What's New In Human Nature? Edge Master Class 2011

What's New In Human Nature? Edge Master Class 2011

John Brockman, Daniel Kahneman, Elaine Pagels, Michael Gazzaniga, Martin Nowak, Leda Cosmides [7.15.11]

Steven Pinker, Martin Nowak, Leda Cosmides, Michael Gazzaniga, Elaine Pagels, Daniel Kahneman

"We'd certainly be better off if everyone sampled the fabulous Edge symposium, which, like the best in science, is modest and daring all at once." — David Brooks, New York Times column

Spring Mountain Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa, CA  
Friday July 15 to Sunday, July 17th


What may be the most important thing that has ever happened in human history is that violence has gone down, by dramatic degrees, and in many dimensions all over the world and in many spheres of behavior: genocide, war, human sacrifice, torture, slavery, and the treatment of racial minorities, women, children, and animals.

Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology; Harvard University. Author, The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Better Angels Of Our Nature: How Violence Has Declined 


Why has cooperation, not competition, always been the key to the evolution of complexity?

Mathematical Biologist, Game Theorist; Professor of Biology and Mathematics, Director, Center for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University; Author, SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed.



Recent research concerning the welfare of others, etc. affects not only how to think about certain emotions, but also overturns how most models of reciprocity and exchange, with implications about how people think about modern markets, political systems, and societies. What are these new approaches to human motivation?


LEDA COSMIDES is a Professor of Psychology and Co-director (with John Tooby) of Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara



Asking the fundamental question of modern life. In an enlightened world of scientific understandings of first causes, we must ask: are we free, morally responsible agents or are we just along for the ride?

Neuroscientist; Professor of Psychology & Director, SAGE Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara; Human: Who's In Charge?



Why is religion still alive? Why are people stil engaged in old folk takes and mythological stories — even those without rational and ethical foundations

Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University; Author The Gnostic GospelsBeyond Belief; and Revelation




Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Princeton University; Recipient, the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow


"Open-minded, free ranging, intellectually playful ... an unadorned pleasure in curiosity, a collective expression of wonder at the living and inanimate world ... an ongoing and thrilling colloquium."— Ian McEwan in The Telegraph



Stewart Brand
, Biologist, Long Now Foundation; Author, Whole Earth Discipline

John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge; CEO, Brockman, Inc; Author, The Third Culture

Max Brockman
Max Brockman
, Literary Agent, Brockman, Inc;  Editor,  Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge

George Dyson
, Science Historian; Author, Darwin Among the Machines

ennifer Jacquet, Fisheries Scientist, Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC

Jaron Lanier
Computer Scientist, Musician; Author, You Are Not A Gadget

Salar Kamangar, CEO of You Tube and Google's ninth employee,  is former VP of Google's web applications.

Katinka Matson
Katinka Matson, Cofounder, Edge; President, Brockman, Inc.; Artist, katinkamatson.com

Sean Parker
Sean Parker, The Founders Fund; CoFounder, Napster & CoFounder & Founding President, Facebook

Nicholas Pritzker
Nicholas Pritzker, Hyatt Development Corporation

John Tooby
John Tooby, 
Founder, Field of Evolutionary Psychology; Co-Director, UC Santa Barbara's Center for Evolutionary Psychology

Anne Treisman
Anne Treisman, Research Psychologist, Princeton


Benedict Carey
Benedict Carey
, Journalist, New York Times

Jim Giles
News Correspondent, New Scientist

Greg Miller
 News Correspondent, Science

Lucy Odling-See
, News Correspondent, Nature

Eva Wisten
, Journalist, Dagens Industri


Villa Miravalle at Spring Mountain

"Built 1884 in Saint Helena, CA, by Mexican-American Tiburcio Parrott, the majestic residence dominates the surrounding vineyards and includes spires, wraparound verandas, a conservatory, a grand stone tower, massive front double doors with exquisite stained glass, and a six-story high cupola. Miravalle was designed by architect Albert Schroepfer, who had designed acclaimed structures at Inglenook and Beringer Wineries, and San Fransisco's Orpheum Theatre. ... Tiburcio died within ten years, and Miravalle remained empty for the next seventy. In 1974 Spring Mountain Vineyard and winery were established on the surrounding property."

"Edge is the greatest virtual research university in the world." — Denis Dutton, Arts & Letters Daily