Contributors > Ben Lillie

Ben Lillie

New York, NY, United States
The Story Collider
Co-founder and Director

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The Story Collider
Personal Blog

I'm the director of The Story Collider, where people tell true, personal stories about science in their lives. I'm also a Contributing Editor for TED.com, a Moth StorySLAM champion and an ex-High Energy Particle Physicist.

Stories by Ben Lillie:

Live from TED2014

Hope on the Golden Gate Bridge: Sergeant Kevin Briggs at TED2014Hope on the Golden Gate Bridge: Sergeant Kevin Briggs at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

Sergeant Kevin Briggs recently retired from the California Highway Patrol after 23 years of service, the majority of which included patrolling the southern end of Marin County, which includes the Golden Gate Bridge. And that means that he has frequently responded to suicide attempts. The bridge, while an iconic structure, has also been the site […]

Live from TED2014

Building a house of music: Blood Orange at TED2014Building a house of music: Blood Orange at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

Devonté Hynes is a producer, singer, composer, author, and more. He’s spent a lot of his career helping other musicians produce their work, or writing for others. But he also has an amazing solo career as Blood Orange. At TED, he plays the piano and explains how he sees music. And he really sees music […]

Live from TED2014

Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson at TED2014Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

In 2006 Harold Ford called his friend Mellody Hobson, saying that he was running for US Senate in Tennessee, and he need some national press. Hobson, an investor, opens her talk with this story. She called a friend at a major media organization who organized a lunch. Hobson and Ford arrived at the reception, said […]

Live from TED2014

Deep and faint in the night sky: Andrew Connolly at TED2014Deep and faint in the night sky: Andrew Connolly at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

Astronomer Andrew Connolly begins by telling us that in 1781, English composer, technologist and composer  Sir William Herschel noticed something unusual, a little bit of data that was wrong. This was the discovery of a new planet, Uranus. (“A name that has entertained countelss generations of children.”) Just last week NASA announced 517 new planets, almost doubled […]

Live from TED2014

Lighting up the world of fireflies: Sara Lewis at TED2014Lighting up the world of fireflies: Sara Lewis at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

Sara Lewis has managed to put herself in the center of a world of wonder by becoming a world expert on fireflies. Her obsession began in grad school, sitting in a backyard in North Carolina and watching the sparks light up around her. She wondered, “How do these creatures make light? Are they talking to each […]

Live from TED2014

How parasites turn our thinking sideways: Ed Yong at TED2014How parasites turn our thinking sideways: Ed Yong at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

Ed Yong begins by showing us beautiful images of animals gathering in large groups. And the reasons for them are fascinating and many. But Yong, an award-winning science writer, points out that most explanations “make an assumption about animal behavior — that they are in charge of their actions.” But many animals gather in groups, […]

Live from TED2014

The fundamental nature of the universe: Allan Adams at TED2014The fundamental nature of the universe: Allan Adams at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

Allan Adams “became a physicist to understand how the world works at its most fundamental level.” Adams, a professor of theoretical physics at MIT, points out that the things we’ve learned so far are pretty incredible: We know the universe began just 13.8 billion years ago, and have a pretty good idea how it’s going […]

Live from TED2014

The hard problem of consciousness: David Chalmers at TED2014The hard problem of consciousness: David Chalmers at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

“Right now you have a movie playing inside your head,” says philosopher David Chalmers. It’s an amazing movie, with 3D, smell, taste, touch, a sense of body, pain, hunger, emotions, memories, and a constant voice-over narrative. “At the heart of this movie is you, experiencing this, directly. This movie is your stream of consciousness, experience […]

Live from TED2014

The brain is a Swiss Army knife: Nancy Kanwisher at TED2014The brain is a Swiss Army knife: Nancy Kanwisher at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

She starts by telling us one of the most surprising results from recent neuroscience discoveries: The brain is not a general-purpose processor, but a collection of specialized components, “collectively building up who we are as human beings and thinkers.” Imagine, she says, walking into a daycare center and suddenly realizing you can’t recognize any of […]

Live from TED2014

Public spaces have power: Amanda Burden at TED2014Public spaces have power: Amanda Burden at TED2014

Posted By Ben Lillie

When we think of cities, we think of buildings and skyscrapers and stray cats. For Amanda Burden, who spent 12 years as New York City’s director of urban planning, they’re primarily about people. They’re about where people go and where they meet – that’s the core of how cities work. And for the people, even more important than the […]