (Solid, Liquid,Gas) in the Biosphere.

    One final note, I am in the process of drawing up plans to converting my ice cube factory to a banana and coconut plantation here in central Alberta, Canada. If you know of any savy investors please give them my email address at:

    Note: All investments all subject to a nominal investment fee to Sanford and Assosiates LTD.

  10. jesus arguelles on May 24, 2009 10:57 pm

    I noticed in your link a reference to neuroentrepreneurship. I cannot find it. Would you please share with me what specifically is your interest, its context and any training/expertise you have acquired in this topic? I teach, “applied Latino entrepreneurship” in Los Angeles CA to mainly Latino families seeking to start and grow a family business. I am not associated with any university. However, I was a lecturer at USC and UCLA.
    Bit of background and the bottom line: While doing my undergrad in economics, I came across the field of experimental psychology. I became so interested that I did a minor on it and wrote a paper on how to bridge these two disciplines. Why? I have wonder since I was a teenager how Latinos and Whites differ in making consumption choices. In other words, are the cues and triggers used by a Latino consumer differs significantly than a White consumer? The answer to this question was somewhat answered by psychologists and marketers but I needed a deeper set of answers. My thought was that if I can answer it to some extent I could reach the Latino mind more effectively to send healthier and more truthful messages to accelerate of self-empowerment and esteem based on what we would know not what we think we know or believe we know. Enter the discipline of Neuro Linguistics Programming or NLP in the early 70’s. This approach seemed somewhat cultish to me and I decided to abandon it without further consideration. In any case, I have been observing and conducting research in the merger of econ., finance, neuro, soc., etc. and now am back on the trail to answer my original question using the tools offered by neuroscience. I would appreciate and look forward to your thoughts.

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