About the event

The theme of TEDxTrinityCollegeDublin 2019 is Autonomous.

Centred on the abstract concept of individual autonomy within society, we’re looking at the seemingly antagonistic relationship between individual autonomous thought and the lofty ideals of social cooperation.
We hope to reveal the often powerful reciprocities between these concepts, through our speakers’ varied experiences of their lives, work, and the world at large.

Recent developments, both locally and globally, have sparked similar conversations. In Ireland we’ve seen a dramatic upheaval of the old social order, with the voices of women and minorities leading the push for social change. Across Europe, the rise of political polarisation has been met with a desire to preserve freedom, tolerance, and the rights of the individual within the collective and pluralist society. Worldwide, the continued advance toward autonomous computing through Artificial Intelligence has led to questions about the role of the individual in an increasingly technologically dependent world.

The theme title – ‘Together, We Are Autonomous’ – gives a sense of our ambition, while remaining abstract enough for audiences to come to their own conclusions.


Lir Academy,
Trinity College Dublin


February 21, 2019

Tickets on sale Friday 8th

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The Biggest Riddle of Them All: What Is Life?

Luke O'Neill | TEDxTrinityCollegeDublin 2018

Delivering an explanation of life itself in 18 minutes or less is no mean feat. However, 75 years after Schrodinger’s famous lecture series in Trinity College Dublin that launched the DNA revolution, Professor Luke O’Neill is up to the challenge.

Professor O’Neill holds the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin where he leads the Inflammation Research Group. He has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London and carried out Postdoctoral research at Cambridge UK. In 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2017, he was named one of the world’s most influential scientists by Clarivates Analytic. View Luke’s talk here.

Better, Sex, Positivity: 3 Interchangeable Words

Emily Power Smith | TEDxTrinityCollegeDublin 2018

How can we overcome societal expectations about sexuality? Emily Power Smith distills with humour one of the most pressing issues facing younger generations today.

Passionately sex-positive, Emily Power Smith holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Sexology and is Ireland’s only clinical sexologist. Leaving judgement and outdated values at the door, Emily outlines how sex can be fantastic, if we so wish. She writes a weekly sex and relationship column for the Evening Herald and is a regular contributor to the national press, radio, and TV. Emily’s shame-free style gives her listeners permission to ponder, question and develop their own sexual intelligence in a fun and entertaining way. See the full talk here.