Christian Long

Kary Mullis: Celebrates the Experiment

In TED Talks on May 12, 2010 at 4:39 am

Reflection by SUSIE C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Kary Mullis:  Celebrates the Experiment

You know those crazy uncles that every family seems to have, who come to visit on holidays and tell crazy stories of their childhood?

Yeah? Well that is what biochemist Kary Mullis reminds me of.

With a title as intriguing and exciting as “Celebrates the Experiment”, I expected a high tech science talk about lots of cool experiments. Instead, I discovered that this talk is by a very friendly looking man who, as I said, reminds me of a crazy uncle.

He seems to ramble on from topic to topic, getting a little side tracked a times. As much as he wanders though, looking back at the talk, I can see the link every silly story has with the theme of science, the scientific method, and experiments.

The whole time, Kary Mullis, is making funny comments that continually kept the audience laughing and kept the talk loose, familiar, and flowing.

My favorite story that Kary Mullis tells, and one that clearly shows an example of scientific method, is how his childhood dream was to launch a frog out of sight with a rocket and have it return with a parachute. As he phrased it, “I knew that frogs had aspirations of space travel, just like people!”

His steps toward accomplishing this goal (and eventually he did!) are comical and show the benefits of the scientific method and experiments to make “scientific discoveries”, in this case a home-made, frog-launching rocket.

His stories “celebrate” the scientific method, especially experiments, and their affect on the field of science and his life.

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