Ted has lectured on a wide variety of topics related to his research, including the relationship between climate and violence, patterns of African economic and political development, the need for greater transparency in social science research, electrification and development, and links between health, education and productivity for the poor. He has also given public lectures on his books, Economic Gangsters and Africa's Turn? Most talks listed below are public lectures, often with slides, audio and video recordings. For a more complete list of talks (including academic seminars and conferences), refer to his CV.
Ted presented at the February 2014 TEDxBerkeley event at Zellerbach Hall. He discussed results from his paper 2013 Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict, which he co-authored with Solomon Hsiang and Marshall Burke and appeared in Science.
There is growing interest in research transparency and reproducibility in economics and other scientific fields. We survey existing work on these topics within economics and discuss the evidence suggesting that publication bias, inability to replicate, and specification searching remain widespread problems in the discipline. We next discuss recent progress in this area, including improved research design, study registration and pre-analysis plans, disclosure standards, and open sharing of data and materials, and draw on experiences in both economics and other social sciences. We discuss areas where consensus is emerging on new practices as well as approaches that remain controversial and speculate about the most effective ways to make economics research more accurate, credible, and reproducible in the future.
In an interview with Thought Lounge Against Poverty (TLAP), Ted discusses climate change in the context of global poverty and inequality, referencing his recent research on the impact of rising temperatures on economic production. TLAP is a Thought Lounge initiative featuring experts in the field of international development in a dialogue around the question “How do we end poverty?”.
At the 2015 UBS Center Forum for Economic Dialogue in Zurich, Ted spoke on the topic of Conflict, Climate and Development in Africa. He spoke on his recent research with co-authors Solomon Hsiang and Marshall Burke on the links between extreme climate and violent conflict (which appeared in Science in 2013 here) and their article on the non-linear realtionship between temperature and economic productivity (Nature 2015 here). He discussed implications for public policy responses and climate change, and the prospects for future African economic development. (Ted starts speaking at minute 31:00.)
We show that overall economic productivity is nonlinear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13 C and declining strongly at higher temperatures. The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries, with important implications. If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change. (Co-authors Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang)
At the BITSS Summer Institute, "Transparency and Reproducibility Methods for Social Science Research", Ted presented on the methods and best practices for reproducible research and next steps in achieving greater transparency throughout Social Science research.
Ted was invited to present the keynote talk at the World Bank's Annual Bank Conference on Africa, "Confronting Conflict and Fragility in Africa" on June 8th, 2015. The two-day meeting covered various topics pertinent to the causes, solutions, and understanding of conflict and fragility in sub-Saharan Africa.
At CEGA's annual Evidence to Action (E2A) event, Ted presented on a large and influential Chlorine Dispensers project to highlight the advances in Development Engineering.
The movement towards more transparency, reproducibility, and openness has gained a lot momentum in the social sciences. Yet, the norms and institutions that govern academic research do not reflect this culture shift. Significant problems remain, including professional incentives that reward striking and statistically significant research findings at the expense of scientific integrity.
Increasing the reliability and accuracy of scientific evidence requires well-defined standards of methodological rigor. At the same time, new tools and strategies to increase transparency must be integrated into existing research workflows to facilitate adoption. As the social sciences reinvent their practices around data, it is absolutely the right moment to build new channels of collaboration, cross-learning, and dissemination for innovative, open research practices.
The two-day conference brought together academic leaders, scholarly publishers, and policy-makers to discuss recent innovations in journal practices, academic training, data sharing, and evidence-based policy in light of the push for increased transparency.
The event was organized by BITSS in partnership with the Center for Effective Global Action, the Center for Open Science, D-Lab, The Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
In December 2014, Ted spoke at IATRC's Annual Meeting themed "Food and Resources: Conflict and Trade" on the links between global climate change and its implications on conflict and poverty.
Technology plays a central role in economic transformation. Yet relatively few teams of economists and engineers work together to maximize technology's impact on international development. In his address, Berkeley Professor Edward Miguel describes the experimental methodologies that today's economists employ in their work, and cases where their research findings have contributed to large-scale policy change. Looking forward, he argues that deeper engagement between economists, data scientists and engineers can accelerate a new wave of policy innovation and improve understanding of what really "works" in development, providing a valuable global public good.