"John Brockman is the Michael Ovitz of the new intellectual elite."

Thirty-five years ago, C.P. Snow, in a now famous essay, wrote about the polarization of the ""two cultures" — literary intellectuals on the one hand, and scientists on the other. Although he hoped for the emergence of a "third culture" that would bridge the gap, it is only recently that science has changed the intellectual landscape

Brockman's thesis that science is emerging as the intellectual center of our society is brought to life vividly in The Third Culture, which weaves together the voices of some of today's most influential scientific figures, including:

• Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins on the implications of evolution

• Steven Pinker, Marvin Minsky, Daniel C. Dennett, and Roger Penrose on how the mind works

• Murray Gell-Mann and Stuart Kauffman on the new sciences of complexity

The Third Culture is an honest picture of science in action. It is at once stimulating, challenging, and riveting.

"A rousing read, full of bloodthirsty intellectual combat....What a rich and savory brew it is — biologists, physicists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, computer scientists — you hear their voices, their spoken voices, in the terms with which they talk to (and about) each other."

"Fascinating...reading The Third Culture is ... Like playing tennis with someone who's better than you are. It will really make you stretch those mental muscles."


JOHN BROCKMAN, president of Edge Foundation and founder of the Reality Club, is a writer and literary agent.

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Excerpted from The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution by John Brockman (Simon & Schuster, 1995) . Copyright 1995 by John Brockman. All rights reserved.