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hi my name's laura bates and i run the everyday sexism project which for anybody who doesn't know what it is is a very simple website that collects people's experiences of daily gender imbalance of anything on the spectrum from the more minor incidents that we're often told to brush off and not make a fuss about all the way through workplace discrimination sexual harassment to sexual assault and even rape i set the project up just under two years ago and we've now received entries from women of all walks of life all over the world but one thing really shocked me and took me aback about the entries that started to flood in in the first months of the project it's interesting because people often ask what were the most shocking entries i think they expect me to reply that they were the most serious ones the most harrowing stories of course those were awful and distressing to read but the thing that really shocked me the most was the number of entries we received from really young women from little girls from university students it just wasn't something that i anticipated it's some of those stories that i want to talk about today and to share some of them with you today particularly because we're here in a beautiful university city and because so many of the entries that we've received are suggesting that there's a real problem at uk universities i want to take you through some of the things we've heard about some of the things that are being reported to us over and over and over again this all started and i first noticed a real spike in activity to the website the first time freshers week came around so the first year that the website had been launched in april suddenly when we hit freshers week i noticed there was a massive surge in entries to the project i remember it started i remember it vividly with one email it came from a girl who was about to start studying physics at a very highly-respected london university she forwarded me an email she'd received from the physics society at her university and the email said freshers lunch this will be mainly a chance for you to scope out who's in your department and stake your claim early on the one in five girls she wrote that she was going into an incredibly male-dominated area already and so here the boys in her year her male peers were being sent the message - from a university-affiliated society no less - to view their female peers who were in the minority in this particular course very much as sexual prey this was really just the beginning so many messages and stories started coming in often they were about freshers week and events going on in freshers week so i actually started having a look at the events that were scheduled at uk universities that year you can see behind me these were just a few of the events that i found slag 'n' drag tarts and vicars pimps and hoes golf pros and tennis hoes ceos and corporate hoes rappers and slappers geeks and sluts at almost every event the title sends the message usually at events that were sponsored by or in association with the universities these students were studying at that men are ceos pros geeks they're powerful talented intelligent whilst women were being valued again and again by their sexualization alone the messages we received were suggesting that this created a really serious sense of pressure for young women to dress in a certain way it's important to say this was not about a kind of prudish morality ban it wasn't saying women shouldn't dress in that way if they wanted to but why should it be a requirement it felt like fancy dress for the boys meant something fun meant dressing up in a whole variety of different ways but every time for the girls there was a very clear very narrow requirement of how they were expected to dress it started to feel like it was about more than just a bit of fun and more like a kind of sexual pressure this idea of sexual pressure was backed up by a lot of the stories we received about initiations and freshers week rituals again obviously this is something that if people want to do they can and if it's a free choice and if people are choosing to carry out things and you talk about things being a bit of fun but many of the reports we received made it all sound quite militant the idea of freedom of choice is quite complex within this unique situation where for most students it was their first week of university for many it was their first time living away from home they were anxious to fit in keen to make new friends and it was very difficult to be the person standing up and saying no one girl wrote to us in a project entry one of the freshers events organized by our halls of residence was a girls and guys pub crawl we were split into one group of girls and one of guys and each group went off on different pub crawl routes all the girls were encouraged to wear pink and dress 'slutty ' we had to come up with a slut name which the older students encouraged us to write across our breasts upon arriving at each bar an older student would shout out a word which was code for us to either flash our tits or our arse or dance in a seductive way in front of the men in the pub i didn't take part in this and didn't want to adopt a slut name i was told i was being too uptight and not getting into the spirit of freshers week the whole thing culminated in the girls and guys meeting up in the student union where we were informed the older students had organized a competition with prizes one prize was for the 'slut' who collected the most ties from the guys the other was for the lad who collected the most bras from the 'sluts ' i walked out on a scene of groups of drunk male students forcefully taking off female student's bras another entry said i went out for the freshers night of one of the women's sports clubs our group bumped into the men's rugby club in a bar they were putting their freshers through their initiation ceremony all the rugby freshers had their trousers around their ankles and were standing in their boxers they were encouraged to pick one of us to grind with them one guy grabbed me pulled me on the dance floor then told me i had to grind on him or else he'd have to do a forfeit when i refused he told me i was frigid and grabbed a different fresher on the one hand i felt ashamed and embarrassed i felt too uncomfortable to partake fully in what was considered to be the fun of freshers week on the other i was kind of ashamed that i'd taken part in it at all it ruined my freshers week and left me feeling isolated and humiliated one student said it's very different for people who feel shy or uncomfortable you don't have a choice there were strict initiations and you had to do what they said or you missed out another said one of the social initiations within the first month of uni was to down a bottle of beer that a man was holding in his crotch i didn't realize what we were going to do as we were facing the other way when they suddenly shouted 'down it bitch ' it was awful but i felt like such a wet blanket with everyone cheering on another we had an event as part of freshers week where some friends went on stage a long line of girls was lined up and they had to take their clothes off they were told to race to strip then there were competitions where you had to do various sex positions they make it out as a great thing but you get pushed into it and it's not a matter of choice these weren't isolated incidents this isn't cherry-picking after i started writing about this i was absolutely deluged with messages from students up and down the country who'd experienced similar things and felt uncomfortable or pressured there was also a lot of evidence in what we were hearing to suggest that this kind of sexual objectification carried over beyond freshers week beyond the initiations and the rituals a huge number of students mentioned specific competitions and point systems for sleeping with freshers particularly female freshers often coming from the older students who were supposed to be there to look after them to help them settle in one student described how at their student union there was an ad up on the wall that was looking for people to help out with freshers week it was a cartoon of a vulnerable-looking girl with the slogan want to feel a little fresher another girl said i remember when i was a fresher i heard a couple of male students discussing a points system for sleeping with female students while in the laundry room another girl described a night where female freshers had to dress up as foxes male freshers had to dress up as hounds and the second and third-year boys dressed as huntsmen the idea was that the hounds had to catch their huntsmen a fox another student said at my university the freshers week crew are designed to help new students but they get points for scoring with freshers especially virgins we heard about point-scoring systems where people got bonus points if they took the girl's virginity or brought her knickers in one student said it was called seal-clubbing at her university at another it was called sharking at another it was simply called fuck a fresher it seemed to be such a widely-acknowledged practice that there were colloquial names for it at different universities the more you hear about this the less harmless it sounds and the more it sounds like part of something wider as one student pointed out when she wrote to us about a chant that her male peers had at university that was about sluts whores and slags these are the world leaders the ceos and the politicians of tomorrow these are the attitudes about women and their place that are being drummed into them from the very first week of university it's important to say that these things do sometimes happen to boys too we had one entry from a fresher man who was forced to watch porn in his underwear while a fresher woman was told to sit in his lap to see if he got an erection but in the main the stories including the ones from men came in because they were talking about what had happened to their female peers seemed to suggest that this sexualized aspect and often this undercurrent of misogyny of making the girls do things that were embarrassing or degrading focus much more on women the men's initiations seemed to focus much more on things like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or having to eat disgusting combinations of food these again are not isolated incidents many of you will probably know that in the last year alone we've seen events using the slogan fuck me i'm a fresher promoted at more than one university in the uk students have reported being groped grabbed pursued and propositioned as part of freshers week events we've seen a freshers week poster at one university that had picture on it of a t-shirt with the words last night i was raping a woman and she cried we've seen students banned for playing a game called it's not rape if the leeds club night freshers violation which was advertized on youtube using a video of a male fresher being asked what he was going to do at freshers violation and saying he was going to rape a female fresher we've seen the video of lads on the bus joking and laughing about sexual assault and about miscarriages and the boys who went out in casual rape t-shirts - all in the last year alone so why does all this matter what's the big deal it matters because according to a survey by the national union of students which looks specifically at female student's experiences whilst at university one in seven experienced a serious physical or sexual assault twelve percent were stalked and were victims of sexual harassment it also matters because most perpetrators were known to the victims and most perpetrators were students it matters more than ever because only four percent of the female students who were seriously sexually assaulted reported it to their academic institution and only ten percent felt able to report it to the police when they were giving their reasons for these low reporting rates they were asked why didn't you feel able to report what happened fifty percent said they didn't report it because they were ashamed or embarrassed and percent because they thought they would be blamed for what happened suddenly importantly this is where we come back to the freshers week jokes and the initiations the slag slut hoe slapper labels the pressure on female students to dress in a certain way often by university-affiliated nights ideas they're pressurized to perpetuate the banterous games about chasing female students down hunting them stripping their bras then you look at the statistic that nearly of all students who didn't report a sexual assault were either ashamed or thought they'd be blamed of course it's not a simple case of cause and effect of course it's not to suggest a male student will go to these events and suddenly go out and rape or sexually assault a female peer it's more complex than that it's a case of saying against this backdrop what do we do given that we're dealing with a culture in which so many female students are experiencing sexual harassment and assault what would be useful given that we're dealing with a culture in which students feel unable to report and sexual assault isn't taken seriously how might these kinds of stereotypes be contributing to that problem and to that wider culture and talking about culture you might have heard the term rape culture used recently it's used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes norms practices and media normalize excuse tolerate or even condone rape online this frequently focuses on the students and young women thanks to websites like unilad the lad bible and confessions of a uni student i'm talking about entire websites where even though most of the articles are about women you won't see a single female name because they are replaced with wenches hoes clunges skanks sloppy seconds pussy tramp chick bird milf slut and gash they're part of a growing culture in which the sexual targeting of female students as prey is actively encouraged even when it verges on sexual assault it's an atmosphere in which victims are silenced and perpetrators encouraged to see crimes merely as banter just part of being a lad these are websites with articles saying things like eighty-five percent of rape cases go unreported that seems to be fairly good odds websites which describe a female student who has said she doesn't want to sleep with you as a knobstacle course - just a game to get around websites where posters talking about smashing a virgin and having blood stains to prove it when criticized these sites in their own words tend to say get a fucking grip we're having a bit of harmless banter a recent post that appeared on one of their facebook pages describes a graphic incident of a man knocking a woman clean out with one smack and leaving her for dead on the side of the road yet this word banter this cloak of irony is being used to excuse mainstream horrific sexism the normalization and belittling of rape and domestic violence it's a very clever way of silencing because if something's a joke it's very hard to stand up to if you object to something and it's just a joke then you're being uptight the joke's on you you don't have a sense of humor the implication is if something's a joke everybody gets it except you it isolates victims makes it much harder to stand up to one female student who wrote to me said i don't find it funny these pages are not pages for jokes there are no punchlines they're not sexist jokes just displays of sexism displays of misogyny i find it threatening i find it terrifying this is not banter she asked to remain anonymous because she said i'm afraid of these people i'm afraid these attitudes that we thought were ebbing away are coming back with force i'm afraid that by taking a stand against pages like this i will mark myself as a target again these aren't isolated incidents the imperial college newspaper felix printed a joke article which provided male students with the recipe for the date rape drug rohypnol because they said it was a fool-proof way to have sex on valentine's day for cheaper than the price of a hooker and exeter university society printed a shag mag in which it speculated about how many calories male students could burn by stripping female students naked without their consent at one university the lacrosse team were given rules that stated members don't date that's what rape is for at another university the men's hockey team held an event where the theme was rape victims it isn't just something that happens in clubs or when students go out it's something that's beginning to become pervasive in all aspects of the academic experience you see pages like this on facebook where girls completely unwittingly in the university library doing their work find that their pictures appear later on on facebook we heard from one girl who said there was a group of lads at her university that started an anonymous page where they talked about girls who were eating at the canteen but she said because they didn't know who was doing it she had a choice to make between not eating not going to the canteen or risking that her picture would end up on facebook with people talking about coming all over her breasts on facebook as well this banter about abuse and violence and other places online has also proliferated in recent years these next slides may be very distressing so they come with a trigger warning for domestic violence and sexual assault if you feel that you need to look away this bitch doesn't know when to shut up do you that will teach you to not wash dishes get back to the kitchen it's not rape if she really didn't want to she'd have said something again this is all part of the normalization of a society in which we joke about rape a society in which sexual assault is just something to laugh about just banter just part of being a lad against that backdrop we get stories like these a male student at university with me outright told me i was having sex with him that night he was calling me a slag a slut and a whore he straddled himself across my legs and started pinning me against the seat forcing kisses on me and saying 'now i've got you ' another student said i was raped in my second year of university i had some great support from my family and some great therapy i thought this was the worst part but when i felt safe enough to tell my friends the questions started was i drunk was i dressed 'sluttily' did i know him had i led him on in fact what happens is that boundaries begin to become so blurred that people aren't even aware of what they have the right to be protected from i often speak in universities all up and down the uk and i have a slide which simply says the definition of sexual assault under uk law which is that if somebody touches you anywhere on your body and the touching is sexual you don't consent and they don't reasonably believe that you consent then it's a form of sexual assault but when i talk about it in universities young women come up to me afterwards saying that can't be sexual assault because it's normal that can't be assault because it's just what happens when am out with my friends there's a massive gap between what people are protected from under the law and what society tells women particularly young women particularly at university is just part of life and just something they ought to be putting up with but we can say no we can stand up and we can shout back we have to start now no means no it doesn't matter what you're wearing where you are who you've had sex with in the past or whether you've been flirting doesn't matter if it's someone you know if it's late or if you're drunk nobody has the right to touch you sexually without your consent so what can you do to play your part the important thing is that we need a cultural shift in attitudes in the way that we perceive women and everybody can be a part of that we can petition student unions and clubs to take a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and groping we can speak up about consent and try to offset some of these normalized assumptions we can support students who are sexually assaulted to feel able to report it if they want to we can all play a part in influencing these social norms and the culture around us not letting the small stuff slide because it's those minor incidents that contribute to the same attitudes about women that lead to the bigger issues happening calling women sluts and slags giving them marks out of ten dehumanizes them joking about rape and assault normalizes it so we have to speak up and our voices are loudest when we raise them together thank you
don't let my mask scare you i'm just trying to stay anonymous my name is anamik nagrik i'm a proud indian and i have one problem with my country and the problem is why is india so filthy i've traveled outside india in neighboring countries in asia my friends have been to africa and we can all agree on one thing in india we tolerate filth on our streets but why we can send a rocket to mars but we can't fix this problem why do we keep our houses clean and our streets dirty even mcdonalds has come to bangalore it's cleaning the steps of its outlet but you can see how dirty it is outside they're either incapable or unwilling to fix what's outside so what's the problem why are we like this and i think all of us in this audience know the answer it's not my problem i pay tax i vote isn't that enough what more should i do some of you will say ok i want to fix it i don't even know how to start let me take you to dream land in dream land there is no corruption the government is strong our budget goes up ten times do you think our cities will be clean what do you think the answer is no i think we all realize it's not about money or systems it is about us as a people look at this picture can someone shout out which city is this from look closely look at the furniture can you guess shout out which city is this it's not bangalore look closely again there's a clue out here the bank of india the other clue is that it's very poorly maintained there are paan stains everywhere this is a restaurant it is singapore and it is little india in singapore and what does this tell us about us what is singapore's brand image cleanliness it is a fine city they enforce laws they are very affluent they care about their look but when a group of indians lives in one neighborhood we seem to bring down the civic standards we can beat the world's best systems i would like to say and i'm an indian we are the undisputed world champions of public filth why do we need a policeman when we have a traffic light because we are a society that doesn't like to follow rules in bangalore dustbins are not allowed you are expected to keep your garbage at home until the collector comes but it doesn't seem to work so one neighborhood in bangalore indiranagar said let's put dustbins so they put dustbins and see what happened we don't like to follow rules so all the garbage is outside the dustbins now this is the problem with us as a society we all need to admit that we are all ugly indians and more importantly only we can save us from ourselves as long as we're emotional about it we won't solve it do you think there is any hope what do you all think a lot of people have given up they leave the country they stay in gated communities but some people said no let us try and fix this problem in an indian way by understanding the indian psychology so social experiments began on church street in bangalore in here the idea was simple let us understand indian's behavior from a point of view of culture behavioral psychology let's see what it takes to make an ugly indian change but most importantly without him or her realizing it we don't like to be told what to do we have to be fooled into improving our behavior can we nudge an ugly indian towards better behavior in public spaces you may have heard of the broken window theory which says that if a place is ugly it becomes uglier if a place is beautiful it commands respect there's another theory in economics called the tragedy of the commons which means we care for our private spaces we don't care about our public spaces india is the perfect example of both these theories in action this is koramangala that lady is throwing garbage on the road in a beautiful upscale neighborhood why is she doing it because someone has already thrown before what can we do to make her change her behavior without her knowing it this is a typical example of civic problems in india paan stains on the wall this is on the wall of deccan herald newspaper it has been like this forever because there are paan stains people urinate on it nobody walks on that footpath a few people sat and observed it and tried an experiment this is what they did they painted the wall they painted a red band at the bottom they put some flower pots and incredibly there were no more paan stains on that wall and why because the person spitting paan is trying his best to be clean he chooses to spit into the pot if he by mistake spits into the corner the red color masks it once people stopped spitting people actually go on the footpath it works there are dozens of walls in bangalore with the red band at the bottom that has taken an indian solution to apply to an indian problem this is very common this is indiranagar the young school boy is facing a death trap we see this very often have you never seen a death trap bangalore is full of death traps the little boy has to walk around look at that footpath if you ask the residents they have complained for years nothing has happened three people said let's fix it this is what they did they actually went and fixed the footpath it has remained fixed for months what's the message if you see a problem go fix it nobody stops you you can actually make a change don't waste your time complaining litter bins are a problem why they can look like animals they're made of fiberglass they catch fire with cigarettes some litter bins are rusting they're falling underground don't litter bins look so dirty that they actually bring down the aesthetics of the place the litter bin is supposed to make it clean sometimes they're not where you want them so people improvise they put litter in trees some people said can we design a litter bin that will not get stolen looks beautiful that people will use that lasts through the weather and actually improves the aesthetics of the place they came up with something called the tere bin a designer dustbin this is on brigade road in bangalore the beautiful part is it is not stealable nobody wants it because it is made of materials nobody wants it works it looks clean for the last years there are dustbins across bangalore it has worked because somebody applied his mind to solve a problem this is in front of itpl the dustbin is where you need it a bus stop people use it it has worked this is the biggest problem of all open garbage this is outside the koramangala club you would think they would figure it out but they didn't and some people said let's make this as an example and this is what they did it has remained fixed it is not a photo op at all the reason well known places are taken is that if people who are rich powerful and with social pressure cannot do it then there is something wrong with us this is outside the house of dr rajkumar poor mr puneeth rajkumar has to see this every year he's got amazing social power he couldn't fix it this is what was done it has remained fixed for the last months this is j p nagar outside ambareesh's house we've chosen people who are important who can get things done but it requires the public to do it this is outside a slum this is cow dung this is where children wait for their school bus it's become a beautiful bus stop this is outside a tech park every tech park in bangalore has got open drains there are billion dollar companies in there apparently nobody is willing to fix this they're all blaming somebody else a few people went made a safe zone made it a bus stop it's working so the point is whether it's a slum or a tech park or an affluent zone you can make change this is in whitefield nearby this is an open toilet the slum at the back has people who use the toilet that's a wine shop this is in the jagriti theater it's crazy so some people in whitefield said let's fix it so they fixed it but what happened people still threw garbage you cannot fix a place by just painting it you have to solve the underlying problem so on day two five people went to all the houses and said tomorrow we will make a new system so you don't need to put your garbage on the ground see what happened what is interesting is that all the people the slumdwellers the wine shop owner the jagriti people people in apartments got together to solve a common problem they had never spoken to each other before they used to complain to each other about each other when the community comes together to fix a common problem it is no longer a tragedy of the commons it is a victory of the commons this particular project has spawned many more projects in whitefield now look closely this is actually urine outside a wine shop indian men need to urinate and let's accept that let's not get emotional about it can we make them urinate in a dignified way and rescue the public space this is urine outside a wine shop the wine shop owner couldn't be bothered it created an innovation where someone said let's create a dignified way for men to urinate and rescue our public space it resulted in something called the wonderloo which is an open-air urinal a private space where men urinate and the rest of the wall gets rescued now who did all these projects look closely there are senior citizens that lady is in her seventies she's holding a crow bar there are retired army officers slum children the wine shop owner they all came together and did this project there was no contract label it was done entirely by citizens that evening people came in their car to buy liquor and they used the restroom in the open everybody is happy all the stakeholders in that spot eventually got what they wanted even though they have hugely opposing ideologies they're getting along and that's the big message so what do you think is there any hope yeah that's good over spots have been fixed but more interesting is that have survived and that's an excellent survival rate for problems that were so chronic that no one even knew how to start solving them but how does it all work that's what i'm hear to tell you it's not about painting a wall there's much more to it than that the most important thing is this kaam chalu mooh bandh only work no talk bayi muchko kelasa hachko it's as simple as that in india we talk too much we refuse to listen if you decide to do and don't talk incredible things can be achieved don't lecture don't moralize don't create awareness drives don't tell people what to do don't act condescending and say i know the solution to your problem because it might not even be a problem at all if you take the lead others will follow some of you may have been in protests and dharnas when you go on a protest some people join you some people ignore you it's the same with good work if you go and do disruptive positive anarchy some will follow you some will ignore you but nobody will stop you the only person stopping you from going out and doing good is yourself don't blame anybody else for stopping you don't expect credit don't expect applause stay anonymous don't take anybody's money use your own whatever your means are if a single person does something within his own means you'll be surprised how many other people join you the moment you take money you're almost losing your independence gandhi famously said be the change you want to see there's a slight problem with that with due respect to gandhi if the situation is hopeless you first need to see the change that you want to be to believe that you can even make the change that's where facebook has been fantastic every before and after photograph goes on facebook people say wow it's possible let me try it creating belief that our pathetic civic situation can improve is the biggest lesson the ugly indian movement has learned focus on results not on who is doing it how it's being done if you can deliver a before and after photograph you're good if not facebook is a very brutal decider of whether the project was good or not there are many myths about social movements that have been broken volunteers are the easiest to get bangalore has thousands of people who come out on weekends and work these are not social activists these are people with regular jobs who take time out to work money is not a problem at all many of the projects shown cost less than rupees or usd if people get together and put in rupees each you can fix a spot it's cheaper than going out for dinner or coffee in one of bangalore's upscale restaurants and the best part you can make a dramatic change without asking anybody else for help a lot of people worry about the government the government loves it if the citizens engage just paying taxes and voting is not enough if you come out and work the government loves it the bangalore and the bbmp have taken the first step in partnering with citizen movements it is unprecedented in india and we are hopeful that other cities take note that when the collective energies of the government employees and the citizens are put on the common cause improving the city dramatic change can happen we spend too much time fighting the government that should stop india is truly rising what began in bangalore on church street four years ago quickly spread and now there are literally - teams operational in bangalore all their work is on facebook and slowly across india there are - cities kanpur agra chennai you just name a city people are coming out and you know the best part none of them know each other nobody talks the only thing that counts is results so wherever you are go out and do something post it to ugly indian if your work is on ugly indian you become famous on your street and other people join you these are random photos sent by people kanpur amritsar agra chennai everybody is trying to copy emulate what's happening elsewhere simple message if you want to change the world start with your own street if you want your street to change you should do it if you wait for somebody else to do it it may never happen the choice is yours a question that is often asked is why are ugly indians anonymous so far i've revealed my gender because of my tone of voice and the language that i speak in which i am proficient but you don't know what i speak at home you don't know my age you don't know my religion you don't know my caste you don't know my political views whether i have a ponytail or whether i have a tattoo the problem with india is we make judgments on people and not on the work they do the reason the ugly indian has worked is that the focus is only on results not who did it why are they doing it what are their motivations anonymity allows a lot of people to come and join the fold the message is stop being an ugly indian from today go out and do something do you think there is any hope i came here two days back to check out this hall this is how it looked like outside where we are that is the footpath it says way to school very helpful if you're going to school you should take this footpath that's exactly outside this hall this is what you would normally do this is a chalta hai attitude i don't care it's not my problem i need to get from a to b i'll just jump over it we need to change from chalta hai to kaam chalu so what did we do we went to a construction site we got some laborers we got some iron rods we fixed it so chalta hai got changed to kaam chalu if i'm going to spend minutes doing mooh chalu in this auditorium i will spend minutes working outside and in minutes that place was fixed when you go out today please walk on that footpath on the way to brigade school because it was fixed days ago we got into the josh of it just outside the entrance of this hall is an open electricity box for the garbage we spent an hour and fixed it when you go out today you will see work done by three people three days back because they felt they needed to do it the question to ask is have you made an impact on your street and we love tedx they said tedx is a talk fest can tedx do anything so days ago people from this audience came out and did a spot fix in bangalore and that's the story we're going to share with you now this is k r circle one of bangalore's favorite circles it's a beautiful place but with one problem pedestrians have to cross on the road there are underpasses there beautifully designed but they are either closed or if they're open they look like this that is urine that has not been cleaned for years the lady coming in is holding her nose just look at this lady she has to wait for the man to cross she walks bravely holding her nose in the dark dingy urine-filled room to get to work isn't that sad these girls are risking their lives crossing to go to college they don't want to use the underpass that girl is making a decision she'd rather walk on the road than go in the underpass this girl goes to college with her nose closed that is the mayor of bangalore we invited him to come inspect this and he said we've tried for years to fix it can the public help the public said yes a group of the public went in and cleaned this place the mayor came and joined they transformed the subway and for the last weeks it's been running well this is what it looks like now days ago the tedx volunteers came here they're entering the subway to check it out this is the clean subway see how different it is look at how many people are walking they're smiling it's a friendly place all it takes to convert a public space is a little bit of sincerity and effort and the public has rescued a subway they came here to see the change that they wanted to be this is what they did in the next hour people from this room actually went and cleaned up the subways this is how they look subways repainted as we speak the subways are being cleaned and come next week they will all open subways in k r circle open because of the efforts taken by people at tedx this is what it looks like if i want to walk from the library to freedom park it's very difficult but what they have done now is bangalore has beautiful under-connected pedestrian walkways lying dormant they have been rescued we have k r circle for cars and we have a pedestrian circle for pedestrians what do you think is there any hope yes all the people who worked on the spot fix give yourselves a big hand thank you
transcriber jenny zurawell is e t out there well i work at the seti institute that's almost my name seti search for extraterrestrial intelligence in other words i look for aliens and when i tell people that at a cocktail party they usually look at me with a mildly incredulous look on their face i try to keep my own face somewhat dispassionate now a lot of people think that this is kind of idealistic ridiculous maybe even hopeless but i just want to talk to you a little bit about why i think that the job i have is actually a privilege okay and give you a little bit of the motivation for my getting into this line of work if that's what you call it this thing whoops can we go back hello come in earth there we go all right this is owens valley radio observatory behind the sierra nevadas and in i was working there collecting data for my thesis now it's kinda lonely it's kinda tedious just collecting data so i would amuse myself by taking photos at night at the telescopes or even of myself because you know it at night i would be the only hominid within about miles so here are pictures of myself the observatory had just acquired at new book written by a russian cosmologist by the name of joseph shklovsky and then expanded and translated and edited by a little-known cornell astronomer by the name of carl sagan and i remember reading that book and at three in the morning i was reading this book and it was explaining how the antennas i was using to measure the spins of galaxies could also be used to communicate to send bits of information from one star system to another now at three o'clock in the morning when you're all alone haven't had much sleep that was a very romantic idea but it was that idea the fact that you could in fact prove that there's somebody out there just using this same technology that appealed to me so much that years later i took a job at the seti institute now i have to say that my memory is notoriously porous and i've often wondered whether there was any truth in this story or just you know misremembering something but i recently just blew up this old negative of mine and sure enough there you can see the shklovsky and sagan book underneath that analog calculating device so it was true all right now the idea for doing this it wasn't very old at the time that i made that photo the idea dates from when a young astronomer by the name of frank drake used this antenna in west virginia pointed it at a couple of nearby stars in the hopes of eavesdropping on e t now frank didn't hear anything actually it did but it turned out to be the u s air force which doesn't count as extraterrestrial intelligence but drake's idea here became very popular because it was very appealing and i'll get back to that and on the basis of this experiment which didn't succeed we have been doing seti ever since not continuously but ever since we still haven't heard anything we still haven't heard anything in fact we don't know about any life beyond earth but i'm going to suggest to you that that's going to change rather soon and part of the reason in fact the majority of the reason why i think that's going to change is that the equipment's getting better this is the allen telescope array about miles from whatever seat you're in right now this is something that we're using today to search for e t and the electronics have gotten very much better too this is frank drake's electronics in this is the allen telescope array electronics today some pundit with too much time on his hands has reckoned that the new experiments are approximately a hundred trillion times better than they were in trillion times better that's a degree of an improvement that would look good on your report card okay but something that's not appreciated by the public is in fact that the experiment continues to get better and consequently tends to get faster this is a little plot and every time you show a plot you lose percent of the audience i have of these but what i plotted here is just some metric that shows how fast we're searching in other words we're looking for a needle in a haystack we know how big the haystack is it's the galaxy but we're going through the haystack no longer with a teaspoon but with a skip loader because of this increase in speed in fact those of you who are still conscious and mathematically you know competent will note that this is a semi-log plot in other words the rate of increase is exponential it's exponentially improving now exponential is an overworked word you hear it on the media all the time they don't really know what exponential means but this is exponential in fact it's doubling every months and of course every card-carrying member of the digerati knows that that's moore's law so this means that over the course of the next two dozen years we'll be able to look at a million star systems a million star systems looking for signals that would prove somebody's out there well a million star systems is that interesting i mean how many of those star systems have planets and the facts are we didn't know the answer to that even as recently as years ago and in fact we really didn't even know it even as recently as six months ago but now we do recent results suggest that virtually every star has planets and more than one they're like you know kittens you get a litter you don't get one kitten you get a bunch okay so in fact this is a pretty accurate estimate of the number of planets in our galaxy just in our galaxy by the way and i remind the non-astronomy majors among you that our galaxy is only one of a hundred billion that we can see with our telescopes that's a lot of real estate but of course most of these planets are going to be kind of worthless like you know mercury or neptune neptune's probably not very big in your life okay so the question is what fraction of these planets are actually suitable for life we don't know the answer to that either but we will learn that answer this year thanks to nasa's kepler space telescope and in fact the smart money which is to say the people who work on this project the smart money is suggesting that the fraction of planets that might be suitable for life is maybe one in a thousand one in a hundred something like that well even taking the pessimistic estimate that it's one in a thousand that means that there are at least a billion cousins of the earth just in our own galaxy okay now i've given you a lot of numbers here but they're mostly big numbers okay so you know keep that in mind there's plenty of real estate plenty of real estate in the universe and if we're the only bit of real estate in which there's some interesting occupants that makes you a miracle and i know you like to think you're a miracle but if you do science you learn rather quickly that every time you think you're a miracle you're wrong so probably not the case all right so the bottom line is this because of the increase in speed and because of the vast amount of habitable real estate in the cosmos i figure we're going to pick up a signal within two dozen years and i feel strongly enough about that to make a bet with you either we're going to find e t in the next two dozen years or i'll buy you a cup of coffee okay so that's not so bad i mean even with two dozen years you open up your browser and there's news of a signal or you get a cup of coffee now let me tell you about some aspect of this that people don't think about and that is what happens suppose that what i say is true i mean who knows but suppose it happens suppose sometime in the next two dozen years we pick up a faint line that tells us we have some cosmic company what is the effect what's the consequence now i might be at ground zero for this i happen to know what the consequence for me would be because we've had false alarms this is and this is a photo i made at about o'clock in the morning in mountain view here when we were watching the computer monitors because we had picked up a signal that we thought this is the real deal all right and i kept waiting for the men in black to show up right i kept waiting for i kept waiting for my mom to call somebody to call the government to call nobody called nobody called i was so nervous that i couldn't sit down i just wandered around taking photos like this one just for something to do well at in the morning with my head down on my desk because i obviously hadn't slept all night the phone rings and it's the new york times and i think there's a lesson in that and that lesson is that if we pick up a signal the media the media will be on it faster than a weasel on ball bearings it's going to be fast okay you can be sure of that no secrecy okay that's what happens to me it kind of ruins my whole week because whatever i've got planned that week is kind of out the window but what about you what's it going to do to you and the answer is that we don't know the answer we don't know what that's going to do to you not in the long term and not even very much in the short term i mean that would be a bit like asking chris columbus in hey chris you know what happens if it turns out that there's a continent between here and japan where you're sailing to what will be the consequences for humanity if that turns out to be the case and i think chris would probably offer you some answer that you might not have understood but it probably wouldn't have been right and i think that to predict what finding e t 's going to mean we can't predict that either but here are a couple things i can say to begin with it's going to be a society that's way in advance of our own you're not going to hear from alien neanderthals they're not building transmitters they're going to be ahead of us maybe by a few thousand years maybe by a few millions years but substantially ahead of us and that means if you can understand anything that they're going to say then you might be able to short-circuit history by getting information from a society that's way beyond our own now you might find that a bit hyperbolic and maybe it is but nonetheless it's conceivable that this will happen and you know you could consider this like i don't know giving julius caesar english lessons and the key to the library of congress it would change his day all right that's one thing another thing that's for sure going to happen is that it will calibrate us we will know that we're not that miracle right that we're just another duck in a row we're not the only kids on the block and i think that that's philosophically a very profound thing to learn we're not a miracle okay the third thing that it might tell you is somewhat vague but i think interesting and important and that is if you find a signal coming from a more advanced society because they will be that will tell you something about our own possibilities that we're not inevitably doomed to self-destruction because they survived their technology we could do it too normally when you look out into the universe you're looking back in time all right that's interesting to cosmologists but in this sense you actually can look into the future hazily but you can look into the future so those are all the sorts of things that would come from a detection now let me talk a little bit about something that happens even in the meantime and that is seti i think is important because it's exploration and it's not only exploration it's comprehensible exploration now i gotta tell you i'm always reading books about explorers i find exploration very interesting arctic exploration you know people like magellan amundsen shackleton you see franklin down there scott all these guys it's really nifty exploration and they're just doing it because they want to explore and you might say oh that's kind of a frivolous opportunity but that's not frivolous that's not a frivolous activity because i mean think of ants you know most ants are programmed to follow one another along in a long line but there are a couple of ants maybe one percent of those ants that are what they call pioneer ants and they're the ones that wander off they're the ones you find on the kitchen countertop you gotta get them with your thumb before they find the sugar or something okay but those ants even though most of them get wiped out those ants are the ones that are essential to the survival of the hive so exploration is important i also think that exploration is important in terms of being able to address what i think is a critical lack in our society and that is the lack of science literacy the lack of the ability to even understand science now look a lot has been written about the you know deplorable state of science literacy in this country right you've heard about it well here's one example in fact polls taken this poll was taken years ago it shows like roughly one third of the public thinks that aliens are not only out there we're looking for them out there but they're here right sailing the skies in their saucers and occasionally abducting people for experiments their parents wouldn't approve of well that would be interesting if it was true and job security for me but i don't think the evidence is very good that's more you know sad than significant but there are other things that people believe that are significant like the efficacy of homeopathy or that evolution is just you know sort of a crazy idea by scientists without any legs or you know evolution all that sort of thing or global warming these sorts of ideas don't really have any validity that you can't trust the scientists now we've got to solve that problem because that's a critically important problem and you might say well okay how are we gonna solve that problem with seti well let me suggest to you that seti obviously can't solve the problem but it can address the problem it can address the problem by getting young people interested in science look science is hard it has a reputation of being hard and the facts are it is hard and that's the result of years of science right i mean in the th century in the th century you could become an expert on any field of science in an afternoon by going to a library if you could find the library right in the th century if you had a basement lab you could make major scientific discoveries in your own home right because there was all this science just lying around waiting for somebody to pick it up now that's not true anymore today you've got to spend years in grad school and post-doc positions just to figure out what the important questions are it's hard there's no doubt about it and in fact here's an example the higgs boson finding the higgs boson ask the next people you see on the streets hey do you think it's worthwhile to spend billions of swiss francs looking for the higgs boson and i bet the answer you're going to get is well i don't know what the higgs boson is and i don't know if it's important and probably most of the people wouldn't even know the value of a swiss franc okay and yet we're spending billions of swiss francs on this problem okay so that doesn't get people interested in science because they can't comprehend what it's about seti on the other hand is really simple we're going to use these big antennas and we're going to try to eavesdrop on signals everybody can understand that yes technologically it's very sophisticated but everybody gets the idea so that's one thing the other thing is it's exciting science it's exciting because we're naturally interested in other intelligent beings and i think that's part of our hardwiring i mean we're hardwired to be interested in beings that might be if you will competitors or if you're the romantic sort possibly even mates okay i mean this is analogous to our interest in things that have big teeth right we're interested in things that have big teeth and you can see the evolutionary value of that and you can also see the practical consequences by watching animal planet you notice they make very few programs about gerbils it's mostly about things that have big teeth okay so we're interested in these sorts of things right and not just us it's also kids this allows you to pay it forward by using this subject as a hook to science because seti involves all kinds of science obviously biology obviously astronomy but also geology also chemistry various scientific disciplines all can be presented in the guise of we're looking for e t so to me this is interesting and important and in fact it's my policy even though i give a lot of talks to adults you give talks to adults and two days later they're back where they were but if you give talks to kids you know one in of them some light bulb goes off and they think gee i'd never thought of that and then they go you know read a book or a magazine or whatever they get interested in something now it's my theory supported only by anecdotal personal anecdotal evidence but nonetheless that kids get interested in something between the ages of eight and you've got to get them there so all right i give talks to adults that's fine but i try and make percent of the talks that i give i try to make those for kids okay i remember when a guy came to our high school actually it was my junior high school i was in sixth grade and he gave some talk all i remember from it was one word electronics it was like dustin hoffman in the graduate right when he said plastics whatever that means plastics all right so the guy said electronics i don't remember anything else in fact i don't remember anything that my sixth grade teacher said all year but i remember electronics and so i got interested in electronics and you know i studied to get my hand license i was wiring up stuff here i am at about or something doing that sort of stuff okay that had a big effect on me so that's my point that you can have a big effect on these kids in fact this reminds me i don't know a couple years ago i gave a talk at a school in palo alto where there were about a dozen -year-olds that had come to this talk i had been brought in to talk to these kids for an hour -year olds they're all sitting in a little semi-circle looking up at me with big eyes and i started there was a white board behind me and i started off by writing off a one with zeroes after it and i said all right now look this is the number of stars in the visible universe and this number is so big there's not even a name for it all right and one of these kids shot up his hand and he said well actually there is a name for it it's a sextra-quadra-hexa-something or other right now that kid was wrong by four orders of magnitude but there was no doubt about it these kids were smart okay so i stopped giving the lecture all they wanted to do was ask questions in fact my last comments to these kids at the end i said you know you kids are smarter than the people i work with now they didn't even care about that what they wanted was my email address so they could ask me more questions let me just say look my job is a privilege because we're in a special time previous generations couldn't do this experiment at all right and another generation down the line i think we will have succeeded so to me it is a privilege and when i look in the mirror you know the facts are that i really don't see myself what i see is the generation behind me these are some kids from the huff school th graders i talked there what two weeks ago something like that i think that if you can instill some interest in science and how it works well that's a payoff beyond easy measure thank you very much
what do your digital footprints say about you what do i mean by digital footprint i mean all the stuff that we leave online the digital tracks and traces the stuff that makes up other people's perception of who we are as well as our own some of those things are really visible and some of them are really invisible the things that you've watched the trail of things you've watched on youtube that recommends something else some of them are things like your search history but lots of the things that we leave online is stuff that are entirely within our control and are about our own creative process so i want you to start off by thinking about what the last thing that you shared online was this might've been two or three minutes ago hours ago or days ago what was that last thing that you shared it might have been something on facebook on snapchat - i know i just protected tweeter automatically because i'd like to be a little bit smug when i'm speaking - but what was that last thing what does that thing say about you if someone's looking at that what does that tell you does that tell them what you are or about your interests maybe it says something that's really positive or quirky so again i'm being a bit smug this is baking a bun maybe it shows that you've an interest maybe it shows that you do a particular kind of job maybe it shows a particular kind of hobby that you have or something really positive you'd really want to show to the world so if someone looks at that you'd think brilliant i recognize that person as myself and i think that's what i'd like to portray to people maybe you're portraying different parts of yourself to different kinds of audiences even having different rights by having different kinds of identities for different kinds of contexts so you can present yourself in sort of on-stage ways and off-stage ways just being off-stage and coming on stage - it feels very relevant right now but sometimes you have to have different kinds of identities and they don't always stay totally separate in fact some of the things you share online maybe they're not presenting you exactly how you'd want to do it so this is my polite version of sharing something slightly inappropriate online this is my cat godfrey he's on twitter and instagram please don't judge me or judge me that's ok you might be sharing stuff you don't really intend to get a wider airing godfrey's not to embarrass although i have to say i didn't ask his consent to use his image which i really should've but maybe something gets out of hand maybe it goes to an audience you don't expect it to get to then your identity starts to be this slight model of things intended for different kinds of audiences you get this idea of context collapse where your friends your colleagues people who you run with people who you'd create craft with maybe all converge in the same space they all start to see different parts of your identity and that's quite challenging and when you're sharing on social media that's really likely to happen your parents might be on facebook people you don't know might interact with people who you do know when you're sharing stuff in anonymous spaces you have to be thinking about what that identity is projecting about you and what you want it to project about you it's not about what you share and where you share it it's also who you share it with you can choose but most of us don't choose to we've been doing some research with students at university of edinburgh and we've been asking them to tell us how they use social media how they think about their identity online and of them very very rarely check their privacy settings and five percent of them have found something online they did not want to see they thought it's been taken away they didn't think they posted it so privacy settings who you share with and the circles you share with matter you share to these networks they share further on you have control of that but most of us choose not to exercise that and that's kind of interesting so we have these footprints we have these things that are visible and these other things that aren't we also create other people's footprints for them but we don't always think about it that way so we have in all these social media platforms the ability to tag people that's great that's lovely you can say you were all in the same place it's really good until you turn down this one invitation to do something quite important and someone tagged you in an event somewhere else that's not so great someone tagged you in a photo and it's not a good photo sometimes it has a serious consequence a lot of training teachers particularly in the us have found that pictures of them drinking - not drinking underage just drinking in their s - have been enough to impact on their employment potential because that's an image that employees don't want to have of them sometimes it's much less important than that someone says you haven't got me at the right side i don't like that picture that picture is not very flattering that matters too though you have to respect people's wishes we still try to figure out this etiquette about what we tag what we share how our digital footprints are constructed and how we're constructed by other people every day so again when we did research about students of people said they had been tagged in an unwanted way in a photograph eleven percent that's a huge number and again thinking about that seriousness potentially - there're some professional bodies and things that from the moment that you start university sometimes even before that your presence online actually is part of your professional identity student nurses are asked from the day they start university to consider themselves a professional that is how they're supposed to present themselves online that's a really big ask i have to say so the stuff you're sharing now the stuff you share everyday can have long-term consequences the thing is though that i'm sounding a bit scary i love social media i'm on all of the social media if you google me you will find me all over the place i totally love these things they are creative fantastic tools they are like a big giant yarn shop for anonymity and it's a huge suite of things that are creative and wonderful and create marvelous things i'm not going to dissuade you from getting that stuff up there can be really good things about being present online again with our students in the research of them had had approaches for jobs for volunteering opportunities because of having a presence online i've had professional opportunities because i shared cooking pictures it can be really fantastic to build up your network it's a really positive thing as long as you're being deliberative and thinking about what you're doing because once something is out there it's really hard to get it back these things go out of hand they grow they network - you end up with this big tangle of things if you want to take back a post you might delete it in one place it might've been copied to somewhere else if you want to get something removed you might have to ask your friends to forget it was ever there and to remove a screenshot of it as well it's not that easy to take stuff back once it's out there it's not impossible the stuff i posted when i was a teenager online - just about young enough to expose the stuff online when i was a teenager - that has disappeared some of that i'm pleased about are some of this i really missed but you have to assume stuff will stick around a little bit and trying to get it back is difficult so i want you to think ten years ahead it's i have no idea what state the world is in - especially after the last few weeks think ahead it's what does the digital footprint of the stuff that you are leaving now say about you is it saying the right things is that history of you because we will all have a history of us recorded in lots of different places what does that say about you is it what you want it to and when you post something next time i want you to think about that about this thing i'm sharing this post this comment it might be silly it doesn't have to be serious having a personality is of what social media is about being fun and lively is fine but think about what you're creating you're creating something beautiful and complex like this dale chihuly glass sculpture maybe you can't see everything maybe a different audience see different things but interesting and complex and a brilliant presentation of you - that's what we need to think about when you think about making a digital footprint for the future and i want you to think about that when you're thinking about how you deal with the stuff you don't want to stay online forever just to be thinking about the long-term view of it it might be ephemeral it might stick around forever but always to be thinking how do i make my digital footprint to say the right thing about me and how can i make that a choice that i've taken control of thank you
my name is james and i'm an experimental particle physicist that means that i get together with a few thousands of my closest colleagues and we take the smallest possible things in nature and we accelerate them up to the highest possible speeds and we slam them into each other to see what happens the reason we do this is because we're looking for things that mankind has never seen before at the very fundamental physical scales i'm here to share with you what something called a dark photon is but to do so i need to set a little bit of historical context - that was an unsuccessful clip there we go - i need to set a little bit of historical context to flashback to when the eminent physicist albert michelson said the following -- he stood in front of an audience at the university of chicago and he said the more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered and these are now so firmly established the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote a couple of decades previous electricity and magnetism had been shown to be two parts of the same force electromagnetism this was considered such a gigantic breakthrough there was a prevalent attitude amongst a lot of physicists that this was pretty much it and the rest were some minor details sometimes i wonder if people like this - michelson didn't need to he was about to get the nobel - say things like this with such definitive authority just so they cab ensure their place in history as grand historical straight men so we can look back years later and marvel at how completely wrong they were a different albert - special relativity general relativity and then in the early decades of the s quantum mechanics then the need to unify quantum mechanics with relativity led to quantum field theory any one of these things by themselves required a complete paradigm shift in our understanding of nature at its very basic scales that it's hard to imagine how michelson could have been more wrong in his pronouncement this quantum field theory that we came up with was the language that allowed us to understand -- had this amazing interplay between theory and experiment in physics in the th century that culminated in this thing that we call the standard model of particle physics it's essentially a list of all the fundamental particles we know and the ways they interact it's nicely summarized in this diagram from the movie particle fever it doesn't have any significance beyond it it's a just a really nice way to put it down on a slide essentially you have two basic classes of particles you have the outer ring which is matter particles and they are quarks and the electron and you have this inner ring which is populated by the so-called force carrying particles or gauge bosons it's an almost shockingly successful experimental theory -- so much so that it earns that name the standard model capital s capital m maybe a few ears may have perked up when i said that word boson anyone here heard of the higgs boson for those of you who haven't heard of the higgs boson perhaps you know it by its more sensationalist name the 'kanye particle' -- sorry the god particle physicists don't care much for that name because it obscures the truly awesome nature of this particle but nonetheless in july of two of the collaborations two of the experiments at the large hadron collider - atlas the one that i work on - and cms a complimentary experiment at the large hadron collider at cern near geneva announced the discovery of this brand new particle the higgs boson its discovery is an amazing triumph it was the culmination of decades of work by thousands of physicists and it really was a fantastic triumph it was the last remaining piece of the standard model puzzle to be plugged in so you might think that once this was plugged in we all turned to each other and said wow isn't this great finally years later we've finally reached michelson's dream of end of physics is this what we said to each other absolutely not we know for a fact the standard model is not the complete picture it is amazingly successful but it cannot be the complete picture of nature at its fundamental scales also we've learned our historical lesson not to say things like that we also know this interplay between theory and experiment and these amazing paradigm shifts that happen in the th century also went over to other related fields of physics so we know for a fact the standard model is incomplete but it's so experimentally successful that any new thing that comes has to build upon it it still has to be true at the end of the day the barrier that we face now in particle physics is not the same one that was in the s the one that michelson s positing the question as to whether we should even bother to keep searching for a new physics the barrier we face now is slightly different it's the question of how to keep searching for a new physics i'll give you a flavor of what i mean by showing you an aerial view of the large hadron collider so this is a -km round tunnel on the border of france and switzerland meters under the ground but to make it more local this is what it would look like around lower manhattan so at the lhc we collide two beams of protons at the highest energies mankind has ever used in collider experiments teraelectronvolts so this gives you a sense of the scale we have these two beams and the place where we focus them together and collide them we've built a big detector there so this gives you a sense of the scope of some of these experiments to get up to higher energies where the new revolutionary physics may be hiding we need to build bigger machines so this is next generation of machines they are planned to be something like a -km round and collide particles at about tev is that it is that the only direction we can go it absolutely has to happen this is being planned this is absolutely the thing that needs to be done but is that the only direction we can go the answer is no this is where the 'dark photon' comes in this gamma is the symbol we often use for a photon and the 'd' just means dark so this is where a dark photon comes in but before we talk about the dark photon we should familiarize ourselves with the regular photon the regular photon you know quite well as you may have heard depending on how you look at it light behaves as either a wave or a particle it has the properties of both the photon is the particle manifestation of light and so when your camera takes a photo - please if you have cameras take them out and take a photo of me posing like this there you go someone is taking a photo - your camera with that photo is collecting a few billion photons when you're standing outside at noon the square meter around you is absorbing something like billion billion photons a second very bright and coherent photons make up lasers some of the dimmest photons we know are those that have been traveling for billion years from a fraction of a second after the big bang and are just now arriving to be collected and studied by astronomers the most energetic photons we know of come from astrophysical sources like hyper-novae and the least energetic that we know of are the ones that carry the soft rock hits of the s via am radio so you're very familiar with regular photons or at least you think you are because as particle physicists we have a slightly different way of thinking about photons in addition to all these things it's also a special type of force-carrying particle to give you an appreciation of what i mean by that i have to take a brief foray into collider physics and quantum field theory but it won't be painful because you already know what a collision is you already know what macroscopic collisions are if you take two billiard balls they smack together and fly apart great in physics we like to keep track of things as they evolve in time so we're going to look at this same collision on a billiard table as it evolves in time so at some point in time the balls are spaced far apart they get closer together they smack together and fly apart then we draw lines to this and this gives us a trajectory of this collision as it happened in space-time but these billiard balls are moving slow and they're pretty large so if we want to go to the very smallest fundamental scales the smallest uncuttable particle scales and if we want to go up to the highest speeds possible - almost the speed of light - then the rules change because quantum field theory takes over and you can't think of collisions in the same way so instead of billiard balls let's collide another particle you know quite well and that we use quite a bit in collider physics the electron the electron and its anti-particle the positron as time goes on get closer together something happens and then an electron and a positron come out of the other side that 'something' can be a collision it can take a few forms one of them is they can pass right by each other that's not very interesting one thing they can do is they can actually annihilate and create a new particle and according to the very strict rules of quantum field theory this particle can then split into other particles another thing they can do is they can get close enough to each other so they can feel each other and by 'feel' i mean they feel a force much like one planet can feel the gravitational force of another one as they go around each other this electron and positron can feel the electromagnetic force between them in the particle level this means they're exchanging another type of particle a special type of particle a force-carrying particle for electromagnetism this is the photon each one of the forces has a force-carrying particle associated with it but is that all of them no this development of the standard model in the th century led us to understand there were other fundamental forces that we had missed before and one of them is the strong force this is the one that holds quarks bounded to protons and neutrons and hence keeps your body from flying apart and keeps the sidewalk from dissolving underneath your feet and its force carrier is called the gluon -- appropriate name one of the other forces we found is the weak force you probably best know is responsible for radioactive decay and it's an oddball because it has three different force-carrying particles associated with it the w plus w minus and z bosons but is that all of them we don't know there actually could be other fundamental forces out there but because so many people have been working on this for so long so many clever people much cleverer than i so many experiments performed we have narrowed down the possible way that we could have missed new forces and hence new force-carrying particles to a very few one way is if the particles are super massive what i mean by mass is not the typical massive bouncer at a bar type colloquial sense mass at the particle level is an intrinsic property of a particle if you remember e equals m times c squared this indicates an equivalence between energy and mass and so we often express the masses of fundamental particles in terms of energy so you'll see this gev here so the proton - it's not a force carrier but a particle you it know quite well - has a mass of about one gev the newly discovered higgs particle has a mass of about times that and then the most massive fundamental particle we know of is the top quark and it has a mass of about times that for reference the w and z force carriers have masses closer to the higgs and the electron has a super small mass one way we could have missed new force-carrying particles is if they are just super massive we haven't built a large enough collider with enough energy to get up there we have to build a larger collider to get to higher energies and find new particles -- and that costs money that's not where you go and get the money it costs money to get up there and so is that the only way no one of the very very few ways we could have missed physical forces is if they have a very small mass smaller than the mass of the proton and if they interact very very slightly with our everyday electromagnetic world our everyday world you might think doesn't make any sense because i just said that to get to the higher masses we need more money so why haven't we covered the broke end of the spectrum already the answer comes from that very very slightly interacting thing what i mean by that is that the most important force in terms of physics in terms of experiment is electromagnetism because it's the only one we can do anything directly with in terms of instrumentation if some new physics effect doesn't eventually result in electromagnetic interaction we won't know about it so if nature had for instance conspired to hide some new force from us a new force-carrying particle that had a very very small mass and it also interacted really slightly with our everyday electromagnetic world so slightly we've never seen it before it would have escaped the detection of all the previous experiments this by contrast to the regular photon we call it the dark photon so this would be a new force-carrier you might be thinking that's all well but this is like a stab in the dark do you have any external motivation for this beyond just 'it might exist ' a lot of things 'might' exist that's a good question i like the way you think yes there is a lot of motivation i will to focus on this one thing it's because this 'dark' actually has something to do with dark matter we all like to look at hubble photographs so take your favorite spiral galaxy count up all the stuff you can see that gives you the amount of luminous matter in the galaxy pull out your favorite textbook on gravity and put that number into the equation that tells you how fast a star should be moving as a function of how far away from the center of the galaxy it is you'll get this prediction now go to your local astronomer and get her to measure those speeds of those particles they're totally off from the prediction this means there has to be more stuff than what we can see and if it's not luminous it's dark that's where this word 'dark matter' comes from now go to your local astrophysicist and ask her to show you the energy budget of the universe - that's the breakdown of all the stuff that exists in the universe - she'll tell there's over five times as much dark matter as there is regular matter now go to your local particle theorist and ask her what dark matter is she'll tell you we don't know we have a lot of ideas though on the experimental end there are a lot of people looking for dark matter directly not necessarily collider physicists like me but other direct detection dark matter experiments and they have seen some weird things i don't have time to go into it here but i'll just tell you you get the dark matter experimentalists into the room with the particle theorists you get them to talk together and compare notes and work it out eventually the particle theorist will turn to me and she'll say you know if there were a new force-carrying particle that had a mass a little less than the mass of the proton and if it interacted really really slightly with our everyday world this would explain a lot of the dark matter craziness the dark matter experimentalists are seeing and then as a collider physicist she'll go that's a dark photon i might be able to create that in a collider experiment partially because of its relationship to dark matter partially for other reasons i don't have time to go into and partially just because this field of dark photon searching has heated up quite a bit in the last few years this is the state of things as of and that white space - completely unexplored that's exactly where a dark photon should live if it's going to help explain these dark matter anomalies flash forward to today to six years later this is the state of things those shaded regions are exclusions places where the dark photon can't live and the open lines are planned experiments to take place in the next years so what changed some theorists in fact n toro p schuster r essig and j bjorken pointed out that we can indeed look in the space for a dark photon and we can do so on on the cheap they made some calculations and made the observation that we can use existing fixed-target facilities built for other particle physics purposes to look for this dark photon so this is where the experimentalists rub our hands together and say yes this is good we can do this these experiments are everywhere they're in russia they're in germany they're in italy they're in california there are three experiments taking place that are planned to happen at a facility in virginia called thomas jefferson national accelerator facility or jefferson lab i'm going to focus briefly on apex because that's the one that i work on so jefferson lab by contrast to the lhc where we collide two beams of protons at really high energies at tev at jefferson lab it's one beam of electrons you get up to the gev scale that beam of electrons goes into an experimental hall once it goes into there - this is what it looks like for apex - the beam comes in over my head goes into this targeting closure where you hold a chunk of metal fixed so what happens when the electrons encounter the chunk of metal i don't know let's look at the diagram a chunk of metal is a dense collection of atoms of large nuclei and when an electron comes in it get close to the nucleus they feel each other and they exchange a photon as the electron bends around this nucleus it spits off another photon which splits into a couple of particles that we can detect then we detect those particles we calculate the mass of the particle they came from and then we bend those up overwhelmingly it's just a background noise shape a smooth background shape but occasionally if a dark photon exists you'll create a dark photon instead very very rarely - which has an actual mass so you're looking for a tiny bump on top of this smooth background thing we did this for the apex experiment in july of where we held the test run and in an ideal world we would have seen something like this you don't have to work too hard to convince someone it looks like a bump but that's a simulation what we saw was this if you think it doesn't look like anything you're right that was just a background spectrum the thing we'd been looking for would be a much subtler effect - closer to the one at the right than the one on the left we didn't see a dark photon otherwise you would have heard about it but we did rule out a small space where one can live we proved the feasibility of the experiment which will happen sometime in the next couple of years like i said other experiments are looking too so the dark photon race is on finally what is a dark photon a dark photon would be a new force-carrying particle much like the regular photon is the force-carrying particle of electromagnetism it's dark because it interacts so slightly with our everyday electromagnetic world that it's effectively been hidden from all previous experiments and because it could help explain some of the odd astrophysical results related to dark matter because it interacts so slightly with our everyday world we need to perform specialized experiments but at existing facilities to look for a tiny dark photon signal on top of a huge background it's potentially revolutionary because it would be the first unambiguous evidence of a fundamental particle not predicted by the widely successful standard model that we're now in love i know the crowd here a little bit i've just spent the whole day here what would this do for you what would you get if we found a dark photon would you soon be able to take dark photons with your phone possibly -- probably not i'm the wrong person to ask because i'm an experimentalist not a product developmentalist i look for a dark photon because i'm interested in the fundamental open questions in physics like what is dark matter more importantly i look for a dark photon because i look at this plot and i think i wonder what's there much like in hiking you look at a hill and think i wonder what could be in that next hidden valley we push the limits of human knowledge because we're curious that being said i do know the pushing of the limits of human knowledge for curiosity's sake by my particle physics forebears has led eventually to such things as ct scans pet scans major advances in rf power the world wide web i've no idea what the discovery of a dark photon will mean beyond expanding our understanding of the universe the rest of it will be up to you at the end of the day though is it possible that every single one of these experiments could come up completely empty yes absolutely i mean these are experiments and in particle physics there is no such thing as failure even if you don't find something you've still gained an important piece of information about nature the only failure is to stop searching thank you
my name is marcus buehler i'm the mcafee professor of engineering at mit and i'm also a member of the center for computational science and engineering in the schwarzman college of computing in this talk i'll be talking about the nexus of materialized sound and sonified material we're going to be talking about how vibrations sound and matter interact and how we can use music to design new and better materials if we're thinking about biological structures such as a spiderweb we can see they're very detailed very intricate very complex structures if we look in a spiderweb - in this case a d spiderweb - there are many internal structures that go really from the macroscale all the way down to the nanoscale we're now flying inside the web structure and we can see that this web has very complex architectural features as we go closer we see more and more of those architectural features emerge and become visible if we go even closer we can look inside each of the silk filaments we can recognize that each silk filament itself consists of a hierarchical structure this hierarchical structure ranges from the molecular scale the individual protein molecules which are assembled atom by atom to form secondary structures to form tertiary structures to form bundles of proteins ultimately forming filaments assembling into bundles of filaments and fibrils then forming the filaments the silk fibers that you can see in the web so you can see that the web structure really has a structure that goes from the macroscale all the way down to the nanoscale how are these materials built well these materials are built in nature by encoding structural information through the genetic sequence usually encoded by dna these dna letters encode information about how proteins are built proteins are built from primary sequences these genetic information letters forming sequences of amino acids forming secondary structures such as alpha helices or beta sheets and these in turn form more complicated structures such as collagen in our bones spider silk consisting of beta sheets and alpha helix mixtures to also more complex structures like viruses what you see in this slide in this picture here is a pathogen of covid- which has these spike proteins sticking out on the surface which give this virus its name the coronavirus or crowns this coronavirus is encoded by sequences of amino acids encoded by letters of rna or dna genetic information this genetic information provides the building plan for how this virus is actually built just like the virus is built from the bottom up forming hierarchical structures across different length scales and time scales we also know that in engineering we might be able to use such an approach as well thinking about an architectural system like the eiffel tower you can also recognize that this system has features as well that go from the macro- all the way down to the nanoscale even though engineers have been using hierarchical principles for an extended period of time we have not yet been able to tune simultaneously molecular scale all the way to the macroscopic level one other feature that's really interesting is a unifying theme and feature across different manifestations of matter and that is the equivalence of vibrations to matter to sound the universality of waves and vibrations is something we see in molecules we can recognize that at the quantum mechanical level we can describe matter as collections of waves we can also see that sound is an overlaying of sine waves harmonic waves to create more complicated sound structures and we can also see that spiders for instance use waves as a way of communicating and understanding the environment waves sound vibrations are universal and we can use perhaps vibrations and sound as a way of defining material models optimizing materials and even inventing entirely new materials by using vibrations here we show how we can evolve the way hierarchical systems are built thinking about a spider a spider uses vibrations as a way of sensing the environment communicating with other spiders sensing threat detecting prey and many other things they use the signals they collect process it in their brain and make decisions - make decisions about how to build the web just like an autonomous d printer they build webs by assembling materials in space depositing materials in space repairing the web and interacting with other spiders forming an autonomous material system a smart material system an intelligent material system humans operate in a very similar way when humans build things when we create a painting play an instrument we sense the environment we make decisions about what to do next what kind of tool to use when we're thinking about wood carving what kind of action to do next to create a certain pattern we play an instrument - we decide on what key to play next depending on what we hear these kind of processes are very similar to what the spider does the question is can we incorporate some of those feedback mechanisms some of these autonomous ways of creating materials of creating matter through sensing processing information in neural networks and creating new things from it can we utilize those and implement those in technological solutions to create materials that aren't static but materials that are alive that can interact with the environment in innovative and novel ways in fact one way to do that is to translate matter - because matter has equivalences to vibrations into sound - and use sound as a way of designing new matter the way that we do this is we have a material composition a material structure - we can understand it as a set of vibrations - we can compute the set of vibrations make it into audible sound and manipulate the sound we can make new sound we can change the sound and we can then use a reverse translation to move sound back into matter by doing this we solve the design problem which really consists of assembling a set of building blocks kind of like lego building blocks into structures in the case of sound those building blocks are sine waves or instruments or melodies or keys on a piano we can assemble complex pieces of structure complex pieces of sound complex melodies simultaneously played intersecting interweaving and create really complicated designs in sound which then we can translate back into material so the question is what kind of material would a certain composition like from bach or beethoven maybe represent can we utilize this idea in designing entirely new materials that nature has not yet invented can we come up with engineering solutions to sustainable materials that we cannot otherwise obtain sound is a really elegant way of capturing multiple levels in the material organization we call it a spiderweb it has many different structures if you recall we were going from the big large scale into the web and we can recognize from the beginning the architectural levels structural details all the way down to the molecular scales and the individual atoms that make up the amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins these amino acids to proteins to assemblies of proteins to filaments fibers to the entire web architecture is a really complicated puzzle by using sound we can hear simultaneously all these different levels each level contributes a particular type of frequency spectrum by listening to it our ear our brain can process the information and we can design new hierarchical structures just like in music if we think about matter and molecules let's take a closer look if you open a chemistry textbook most likely you're going to find a drawing of a molecule like benzene in this case these kinds of models change over time but i would say they're all wrong because these pictures in a textbook are static they look like static drawings when in fact molecules are continuously moving they're vibrating they're moving all the time these vibrations and movements is actually what defines the structure of these molecules each molecule has a unique fingerprint of sound just like you can hear here the vibrations of a guitar you can hear the vibrations creating what we call music in a similar way vibrations of molecule also have a unique sound and we can make it audible by transposing the frequencies into the audible range so that our brain can process the information what you hear here is the sounding of a complex protein structure the protein is vibrating all the time it's continuously moving these movements and motions can be made into audible sound just like playing multiple guitars multiple instruments and multiple structures in musical composition by having a model of a protein in sound we can begin to understand the protein better have another way of understanding structure we can very quickly process information we can understand questions like mutations we can understand how proteins might change the folding geometry as mutations happen we can understand how diseases might be treated by developing antibodies or drugs that bind to the protein all these aspects can be very easily done and heard in sound space one discovery made recently is that each of the amino acids the natural building blocks for all proteins called amino acids have a unique sound they have a unique fingerprint in other words they have a unique key on a piano they all sound different what you hear now is the sound of each of the amino acids going from the beginning to the end these are the sounds of life these sounds can be utilized to build models of proteins in fact what you hear now is a musical representation of the spike protein of covid- 's pathogen this is a very large protein with about amino acids because the protein is so big and has such a complicated folding geometry the musical composition that results from this protein to reflect its structure is very long in fact it's about one hour and minutes long the protein itself is hierarchical in nature it has primary sequence as we've talked about before encoded by the genetic information of the virus again there are basic levels of information in the genetic code of the virus of these encode this particular protein then we have secondary structures like alpha helices and beta sheets and random coils and other structures as well these are then folded into complex geometries the resulting music is a very complicated piece because we have many different melodies weaving into another creating what we call in music counterpoint counterpoint is a concept introduced and used very heavily by johann sebastian bach for instance a couple of hundred years ago so he has already utilized some of the structural features we find in proteins by using sound or music as a way of modeling proteins we can build very powerful coding models that we can use in artificial intelligence applications in fact in recent work we have used proteins to build data sets to represent thousands and hundreds of thousands of hours of music that reflect these proteins and train artificial neural networks to listen to them these ais can then generate new music based on what they have learned these new musical compositions can then once generated be translated back into proteins because we have a unique mapping between the protein sound and the genetic information so we can go from protein from material to sound through the understanding of the equivalence of waves and matter we can then use waves or sound as a way of creating new sound to editing the sound to manipulating the sound to coming up with new design solutions not only by human but also using ais and we can use the new sound then translating that back into material - so we can materialize sound this nexus of matter and sound is very exciting because it allows us to use different techniques to solve various design problems in the case of covid- one of the design problems we're after of course is to think about ways of creating antibodies molecules of proteins that can bind to the protein in the virus more strongly than the protein can bind to the human cell what you hear now is one of these proteins that we have generated using ai and you can see in the picture how this protein looks like this is a protein that nature has not yet invented now how do we create this we listen to many different kinds of coronavirus spike proteins different species different evolutionary stages of the coronavirus not only the current covid- but many other coronviruses we then let the ai method generate new music that reflects the innate structures in these particular type of proteins which are all spike proteins in viruses and the resulting piece is a composition that reflects a protein geometry a protein sequence that has something to do with these coronavirus spike proteins but has not yet been found in nature this kind of composition this kind of sequence might in fact hold the key to an antibody because it matches the types of sequence that we find in the protein in the genetic information here you can hear a piano composition that reflects the moment of infection this is a protein structure that resembles the moment when the virus spike protein attaches to the human cell during the attachment process the protein changes its orientation slightly and you can hear this attachment in a slight change in the spectrum of frequencies and vibrations and you can make it audible through music so music here provides a microscope into the world of molecular motions into the world of infection detachment and the interaction of the virus ultimately with the human body vibrations can also be seen in other manifestations for instance in surface waves water waves in a lake is a very common phenomenon in fact this phenomenon of having sun shining on a lake or on water bodies having waves creating surface waves in the water and seeing the glittering of this resulting product is something that's been very important in human evolution humans use these glittering concepts as a way of finding water - not only humans do that but many animals as well it's a way of detecting water - by using surface waves so we've been trying to see whether we can think about using the deeper structures of water waves surface waves generated not only by wind loading or other environmental influences but also generating those through the mechanical signatures of vibrations encoded in the proteins so we've created an experimental setup where we can excite water through the innate vibrations in the protein and make them visible you can then see at the macroscopic level with your eyes how these proteins excite water and what kind of unique patterns they form turns out different protein states different vibrations we can see the different patterns formed with our eyes from the molecular scale it provides yet another way of visualizing nanoscopic elements nanoscopic events nanoscopic features not only with our ears like in music but also using our eyes by looking at wave patterns these wave patterns can distort reality as shown here in this animation you can see how we have used a camera to film the surface of a wave and watching the reflections off the environment in this case trees and brushes in a snowy landscape because there's a slight wind loading on this water body there's slight surface waves and these surface waves distort the image recorded by the camera so even though you can recognize the image there's a slight distortion this distortion the inceptionism of creating a different image based on an environmental influence is something we'd like to explore and see whether we can use a similar concept to see how reality might be distorted or changed by visualizing protein vibrations in water imaging water waves generated by protein vibrations is in fact a powerful way of detecting proteins what we've done here is we have selected a number of different proteins and visualized them in water waves in water surface waves and then trained the neural network against thousands of images for each of those proteins what the neural network can learn through this training process is what are the wave patterns that are associated with each of the protein structures this is how it looks like for one of the examples you can see there's a really interesting innate pattern forming on the surface because of the protein vibrations so these mechanical vibrations of the proteins are causing these surface waves which in turn create very interesting patterns that can be picked up with the eyes or with a high speed camera each protein has a unique spectrum of vibrations as i mentioned earlier you could hear that in the music i've played here is a graphical visual representation of the same idea you can see in this bar chart the fingerprint of two different proteins on the left-hand side it's a protein called m which is the situation when the covid- pathogen is bound to the human cell on the right-hand side you see a protein called m it's the case when the virus is not attached to the human cell so on right-hand side not infected left-hand side infected this protein is a very particularly important aspect of understanding the infection process of covid- into the human body we've trained a neural network against many different proteins and detected surface waves we can do another experiment now and film or record photos of surface waves associated with different proteins and use the neural network to classify what kind of protein has caused these surface waves in fact the method works really well you can see on the left-hand side it's a protein called m this protein is shaded in a brownish color and you can see in this bar chart the highest probability of prediction for this scenario is the brown color which in fact reflects this particular protein m it's by far the highest probability so the model is perfectly able to predict the structure and you can go through this entire graph and see that every single case the highest prediction by far reflects the actual protein causing the vibration so the method is able to by just looking at the picture of the surface waves immediately detect what is the underlying protein causing these vibrations let's look at the middle part m and m are the proteins shown before these are the infection stages when the molecular interaction begins between the covid- pathogen and the human body m is the attached state m is the detached state and even though the structure is very similar - there's only a very slight molecular change and very slight change in the vibrational spectrum as you've seen on the previous picture - the method is able to pick up the differences very well the highest probability in m is a light blue which reflects that particular structure so it's able to predict that m is a greenish color and the same idea highest probability is for this particular structure so the method can not only distinguish many different classes of proteins - small big - but it can also describe very subtle differences in vibrational spectra very subtle differences in protein folding states through these surface waves we can use this method to develop an approach called protein inceptionism we can try to see whether we can find patterns that are found in these surface waves in water generated by the proteins in other images taking of mountain landscape maybe taking of lakes taking of anything we can see with our eyes we can take a photo and identify whether we can see some of those innate features that are seen in these protein vibrations impacting on surface waves also in other systems where and how do we recognize molecular vibrations in other everyday objects we use the deepdream algorithm to do that and apply the neural network we have trained against all these various protein vibrations you can see a picture here this is how the vibrational spectrum looks like embedded realized in this water wave surface structure if we apply the protein inceptionism algorithm to that it will in fact recognize all these different patterns which are unique to this particular protein and that's how the neural network works the inner layers determine features that are unique to that particular protein and detects which protein has been creating the vibrations we can use that image processing to see these features a little more clearly and this picture here shows how the processing of this results in these spaghetti-like structures so those are the unique fingerprints or structures that are actually causing these particular resonances in the neural network the resonances in the neural network generated by the protein inceptionism algorithm really is a powerful way of visualizing how certain features can be magnified and made more visible and amplified and resonated in these images just like resonances happen in musical instruments like a guitar here we can see resonances as an image generated ultimately by the molecular vibrations now if we look at another situation where we have water waves in the river - this is the original picture - and these waves are now not caused by proteins these waves in fact are caused by flowing water over rocks and you can see how the algorithm picks up certain features in these water waves which again do not occur because of proteins but have similar features as the ones seen in protein-caused water waves again with some processing of the images you can see there's a certain pattern that emerges these are all the areas the spaghetti-like structures where the algorithm detects resonances of the inner detailed structures that are caused by these protein vibrations so protein vibrations are also seen in rivers this is an example of a coastal landscape where we have three elements we have the water we have rocks and we have air and in fact the algorithm detects these features of protein vibrations in all three elements - some of them in the water waves which is not surprising because both of them are water waves we also see some of these ideas being resembled in rocks some of the features some of the patterns in rocks resemble those seen in the proteins and we can also see a few of those being picked up in the sky and again this is the analysis using the image processing and you can see where in the image we can pick up the features that are natural that are innate to the protein vibrations matter is sound and sound is matter in fact we've seen that when we think about the representation of material we can think of it as a collection of vibrations we can make it audible we can also make the vibrations visible in other states of matter like in liquids in water for instance as surface waves and we can utilize various ways of manipulating matter of creating new materials by either creating new sound or using sound as a way of detecting information in existing musical compositions so you can ask the question what kind of material did beethoven create by analyzing the compositions he made we can also see protein vibrations or the features of protein vibrations the unique signatures of the vibrational spectrum in other forms using the protein inceptionism as an algorithm we've been able to show that these vibrations can be seen not only in water waves but also in other states of matter they can be seen in landscapes they can be seen in plants they can be seen in the sky and snow and many other elements thank you so much for your attention
i'd like to start by asking you to imagine yourself in the following scenario you are a high school senior or the parent of a high school senior and you're interested in a potential college and so you arrange for a campus visit and you go on a campus tour and everything looks great and the people are friendly but after a few minutes something strange starts to dawn on you that this campus has a really horrible smoking habit everybody you see is smoking outside everybody smells like cigarette smoke in fact you go to have lunch in a dining hall and students are actually bragging about how much they smoke one student says yesterday i smoked three packs all by myself and another student says nice i did that last week high five and you think to yourself well this is pretty strange this is an otherwise great school but they have sort of a weird bad habit and they're oddly celebrational about it so i'm not sure i want to go here so imagine you go on a second campus tour and you look at a second college and it's very similar to the first the campus looks really beautiful people are friendly - except this college has a bad junk food habit everybody you see is eating junk food there's junk food wrappers everywhere there's nothing nutritious to eat in the dining hall and again people are bragging about how much they're eating so one student says last night i had a whole pizza by myself and another student says nice i did the same thing last week high five so if these two scenarios sound a little far-fetched imagine a third scenario as you go visit another college and again it looks really great the people are friendly except that at this college everybody looks tired you see people falling asleep at their computers you visit a class and people are dozing off in class and it just generally looks like everyone could use a great nap right so what's crazy to me about this is that i've never seen a campus full of people who are all smokers or a campus full of people who are all sleep-deprived but a campus full of people look tired and - or sorry a campus full of people who all eat junk food but a campus full of people who are all sleep-deprived and tired describes every college and university i think that i've ever seen and actually most high schools as well especially during later parts of the semester what's interesting is that the effects of being sleep-deprived all the time can be just as bad as smoking and just as bad as eating too much junk food and yet lots of students would actually choose to go to a college where everyone looks sleep-deprived because it looks like it's a really hard-working college where people are very productive and achieving great things and so as a sleep researcher i've been fascinated by the biology and neuroscience of sleep for over a decade and i have a lab at williams college that studies mice we look at what happens in the brain and the body during sleep we look at how the neurons in the brain control sleep but i have to say as a father as a teacher and as a colleague to a lot of hard-working colleagues hard-working people i have a new-found fascination for how we tolerate sleep deprivation as a society and it's not just students in our schools it's really everywhere whenever a ride public transportation whether it's a bus or a subway i see people who just look exhausted and in fact you can see people taking naps on their morning or afternoon commute and sneak them in in our public life it's really not uncommon to see people dozing off and in general in our public and professional lives people really just look exhausted but something is even crazier than that to me which is that not only are people exhausted but some people choose to be sleep-deprived and some people actually wear it as a badge of honor right because in order to be sleep-deprived you must be really hard-working you must have a lot of important things to do and you must be very very productive or else why would you be sleep-deprived in the first place i've actually been a part of job committees where job applicants will brag about the fact that they only get three or four hours of sleep a night and actually just a couple of months ago i was looking at facebook and one of these memes that somehow just shows up in your feed for no reason i read it - it had tens of thousands of likes and it said no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep the implication being that if get plenty of sleep you're somehow missing out on your life's greatest potential and in all the things that you could be doing and so this is really interesting to me and i wonder actually if people would brag about the fact that they're not getting enough sleep if they knew that the health benefits of getting sleep were just as important as the benefits of not smoking or the benefits of eating good nutrition and not eating junk food sleep scientists have made so many great discoveries over the past years and i'm surprised that more people don't know about them so here's just a couple examples and you'll have to excuse me because i'm a biology professor so when you're sleeping your pituitary gland which is right below your brain surges its production of growth hormone growth hormone is released much more when you're sleeping than when you're awake and growth hormone essentially causes three effects muscle growth bone growth and fat metabolism how many people would take a pill that caused muscle growth bone growth and fat metabolism if there was a company that sold this pill they'd make billions of dollars and i imagine most consumers would pay a lot for this and yet we get it for free when we're sleeping and it's always odd to me when i see people working out at the gym and they spend hours a day at the gym and then they say they don't get enough sleep at night it's kind of a funny ting to me you know your muscles aren't actually growing when you're working out or you're not losing weight that all happens when you're sleeping and i don't think most people know that here's another example the cells and the biochemistry - the biochemicals that make up your immune system and circulate through your blood stream they actually change when you're sleeping compared to when you're awake and when you're sleeping they're particularly good at seeking out viruses bacteria and other microorganisms to stop infection and disease and this is why when you don't get enough sleep you're much more prone to getting sick and that's why when you're sick the best thing you can do is to get a good night's sleep and so in addition to these health benefits of sleep people who don't get enough sleep are at a higher risk for high blood pressure heart disease diabetes obesity psychologically people are at a much higher risk for anxiety and depression we all know that when you are sleep-deprived you lose focus you lose the ability to pay attention and it's been estimated by the national sleep foundation that over billion is lost in the united states annually just due to unproductive workers because they're so sleep-deprived and all of this is really important but i think it also ignores something that we all know everybody in this room knows to be true which is that it really sucks to be sleep-deprived right it feels so awful to be sleep-deprived and try to keep your eyelids open they're all of the sudden so heavy you do things like when you're a speaker at an event like this where you do that headbob thing you're trying to keep your head awake and fall asleep for a second and some distant part of your brain is like not now not now you're trying to keep yourself awake and i know this just as well as anyone else this is the worst picture of me ever taken it's also the most ironic picture of me ever taken because i was so tired i fell asleep in the middle of the day because i had spent the entire night working on a talk about the benefits of sleep so - i did not do that last night so i know this just as well as everybody else and it's just really awful to be sleep-deprived but here's where there's good news because the good news is that the opposite is also true the opposite being that people who are chronically sleep-deprived when they develop habits to get a regular amount of sleep every single day they all of the sudden feel like years have been taken off their life they're suddenly alive and awake and have the energy of someone much younger and they just feel great and they wonder why they didn't do it before but there's also a lot of sleep science to back this up one of my colleagues ran lots of studies on varsity athletes at stanford university and she recruited varsity athletes for sleep studies in which they were essentially forced to get a good night's sleep over several weeks and what she found was that compared to players who didn't take part in this sleep study everything about these athletes who slept in improved their speed improved their strength improved the number of mistakes and errors they made went way down their chances of getting a concussion went way down and they were generally much better at the sport the same thing happens in the classroom when students were recruited for sleep studies where they get much more sleep their creativity increases their problem-solving increases their test scores increase and their grades increase and so it just seems that everything gets much better once someone declares themselves that they're going to get a good night of sleep every single night very consistently and the greatest paradox in this i think is that the people who don't get enough sleep because they'd like to accomplish more during the day actually find that they're more productive when they get more sleep and not less productive because even though they're not awake as long they're much more productive when they've gotten enough sleep there's lots of measured studies on this that you're actually able to get more done when you get a good night's sleep not less so why are we so bad at this if this is all true then why as a society are we not good at this and this is actually where i feel like the analogy between sleep deprivation junk food and smoking goes down it's because when people smoke or have junk food they're doing it for the short-term reward it's immediately satisfying when people choose to do those things but there's nothing satisfying about sleep deprivation like we've already talked about so why do people do it and i ask my colleagues this i survey students all the time and the same three answers come up again and again and again one we have busy lives and we'd like to get more done two we're stressed stress and anxiety keeps us awake sometimes and there's lots of stressors in our life and three - and this is a very new trend - is that we're addicted to our gadgets at night we love looking at our smartphones tablets computers and there's all sorts of apps now that just occupy our time before we go to bed there's email facebook twitter instagram not to mention youtube netflix and a long list of great ted talks that we can see so what do we do about all of this and this is where i actually get some insight from the mice that we study in our lab because it actually turns out that all animals need sleep all animals get the same benefit of sleep that humans do but it's amazingly easy to keep a mouse awake to sleep-deprive a mouse you don't really have to do very much if you want to stress out a mouse a little bit you can give him a new roommate giving him a new roommate will keep him awake for a little while or you can move him to a different cage that he's not used to and the stress of going to a new home will keep him awake hours past his bedtime you might ask what is the mouse equivalent of watching youtube or being addicted to email and it turns out we can duplicate this as well with something as putting a paper towel in a mouse's cage - we wad up a paper towel give it to the mouse the mouse is entertained by this for hours it'll explore the contours of the paper towel it'll kick it around it'll play with it and again it'll stay up hours past its bedtime so the take-home point from this i think is that we're hardwired to need sleep but we're also hardwired to be sleep-deprived at a moment's notice based on stressful things and exciting things happening in our lives and it actually turns out when the mouse is playing with the paper towel a surge of dopamine is being released in its brain and the same thing happens when we scroll on a smartphone every time you swipe up on a facebook post or an email or anything else we actually get a little surge of dopamine in our brains and that surge of dopamine keeps us awake so what do we do about all of this especially when we have a life that's much more complicated than that of a mouse you know a paper towel is bad enough for a mouse but we have all these nice gadgets now that we didn't have ten years ago to immediately give us all these things so it's here where i feel like i have three ideas worth spreading and the first idea is that we need to just completely embrace sleep as a culture we need to treat this as healthy and no job applicant should brag about only getting three or four hours of sleep no student should high-five another student in the dining hall for pulling an all-nighter and in general we should just be much more sleep-conscious as a society i actually went to a doctor a couple of weeks ago and when i showed up at the doctor's office i had to check a little form about the healthy habits in my life and there was a long list and it was things like do i have a smoke detector in my home do i wear my seat belt do take a daily vitamin i thought this was a great list but nowhere on the list was do i get to hours of sleep a night and i thought that it was very odd we need to treat sleep as a health issue just as much as smoking or just as much as eating a balanced diet number two is we need to relearn how to go to bed it's amazing - you know who the best sleepers are in american society it's actually our kids which is funny because it takes a while to get them to sleep but once they're asleep they actually sleep very soundly and they have a nice quantity and quality of sleep and i think that that's because we take the time to put them to bed properly we brush their teeth we give them some water we change their clothes into their pajamas we dim the lights we read them a story and this whole -minute -minute process really prepares them for a great night of sleep and they sleep very soundly once they finally go to sleep can you imagine what it would be like to put our kids to sleep the same way that we put ourselves to sleep if we gave our kids bright screens and said play whatever you want for minutes - but maybe it'll turn it in two hours - our kids would never sleep and this would be really detrimental and so we need to out ourselves to bed essentially the same way we need to just remember what we did when we were six years old and i think that this gets lost sometime around high school we don't as parents put our high schoolers to bed and somewhere around the elementary school ages to high school ages people forget how to go to bed and we just magically assume that we'll fall asleep after being worried and playing with our gadgets and so we need to dim the lights to develop a nice habit a nice night-time routine and we need to take anything that has a screen on it and push it away or minutes before we go to bed and try not to look at it until we wake up the next morning finally kids are the best sleepers but if you ask adults who are the best sleepers out of the adult community what people find is that the best sleepers are the ones who embrace good wake habits as well people who have good time management and productivity skills actually sleep better at night because they have such a well-balanced day and there are so many books written on the topic of productivity and time management and lots of tips you can find online but i tell students this can be something as easy as just knowing if you are a morning person or a night person what time of day are you most productive and do your best work during that time of day what time of day are you least productive and do the mindless tasks that you just need to get done at that time of day - ask where you work best how you work best - even just by asking students these kinds of questions they discover the answers for themselves and every one is different because really you get a good night's sleep not because sleep is fun but because if you get a good night's sleep it makes you have a better day's wake it makes you more productive more time-efficient and you get more done but it's reciprocal if you have a better day's wake and you get more done and you're more productive it actually causes you to have a better night's sleep and this is sort of a reinforcing cycle and it works really great and i'm a little disappointed in myself that i didn't figure out these techniques into years in my life i started studying sleep before i realized these good night's sleep habits and these great productivity habits and when i think about that i actually kind of get a little frustrated because when i was in school i had sex education nutrition education drug awareness-resistance education but no one ever told me how to go to bed and no one ever told me how i could get more done during the day these are things i just picked up on my own and i think these are so valuable things that we could actually be teaching high school kids and college kids and so just recently at williams college we actually taught our first course called the science of sleep and the art of productivity and i was really afraid that no one would sign up for this class and in the end it turned out people were hungry for it college students overenrolled in the class and we wound up letting a lot more people in than we initially intended but it was amazing they loved learning about sleep habits they loved talking about how they could get more done during the day and it worked out really well and now what we're trying to do is take these messages and spread them across our campus and the community to try to embrace a culture of sleep that everyone is proud of because it's really true no one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep this is true but the opposite is also true nobody looks back on their life and remembers the times they were exhausted right and i hate this picture of me but the funny thing about this day is i don't remember a single thing about this day the only reason i remember this is because a picture was taken of me i remember the times i was awake and alert and i had a life of good experiences when i was awake not when i was exhausted and i choose to optimize those times now i choose to try to be awake as much as i can so i can enjoy those great experiences with my family and with my friends so i think the take-home message is to get a good night's sleep not because it's fun but because it makes you so much happier during the day and this is what i wish for all of you i wish that everybody has a good night's sleep for a better day's wake and a better day's wake for a good night's sleep thank you