Study finds increase in women giving TED talks but not ethnic minorities

phys.org | 3/4/2014 | Staff
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Women gave more than half of TED talks in the first half of 2017, up from less than one-third in 2006, according to a new study published in Political Research Exchange. But the German research team also found that ethnic minorities remain under-represented as TED speakers, giving just one in five talks over the same time period.

"Our results raise some concerns, particularly about the representation of certain ethnic groups in these talks," says lead author Carsten Schwemmer from the University of Bamberg. "This highlights the importance of speaker diversity to reduce stereotypes about scientists and people driving societal change."

Talks - TED - Events - Conferences - Means

Since 2006, talks given at TED events and conferences have become an important means for communicating latest developments in science, culture and society, with the talks streamed online to a global audience of millions. Many well-known scientists, politicians and businesspeople have given TED talks, including Stephen Hawking, Al Gore and Elon Musk. But this has raised concerns that TED talks are being dominated by white men and their interests. This is what Schwemmer and his colleague, Sebastian Jungkunz, set out to explore.

To do this, they used facial recognition technology to determine the gender and ethnicity of speakers giving 2,333 TED talks between 2006 and 2017, representing all those available on YouTube's main TED channel. They also applied automated text analysis to transcripts of the talks, to determine the main topics being discussed, and to 1.2 million comments left by viewers of the talks on YouTube, in order to assess reaction and feedback.

Kind - Analysis - Representation - Attitudes - Towards

While this kind of analysis of the representation of, and attitudes towards, different groups in traditional media is quite common, it is much rarer...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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