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Home » The Weirdness of Water Could Be The Answer: Marcia Barbosa at TEDxCERN (Full Transcript)

The Weirdness of Water Could Be The Answer: Marcia Barbosa at TEDxCERN (Full Transcript)

Marcia Barbosa

Marcia Barbosa – TRANSCRIPT

I do love water. I love to swim, to surf, and even to drink water. And do you know why I love water? Because I am water! Two-thirds of our body is made of water. And because of that, for the last fifteen years, kind of since high school, I have been studying water. And I have a secret to tell you: water is weird, pretty weird. OK, it’s weird, but it’s also fundamental to our lives, and fortunately, 70% of the planet is covered with water. But unfortunately, just 1% is clean water, 1% is water that we might be able to drink.

And that’s too little. Today, one in six people has lack of fresh water. And in 2050, it will be one in two people with lack of fresh water. Either you or me will have lack of fresh water. So, the world needs fresh water.

Please, don’t panic, because today I’m going to tell you how we can use the weirdness of water to help us get more fresh water. So, you see, water is very important. But when I tell people I work with water, they usually say to me, “Well, such a simple molecule. We know everything about water.” Even my mom tells me this. But that’s not true. Water is not simple, and you have many things in water that we still need to understand. OK. You’re not convinced.

Let’s compare water with another material: with silicon. Silicon is also abundant on the planet. 28% of the crust of the Earth is composed of silicon. And silicon also has a number of unique properties. And the fact that silicon has unique properties and that we have learned how to use these unique properties of silicon allows us today to have cell phones, computers, flat screens and all these instruments that govern our lives today. And, you know what? Silicon has just half a dozen anomalies.

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