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About this Video

2017 TEDxBeaconStreet Interview with Andreas Mershin. Curiosity is the untapped global resource for science, democracy and equality. We’ve paid a lot of lip service over the years to curiosity as the wellspring of science, technology, medical advances, democracy, and exploration, but we never treat the capacity to be curious as a honeable resource. In school, we emphasize the importance of getting answers right, often by selecting the correct one amongst the available ones, yet real-world change does not come by selecting out of a list of ready answers on a test sheet. It comes from inventing both questions and answers in response to new challenges and emergent perspectives. Andreas explores teaching how to ask new questions, to arrive at answers no one’s thought of before.

About the Speaker

Andreas Mershin

Andreas Mershin

Andreas Mershin is a Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms. He leads the Label Free research group ignoring boundaries between physics, biology and materials science. From inexpensive photosynthetic solar panels to quantum effects in molecular biology, and from cytoskeletal memory encoding and machine olfaction to bioenergy harvesting, his research and the technologies it has spawned are used by industry and government, exhibited at the Boston Museum of Science and Designer’s Open Exhibition and globally covered by media including CNN, BBC, NYT, Discovery Channel, Wired, New Scientist, Nature and Science.

He is the co-founder and Director of the international Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize (MFIP) a.k.a Kid Nobel open to anyone under 18 years old and awarded annually at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm (home of the science Nobels) to the most intriguing scientific questions posed by children. Winners are determined by a jury selected from a panel of eminent scientists including thirteen Nobel laureates. The MFIP is the world’s first ever prize awarded for asking good questions. He is a scuba dive master and a private pilot and sometimes teaches the “hard” physics class at MIT.