Christian Long

Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn Moon Harbor Life?

In TED Talks on May 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Extra credit reflection by RYAN S.

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

Carolyn Porco:  Could a Saturn Moon Harbor Life?

It seems to me that Carolyn had no new information to add.

She referenced a previous talk where her team at NASA thought that the moon, Enceladus, probably had liquid water somewhere under it’s icy surface. However, during this talk she seemed to have nothing knew to add. She said that they had discovered salt water particles in the ice, but she didn’t even say that this had proved that water had actually existed, but that it had increased the probability that it was there. And while it is important to know that there is a solid core under the ice at Enceladus, it is over all unnecessary information.

These to pieces of information seemed to be the main point of her talk, everything else was either old information, or an introduction to what she was talking about. This felt almost as if it was a status update. As in NASA was just trying to let us know that they were still working on it, but otherwise the had nothing new to add.

I think this video would have been much better if they had waited five years. When Enceladus returns and brings with it solid evidence of whether there is any water under the ice, and whether there are organic compounds in that water I think then would be a good time for another TED talk. Until then you really didn’t do anything that, in my opinion, is worthy of a TED talk.

Now while I would normally be glad to end my analysis here, and simply write this talk off as a bad job, I can’t in any right mind do that.

While the video seemed over all unnecessary, and it’s point poorly conveyed, it wasn’t all bad. Carolyn did actually convey her points, and the information she talked about was interesting. If you knew nothing of her previous video, and came into this one with none of the knowledge had already provided, then the TED talk would probably seem alot different. It would more than likely seem like an efficient use of five minutes that very quickly summed up that ,there was a mission to Enceladus, it was to try to discover if there was life, and that they had found evidence to support that idea. Over all I don’t recommend this video. It’s not because it’s bad, but because it’s redundant. The first talk she did told most of this and more. I think that Carolyn should have done either this video or the other, but I think that both is simply unnecessary.

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