Not sure if any of the archived speaches on the TED.com sight have any relavence. I'm amused on some of the things that our current crop of acedemics learn along the way. One speach tells of a long standing and well funded alternative fuel idea to cut down on charcoal production and use in cooking. Charcoal and its production is a leading cause of illness in the third world. A waste item that was a common reed or grass in the area was the alternative fuel target. Well long story short no one along the way ever tried to light the stuff on fire untill prototype stage. It wouldn't light at all, years of effort and money to realise that the base material might not be flamible.