TED, the nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, has revoked its prestigious TEDx licensing for a West Hollywood event to be held Sunday, April 14th.
The goals of the TEDx event, titled Brother can you spare a paradigm?, were to "illuminate the urgent need to change our fundamental value system or worldview to one in which humanity pulls together rather than separately," the official website for the event states.
But as of today, their site also has the following disclaimer:
TED HAS CANCELLED THE LICENSE FOR THIS EVENT, WHICH CANNOT MOVE FORWARD UNDER THEIR AUSPICE.
THIS PROGRAM IS TOO GOOD NOT BE DELIVERED AND WE ARE REGROUPING. THE MAILING LIST WILL BE INFORMED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT THE NEW VENUE WILL BE.
WE HAVE LOST OUR TED-BASED SPONSORSHIP, SO WE WILL BE FOOTING THE BILL OURSELVES. ANY HELP VIA A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO OUR NON-PROFIT WILL BE APPRECIATED.Email excerpts from a representative of TED to the event coordinator, filmmaker Suzanne Taylor, regarding the revocation have now been published online and can be read below.
...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.
More than 2000 TEDx events will take place in the year ahead. If your program is allowed to proceed, it will truly damage other TEDx organizers’ ability to recruit scientists and other speakers. (Indeed many in the TED and TEDx communities have already reached out to us to express their concern.)
We have reluctantly concluded that your program is not appropriate for TEDx, and we have to therefore terminate your license. You are of course welcome to still hold an event with these speakers. You just can’t associate it with TEDx. We are happy to work with you to figure out how to smoothly transition it into an event under a different name. I’ll be happy to speak with you directly to facilitate this.
The official site for the event has since removed the speaker list from their website. While this is a big win for proponents of real-science and rationalism, TED will no doubt come under fire for their decision.