TED

The 10 Best Ted Talks of 2016, According to the Head of TED

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Each year, dozens of people take the stage at TED to present their stories. Some are funny, some are informative, some break your heart.

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1. "A visual history of social dance in 25 moves" by Camille A. Brown

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2. "Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe" by Kenneth Lacovara

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3. "Gene editing can now change an entire species — forever" by Jennifer Kahn

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4. "Our refugee system is failing. Here's how we can fix it" by Alexander Betts

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5. "Inside the mind of a master procrastinator" by Tim Urban

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6. "Can we build AI without losing control over it?" by Sam Harris

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7. "What the discovery of gravitational waves means" by Allan Adams

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8. "What do you think when you look at me?" by Dalia Mogahed

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9. "A prosecutor's vision for a better justice system" by Adam Foss

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10. "The secret to effective nonviolent resistance" by Jamila Raqib

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Each year, dozens of people take the stage at TED to present their stories. Some are funny, some are informative, some break your heart.

As 2016 winds to a close, TED's curator, Chris Anderson, has picked his 10 favorites from the past year.

In case you missed them the first time around, here are the best TED talks of 2016.

In her high-energy demonstration, choreographer and dance teacher Camille A. Brown traces the history of social dances performed by African-American slaves in the 19th century. 

The dances are forms of artistic expression, but also outlets for expressing resistance and freedom.

Watch the talk here.

Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara explains how a 77 million-year-old dinosaur the size of a house reminded him of the wonders of human evolution.

Amid a planet of roaming beasts, tiny specks of life managed to survive, adapt, and use their conscious brains to outlast the giants. 

Watch the talk here.

Journalist Jennifer Kahn introduces viewers to CRISPR, a tool used for gene editing that gives humans the power to shape DNA. 

CRISPR's potential applications make it apt for many ethical debates and thought experiments, but scientists already have plans to use it for good — they intend to wipe out the mosquito-born diseases malaria and Zika.

Watch the talk here.

Oxford professor Alexander Betts dismantles the idea that forced migration should cause alarm. 

By changing our attitudes toward refugee families, many of whom are harmless and only interested in fleeing terror, Betts says we can begin accepting them as we do anyone else.

Watch the talk here. 

Anyone who's taken a dive down the rabbit hole of YouTube can relate to illustrator Tim Urban's talk about putting things off. 

Urban, who says he has lived his entire life as a procrastinator, urges people to confront their bad habit while they still have time to get everything done.

Watch the talk here.

Neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris says there's no doubt about it: Artificial intelligence is on its way.

Harris warns that humans are right to fear this coming revolution, which experts predict could result in millions of lost jobs and perhaps even a robot takeover.

Walk the talk here.

Theoretical physicist Allan Adams explains why the science world went nuts in September 2015 (and again in June 2016), after a fancy laser detector observed tiny gravitational waves in outer space.

By detecting the faraway waves, Adams explains, astronomers can reconstruct the very beginnings of the universe itself.

Watch the talk here.

Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed uses her time on the TED stage to challenge people's Islamophobia and urge them to choose understanding over assumptions.

She compels viewers to face their own biases in order to see her and other Muslims as more than dangerous stereotypes.

Watch the talk here.

Prosecutor Adam Foss sees the US criminal justice system as too eager to punish — especially when it comes to young offenders.

Foss questions whether "to the fullest extent of the law" is a worthwhile clause in all cases, and whether other forms of justice can give America's at-risk youth a better shot at life beyond prison.

Watch the talk here.

Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, makes the case that nonviolent protest is the most effective way to topple tyranny, but only if done correctly.

Raqib says aimless marches do little to help a cause. Like war, effective nonviolent resistance is about having a clear set of demands and sticking to them until the very end.

Watch the talk here.

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