Edge 143 July 21, 2004
(500 words)


RICHARD DAWKINS TOPS PROSPECT'S LIST OF BRITAIN'S TOP 100 PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS

Richard Dawkins has comfortably topped Prospect's poll of the top 100 public intellectuals in Britain. Over a thousand people voted for their top five public intellectuals from the list of 100 published in the July issue of Prospect.

It's interesting to note that the very first edition of Edge in December, 1996 featured a talk by Dawkins entitled "Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder". The site began in part as an extension of my 1991 essay on "The Emerging Third Culture" which stated that "The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

In Edge #1, as an introduction to the Dawkins piece, I wrote: "Richard Dawkins enjoys the high regard of his peers both for his writing and his thinking. Sir John Maddox, editor emeritus of Nature, notes that "Climbing Mount Improbable has the grandeur of Darwin's The Origin of Species, but that's not surprising—it covers the same ground. Nobody can look at this book and then put it down unread—and nobody who reads it can fail to understand what Darwin is all about." According to Danny Hillis, "notions like selfish genes, memes, and extended phenotype are powerful and exciting. They make me think differently. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time arguing against people who have overinterpreted these ideas. They're too easily misunderstood as explaining more than they do. So you see, this Dawkins is a dangerous guy. Like Marx. Or Darwin."

Congratulations to Richard Dawkins!

JB

[See Richard Dawkins' Edge Bio page]


EDGE SUMMER READING


" ...inspiring glimpses into the minds of today’s scientific intelligentsia" Publishers' Weekly

Curious Minds:
How a Child Becomes a Scientist


U.S. (August)

Original essays vy Nicholas Humphrey • David M. Buss • Robert M. Sapolsky • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi • Murray Gell-Mann • Alison Gopnik • Paul C. W. Davies • Freeman Dyson • Lee Smolin • Steven Pinker • Mary Catherine Bateson • Lynn Margulis • Jaron Lanier • Richard Dawkins • Howard Gardner • Joseph LeDoux • Sherry Turkle • Marc D. Hauser • Ray Kurzweil • Janna Levin • Rodney Brooks • J. Doyne Farmer • Steven Strogatz • Tim White • V. S. Ramachandran • Daniel C. Dennett • Judith Rich Harris • edited, with an introduction by John Brockman

[Click here for table of contents and contributors]

When We Were Kids:
How a Child Becomes a Scientist


U.K.
(September)

Edge ... "Brilliant!" The Sunday Times "Deep" New Scientist "Thoughtful" Bill Gates: New York Times Column "Stimulating" The Sunday Times (London)"Fascinating" American Scientist "Terrific" Guardian Unlimited "Heady" Kevin Kelly (Editor-At-Large, Wired) "Influential" The Times "Lively" The Independent "A-List" Wired "Inspired" The Sunday Times"Awesome" Wired"Stunning" Arts & Letters Daily"Entertaining" San Jose Mercury News"Wonderful" The Times (London) •"Interesting" The New York Times"Prestigious" Wired News "Marvellous" Prospect

The New Humanists:
Science at the Edge

U.S.


Jared Diamond • Steven Pinker • Helena Cronin • Andy Clark • Marc D. Hauser • Richard Wrangham • Daniel C. Dennett • Stephen M. Kosslyn • Jordan B. Pollack • David Gelernter • Rodney Brooks • Hans Moravec • David Deutsch • Marvin Minsky • Ray Kurzweil • Jaron Lanier • Seth Lloyd • Alan Guth • Paul Steinhardt • Lisa Randall • Lee Smolin • Martin Rees • edited, with an introduction by John Brockman

[Click here for table of contents and contributors]

Science at the Edge
U.K.
(August)

"A compact, if bumpy, tour through the minds of some of the world's preeminent players in science and technology." Philadelphia Inquirer

"[Brockman] wisely exits the stage after a brief monologue and turns the rest of the show over to his guests. What a show they put on!" San Jose Mercury News


"Entertaining" New Scientist "Provocative" Daily Telegraph "Inspired" Wired "Mind-stretching" Times Higher Education Supplement "Captivating The Futurist "Great fun" Physics Web "Fascinating" Dallas Morning News "Dazzling" Washington Post Book World "Bedazzled" Publisher's Weekly 


Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half of the Twenty-First Century

U.S.

Original essays by Peter Atkins, • Samuel Barondes • Paul Bloom • Rodney Brooks • Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi • Paul C. W. Davies • Richard Dawkins • Nancy Etcoff • Paul W. Ewald • David Gelernter • Brian Goodwin • Alison Gopnik • Judith Rich Harris • Marc D. Hauser • John H. Holland • Stuart Kauffman • Jaron Lanier • Joseph LeDoux • Geoffrey Miller • Martin Rees • Robert Sapolsky • Roger C. Schank • Lee Smolin • Ian Stewar • , Steven Strogatz • edited, with an introduction by John Brockman

[Click here for table of contents and contributors]


Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half of the Twenty-First Century

U.K.

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