Image Credits: Ryan Lash / TED

Ted Talks are a great low-commitment way to learn about a topic. Because giving a Ted Talk is so prestigious, the speakers are usually leaders in their field who have done groundbreaking research. For me, health and medicine is fascinating, but that half of my brain doesn’t work. I can’t just sit down and read a medical journal and learn about what’s happening to me, and while I can do the basic research, there are often really interesting and timely topics I miss out on.  Ted Talks provide a great way for me to learn about a fascinating health or medical topic without having to commit to a textbook or to medical school. Plus, as a woman, I know there are a lot of things that I should know about that I don’t. These five Ted Talks are a great place to start if as a woman you’ve got some down time and are interested in things like maternal care, gene modification of babies, menstruation, cancer, and more. There are hundreds of Ted Talks under the “health” and “medicine” categories if you want to take an even deeper dive.

The Ethical Dilemmas of Designer Babies

Science is amazing. Now, we can study human genomes and know what little twist of one molecule on a strand of DNA gives someone a certain disease or eye color or propensity of sports. But is that a good thing? What are the dangers of that, both in the present and the future? This Ted Talk explores some of those dilemmas and is a great talk for both women who will have children in the future and just those interested in the issue at all. 

How We Can Improve Maternal Healthcare–Before, During, and After Pregnancy

Being pregnant is no walk in the park. Anyone will tell you that. The rate of maternal health problems is fascinating, especially when you break it down across racial and socioeconomic lines. It doesn’t have to be all bad for the rest of forever though. This Ted Talk looks at ways in which maternal healthcare can be improved at every step of the way, even for those of us who aren’t yet pregnant. 

What is HPV and How Can You Protect Yourself From It

HPV is a hot topic in women’s health,and the vaccine to prevent it is often discussed and debated, but this informational Ted Talk looks beyond that and also at the root cause of HPV and what we as women should know, because while men can get HPV, it primarily occurs in women. 

How Artificial Light Affects Our Health

Not exactly just for women, but are you that girl who stares at their phone all day? Or never goes outside? That might be hurting you more than you realize, and not just socially. This Ted Talk was super eye-opening for me. It definitely made me want to go outside and turn off the phone before bed. 

A Taboo Free Way to Talk About Periods

Do you remember when you learned about menstruation? Can you imagine how scary it would have been if you hadn’t been told what to expect or had the guidance of an older woman in your life. For a lot of girls in India, that’s an unfortunate reality. This Ted Talk looks at the way we can break down the process of telling girls about their bodies and help encourage their autonomy and their health in the long run. It’s a great story for girls of all ages. 

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member