The Latest On Salvatore Iaconesi: The Continued Momentum Of Open-Sourcing Cancer Cures

Kate Torgovnick | TED Blog | November 7, 2012

“This is my brain cancer. It isn’t nice,” says Salvatore Iaconesi, the engineer, artist and TED Fellow who recently opened up his medical files to the world, crowdsourcing cures of the medical type as well as those for the soul. In this just-released talk from TEDxTransmedia, Iaconesi explains why he made the decision to release his records via his website — to maintain his sense of humanity.

“Your life really does change. It becomes a procedure,” says Iaconesi in this powerful talk. “You cease to exist because you become a patient. In more than one way, you’re not a human being any more. You’re replaced by your clinical records. Yes, those records are talking about you, but they’re really not talking about you. They talk about some of your body parameters, but their language is different than the language of human beings.”

In this talk, Iaconesi outlines the staggering results of reaching out to the world for cures: 600 poems, 35 videos, 15,000 email conversations and counting. The New Scientist recently created a gallery of some of the artistic “cures” that Iaconesi has received, including a sculpture of his brain tumor created in Second Life by artist Patrick Lichty and a performance piece created by Francesca Fini inspired by the magnets used in brain scanning...