Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 TED Prize Winners and Event

Meet the 2009 TED Prize winners - Two of the three winners fit with the space and related themes usually covered in this blog. They include Sylvia Earle (oceanographer and explorer, former Chief Scientist of NOAA) and Jill Tarter (Director of the Center for SETI Research).

The Three Winners of the 2009 TED Prize - ... in more detail

Each wins $100,000 plus "One Wish to Change the World." Their wishes will be unveiled at TED2009 on February 5, 2009.

The 2009 TED Prize Live from the TED Conference - Special introductions by: Quincy Jones, Al Gore, and Richard Branson ... - A number of cinemas and similar venues across the country are going to feature the presentations in a simulcast (the in-person event gets over 1000 attendees but sells out).

trailer for the 2009 winners

As I recently mentioned, Sylvia Earle also recently held an MIT X Prize Lab workshop on "Deep Diving" ocean prizes. She is also part of an announcement about Google Earth planned for February 2 (that's 2 days from now, and only 3 days before the TED event -- but I have no idea if these are at all related). From the Google Earth Blog announcement link:

Google has sent out an invitation to the press, including Google Earth Blog, for a "Special announcement about Google Earth" on February 2nd in San Francisco. And this event looks like it could be the biggest announcement since Google Earth was released! Speakers include: former Vice President Al Gore, CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, VP of Google Marissa Mayer, and Director of Google Geo John Hanke. Wow! ...

Another clue for this announcement was some other speakers for the announcement: Sylvia Earle - Explorer-in-Residence for National Geographic Society; Terry Garcia - EVP for National Geographic Society, and Greg Farrington, Executive Director for California Academy of Sciences. The last one isn't surprising because the invitation says the announcement will be held at the California Academy of Sciences.

Here's some information about Terry Garcia:

Prior to joining the Society in 1999, Garcia was the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In this role he directed and coordinated U.S. coastal, ocean and atmospheric programs, including the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, the National Weather Service and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service.

He's also involved with Scotland's ~$20M Saltire Prize for marine renewable energy:

The National Geographic Society's head of global missions, Terry Garcia, was announced as one of the first members of the international prize committee, along with Scotland's chief scientific adviser, Prof Anne Glover.

This announcement will be at the California Academy of Sciences in a place I like, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Sylvia Earle - This YouTube video is from a talk by Sylvia Earle in September 2008 at the Zeitgeist Google Partner Forum. The talk includes a Google Earth tour of the fragile oceans. It ends with some brief comments about Ocean X PRIZEs (Peter Diamandis was making a presentation there the next day) and crewed exploration of the ocean depths.