IN THE NEWS
FLY ME TO THE MOONS OF SATURN
Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco says, "I'm going to take you on a journey." And does she ever. Showing breathtaking images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, she focuses on Saturn's intriguing largest moon, Titan,with deserts, mudflats and puzzling lakes, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice.
CAROLYN PORCO is leader of the Imaging Team for the Cassini mission to Saturn, and Sr. Research Scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. (click for Carolyn Porco's Edge bio)
GOES DEEP" By Carolyn Porco
A JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF YOUR MIND
In a wide-ranging talk, Vilayanur Ramachandran explores how brain damage can reveal the connection between the internal structures of the brain and the corresponding functions of the mind. He talks about phantom limb pain, synesthesia (when people hear color or smell sounds), and the Capgras delusion, when brain-damaged people believe their closest friends and family have been replaced with imposters.
RAMACHANDRAN, M.D., PH.D., is Director of the Center for Brain
and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, and
the author of Phantoms in the Brain and A Brief
Tour of Human Consciousness. (click
for V.S. Ramachandran's Edge bio)
A BRIEF HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
In this TED Talk, Steven Pinker takes on violence. We live in violent times, an era of heightened warfare, genocide and senseless crime. Or so we've come to believe. Pinker charts a history of violence from Biblical times through the present, and says modern society has a little less to feel guilty about.
STEVEN PINKER is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and the author of six books, including The Blank Slate and The Stuff Of Thought. (click for Steven Pinker's Edge bio)
EdgeLink: "A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE" By Steven Pinker
On Sunday morning, October 14, Edge participated in a morning of "table-top experiments" as part of the Serpentine Gallery Experiment Marathon in London. This live event was featured along with the Edge/Serpentine collaboration: "What Is Your Formula? Your Equation? Your Algorithm? Formulae For the 21st Century." Photos and commentary from the Serpentine Gallery blog of the event. [All images © 2007 Alistair Fyfe and Robert Murray. Courtesy The Serpentine Gallery.]
Introduction by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Olafur Eliasson
"...it has only just begun... There are marathons within marathons... online projects, science projects..., the Laboratorium archive..., table-top experiments..."
Seirian Sumner: A cooperative foraging experiment - lessons from ants
ants] can have up to 8 million workers in a colony... I
want you to get in touch with your inner ant."
Timothy Taylor: The Tradescant's Ark Experiment
are the beginnings of the world's technologies and everything
that makes you able to sit here today... the technological
adventure began with these. These stones are our first
Simon Baron-Cohen: Do women have better empathy than men?
The answer? Check back soon to find out the results of the Serpentine Gallery Experiment Marathon test.
Armand Leroi: The Song of Songs
can survive hundreds of years of geographical and cultural
Steve Jones: Some Like it Hot
Allen Poe and Lewis Caroll only became famous after stopping
working on snails."
out of three [snails] will die of something determined
Neil Turok: What Banged?
rests on mathematics."
universe is comprehensive: the same laws of physics that
apply to this room apply to the universe."
Lewis Wolpert: How Our Limbs are Patterned Like the French Flag
to give you a lesson in embryology, but you should know
how you develop."
I'm telling you know is slightly controversial... but the
other people are wrong."
out there that believes in telekenesis raise my hand."
Steven Pinker in conversation with Marcy Kahan
language is a very efficient way to convert knowledge;
the most powerful way to transform a relationship."
refuse praise in order to be praised twice."
and Moral Politics: Chomsky’s Intellectual Progeny
The nonprofit Edge Foundation recently asked some of the world’s most eminent scientists, “What are you optimistic about? Why?” In response, the prominent neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni cites the proliferating experimental work into the neural mechanisms that reveal how humans are “wired for empathy.”
Iacoboni’s optimism is grounded in his belief that, with the popularization of scientific insights, these recent findings in neuroscience will seep into public awareness and “… this explicit level of understanding our empathic nature will at some point dissolve the massive belief systems that dominate our societies and that threaten to destroy us.” (Iacoboni, 2007, p. 14)
While there are reasons to remain skeptical (see below) about the progressive political implications flowing from this work, a body of impressive empirical evidence reveals that the roots of prosocial behavior, including moral sentiments such as empathy, precede the evolution of culture. This work sustains Noam Chomsky’s visionary writing about a human moral instinct, and his assertion that, while the principles of our moral nature have been poorly understood, “we can hardly doubt their existence or their central role in our intellectual and moral lives.” (Chomsky, 1971, n.p., 1988; 2005, p. 263)
Inc. is a nonprofit private operating foundation under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code.