TED Talks 2024

Tuesday 28th May 2024

After the most dynamic response ever to the call-to-arms, additional heats had to be created to accommodate the sheer number of entrants. Even then, several who had applied post the deadline had to be turned away.

In the heats, it was clear that we were in for a treat, with talks ranging from the metaphysical concept of reincarnation to the mathematical attributes of musical resonance, from the injustice of identity crisis and heritage theft in Canada to the fights against resistant strains of viruses and superbugs.

In the final, the normal four was expanded to five, such was the quality on show. An hour and a half later, in front of a packed Garnett Room, the adjudicating panel of Mssrs Woodford, Lloyd, Lynbeck, Moore and Marvin, a daunting audience for sure, announced their decision, awarding 1st place – and £300 – to a composed and elegant performance by Dani L entitled ‘Why We Laugh’, run very close by a dizzying, intellectual exposition by Elliot R – awarded £150- on ‘The Beauty of Mathematics’. The senior judge praised the reposed eloquence of Milly G’s talk on ‘What’s In a Name’; the cross-cultural and geo-political analysis of Ed G’s talk on ‘How Russia Will Fall’; and the sheer scientific scholasticism of Katie M’s exposition of her findings conducting experiments on the ‘Antimicrobial Properties of Silver’. Each received £75. A drinks reception and supper followed, bringing the curtain down on another wonderful event in the academic calendar.

My thanks and admiration to all competitors, but also to all who were generous in attending heats and the final. Special mention and sincerest thanks, of course, to the judges.

Steve Clayton

Modern Languages Department

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