Matt Waite speaks at TEDxLincoln

Matt Waite speaks at TEDxLincoln

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 6:00pm
Matt Waite
Matt Waite

University of Nebraska – Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications Professor of Practice Matt Waite gave a talk on “Calming Down About Drones” last month at TEDxLincoln.

“The more I dig in on the history of aviation law and how we got here, the more I realize our collective worries about drones aren’t new,” Waite said. “This talk was a chance to show people how our ancestors had the same fears about airplanes as we have about flying robots.”

Waite’s show-and-tell presentation drew parallels between today’s legislative ignorance and the media battle over drone technology, and the chaos that followed the first manned plane flights.

At University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Waite founded the first drone journalism lab in the country in November 2011, but because of federal regulations, University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s drones have been grounded in the United States since 2013. In September, Waite obtained a manned-aircraft pilot’s license so the lab can obtain federal permission to fly drones outside again. He began flight lessons in May. The lab is now waiting on the FAA’s approval of its application.

Before joining the faculty, he was the senior news technologist at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida where he developed Politifact, the first website to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

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TEDxLincoln was held on Oct. 1 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

TEDx is a program of local self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Since the first TEDx in 2008, this popular local oriented TED concept has grown to reach every continent and millions of people through nearly 6,000 events. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDxLincoln is focused on bringing people of Nebraska together to share ideas. At TEDxLincoln (Nebraska) we combine live local and recorded TED speakers to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.