"The third culture is a very powerful idea." — Stephen Jay Gould

Edge 267—
November 25, 2008
(4,500 words)

THE THIRD CULTURE

THE THIRD CULTURE IN SPAIN

PRESENTACIÓN TERCERA CULTURA
Slide Show

PRESENTACIÓN PLATAFORMA CULTURA 3.0
Tercera cultura en Madrid

YOU TUBE
Cultura 3.0 en Madrid

EL MUNDO por dentro
Hoy Sí Que Está El Periódico En El Filo (Edge) De La Noticia
Arcadi Espada

EL MUNDO
Nace La Plataforma Tercera Cultura
(Birth of the Third Culture)

Rosa M. Tristán

EL MUNDO por dentro
La Tercera Cultura En España
Arcadi Espada

LA REVOLUCION NATURALISTA
Presentacion De Cultura 3.0


SYNC, AND SWIM TOGETHER
By Daniel Kahneman and Andrew M. Rosenfield

IN THE NEWS

THE NEW YORK TIMES
BOOKS OF THE TIMES
Polly Wanna Cracker? Squawk! Do Better, That's So Bush League
By Michiko Kakutani

NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
Becoming Screen Literate
By Kevin Kelly

INTELLIGENT LIFE
The Rise of the Journo-Gurus

SALON
Good Enough
By Steve Paulson

THE NEW YORK TIMES
Regenerating a Mammoth for $10 Million



THE THIRD CULTURE IN SPAIN

"The purpose of this initiative is to establish a movement in Spain based on this new way of perceiving culture, and promote it as a vehicle for development of critical opinion in our country. More and more people willing to educate themselves and get rid of superstitions and dogmas which reduces your field of personal and social action. Democracy works with people armed with critical thinking. A society of illiterates in the hands of scoundrels (Perez Reverte), can never be democratic." Arcadi Espada

Vicente Carbona: The Tercera Cultura (Cultura 3.0) platform was launched on November 19, 2008 in Madrid, Spain, with a mission to promote scientific discourse and secular values in Spanish society. Inspired by the Edge Foundation and John Brockman’s The Third Culture initiative, our interests embrace culture as expressed through scientific, technological, literary, artistic and recreational endeavors, approached through a new social conscience, free from supernatural or dogmatic elements, and fomenting the dialogue between the sciences and the humanities. We intend to engage in events, debates, interviews, presentations, conferences and publications supporting those aims.

The project stems from an initiative of the Catalonian Citizens’ Association, formed in 2005 by a group of well-known intellectuals and professionals including Félix de Azúa, Albert Boadella, Arcadi Espada, Teresa Giménez Barbat and many others. A previous initiative of the Association was the founding of a new political party, Ciudadanos de Cataluña, to promote civic and secular values and to defend constitutional government. In 2006, the party obtained three deputies in the Catalonian regional parliament.

In December of 2007, the Association embarked in a new direction, backed by its general assembly, to focus on the defense of reason and the fight against sectarianism in Spain. Out of this new, strictly apolitical orientation, the Tercera Cultura project began to take shape.

Collaborators:
Arcadi Espada, journalist and editor
Robert Redeker, philosopher and author
Antonio Elorza, professor of Political Science at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid
Ibn Warraq, author and senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry
José Pardina, director of Muy Interesante magazine
M. Angel Sabadell, science editor of Muy Interesante magazine
Santiago González, journalist and blogger
Fernando Savater, essayist, author, professor of Philosophy at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid
Carlos Martínez Gorriarán, professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU)
Ramón Núñez, director of the National Museum of Science and Technology
Manuel Toharia, director of the Prince Philip Science Museum in Valencia
Félix Ares de Blas, author and science writer
José Lázaro Sánchez, professor of the History and Theory of Medicine, Psychiatry Dept., Autonomous University of Madrid
Gabriel Tortella, professor emeritus of Economy at the University of Alcalá

Editorial Committee:
Roger Corcho
, philosopher
Mª Teresa Giménez Barbat, anthropologist and author
Alex Mestre, political scientist, journalist
Eduardo Robredo Zugasti, philosopher and blogger
Vicente Carbona, journalist and editor

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PRESENTACIÓN TERCERA CULTURA
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PRESENTACIÓN PLATAFORMA CULTURA 3.0 — TERCERA CULTURA EN MADRID

Por Tercera Cultura día 22 Noviembre, 2008

El dia 19 de noviembre se presentó en Madrid, en la sala de actos de la Fundación Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, nuestra plataforma Tercera Cultura, con gran éxito de asistencia. Hizo la introducción la escritora Mª Teresa Giménez Barbat, intervinieron Eduardo Robredo (La revolución naturalista) , José Pardina (director de Muy Interesante), y Arcadi Espada (periodista y ensayista) .

Esta presentación fue noticia en la sección de Ciencias del diario El Mundo y en una entrevista en directo a Arcadi Espada la noche misma de la presentación en Telemadrid a cargo de Hermann Tertsch.

A raíz de esta presentación hemos recibido numerosas notas de felicitación y apoyo que agradecemos calurosamente.

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Google Translation





EL MUNDO por dentro
24 de noviembre

HOY SÍ QUE ESTÁ EL PERIÓDICO EN EL FILO (EDGE) DE LA NOTICIA
Arcadi Espada

El periódico está, destacadamente, en la cover de Edge.


Para hablar de esta noticia extraordinaria debo vencer el pudor de estar vinculado al asunto. Debo y puedo. Edge es uno de los lugares del mundo de hoy. Todo lo que allí se piensa tiene interés. Por si fuera poco las notas de sociedad de la página, y los sombreros de Brockman, rezuman un inconfundible encanto californiano. Hay otra cuestión, naturalmente. El periódico fue el único de los que se editan en España que habló de la presentación en Madrid de Tercera Cultura. Mérito de su sección de Ciencia. Mérito especial cuando se sacan ahora las correspondientes sumas y restas: ¿Cómo es posible que un asunto al que Edge dedica su cover sólo merezca la atención de un periódico español? Y por otra parte. Edge ha publicado su página sin que haya mediado iniciativa alguna para que lo hiciera por parte de los responsables de Cultura 3.0. Lo ha hecho porque tiene un competente servicio de prensa que repasa la actualidad de la Tercera Cultura en un buen número de periódicos del mundo. Lo ha hecho, en fin, porque un periódico en el mundo se había hecho eco de la presentación de Madrid.

Buenos días.

...

Google Translation



EL MUNDO.ES
21/11/2008

AÚNA CIENCIA Y HUMANISMO


NACE LA PLATAFORMA TERCERA CULTURA
(Birth of the Third Culture Platform)

Pretende crear puentes entre la ciencia de vanguardia y el pensamiento crítico

Participan prestigiosos intelectuales y científicos españoles

Rosa M. Tristán

MADRID.- Aunar la ciencia con el pensamiento crítico es el objetivo de la Plataforma Tercera Cultura (Cultura 3.0), que acaba de ser puesta en marcha por un grupo de intelectuales e investigadores de diversas áreas. Se trata de una nueva vía contra los prejuicios y los dogmas que pretende crear un puente entre disciplinas que hasta ahora no han tenido un nexo en el de bate cotidiano.

Entre los fundadores de la nueva plataforma, que tendrá su canal de comunicación en la web www.terceracultura.net, están el escritor y columnista de EL MUNDO Arcadi Espada, el director de la revista Muy Interesante, José Pardina, el editor de la web La Revolución Naturalista, Eduardo Robredo y la antropóloga Teresa Giménez Barbat.

"Queremos que dilemas y debates cotidianos que salen en los medios de comunicación obtengan la ayuda de planteamientos científicos, como por ejemplo si se habla del aborto, de las células madre, pero también hay muchos temas relacionados con la neurología que ayudan a comprender la política, la ética, la toma de decisiones", explica la antropóloga.

La idea no es nueva. Está inspirada en el movimiento anglosajón de la Fundación Edge, en el que participan personajes de la talla de Stephen Hawking o Richard Dawkins. Surgió a raíz de un curso organizado el verano pasado centrado en el laicismo y las sociedades seculares. «Arcadi siempre ha estado muy interesado en aplicar la razón y la ciencia a sus experiencias y, junto con los otros fundadores, decidieron impulsar la iniciativa», añade Giménez.

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Google Translation




EL MUNDO por dentro
22 de noviembre


Diarios de Arcadi Espada

LA TERCERA CULTURA EN ESPAÑA

Querido J:

Un grupo de valientes han puesto en marcha el proyecto español de la Tercera Cultura. 3.0 lo han llamado, en guiño de red digital. Está la antropóloga Teresa Giménez, que fundó Ciutadans; el joven filósofo (eso es una categoría establecida) Eduardo Robredo; el periodista José Pardina, director de la revista, tan pionera, Muy Interesante; y estuve yo también esta semana en Madrid para contribuir a la presentación pública del proyecto, que cuenta con el apoyo de gentes como los filósofos Ibn Warraq o Robert Redeker; los científicos Ramón Núñez o Manuel Toharia; el escritor, también editor de Alba, Luis Magrinyà; José Lázaro, último Premio Comillas de Biografías y el catedrático Gabriel Tortella. Han puesto en marcha una web, todavía en construcción, terceracultura.net. Pásalo, amigo mío, aunque sea a las orquídeas. ¿Qué quieren esta gente? Algo sencillo de decir, pero violentamente subversivo en lugares como España: añadir el punto de vista científico a la toma de decisiones. Es decir que la política, la economía, la literatura, el periodismo, la psicología, la religión, ¡y hasta la misma ciencia!, se encaren con el método científico.

Su modelo moderno es el Edge de John Brockman, el editor de Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens y Steven Pinker. En su prólogo a El nuevo humanismo (Kairós, 2007), Brockman escribía: «Uno no puede por menos que maravillarse ante críticos de arte que no saben nada sobre percepción visual; ante críticos literarios, “construccionistas sociales”, que carecen del menor interés en los descubrimientos universales documentados por los antropólogos acerca del ser humano, ante opositores a los alimentos transgénicos, a los aditivos y a los residuos de los pesticidas que tienen un total desconocimiento de genética y de biología evolutiva.» La lista de maravillas podría ampliarse gravemente: filósofos que no conocen la teoría de la evolución, lingüistas que ignoran la neurociencia, políticos al margen de internet, economistas que no han oído hablar de la psicología cognitiva o legisladores morales que desprecian la huella genética. Ni que decir tiene que, en el caso ibérico, y en general en todas las culturas no anglosajonas, el espectro maravilloso alcanza niveles patéticos.

La iniciativa de mis amigos y del propio Brockman tiene un antecedente visionario y fundamental. El año próximo se cumplirán los cincuenta años de la conferencia que C.P. Snow dictó (el 7 de mayo) en la Universidad de Cambridge: de acuerdo con la cronología de la Wikipedia la conferencia era una ampliación del artículo publicado en New Statesman, el 6 de octubre de 1956, también titulado Las dos culturas. Nuestro viejo país destruido tiene el honor de haber sido el introductor en España de la idea de Snow. En efecto: la traducción catalana de las tesis ¡snowistas! es de 1965 (Les dues cultures i la revolució científica. Edicions 62). Si no ando errado no habrá traducción al castellano, en Alianza, hasta 1977. Da un poco de vértigo examinar, ahora y aquí, las ideas de Snow. Me he fijado especialmente en la noticia de un artículo que publicó en 1963 en el Times Literary, analizando el eco que había tenido su sugerencia de fusionar letras y ciencias en un nuevo paradigma de conocimiento. Se preguntaba en síntesis Snow, que era novelista: «¿Qué ha hecho la literatura con la revolución científico-técnico en marcha? Nada» –se contestaba. Hoy, aquí podemos repetir pregunta y respuesta. Nada. Todas las metáforas dominantes siguen procediendo del agro. La propuesta de Snow tenía, sobre todo, un carácter moral: «Con suerte podemos educar a una gran proporción de nuestras mejores cabezas de forma que no sean ignorantes en la experiencia imaginativa, tanto en las artes como en las ciencias, ni sean ignorantes tampoco en los beneficios de la ciencia aplicada, del sufrimiento remediable de la mayoría de sus semejantes y de las responsabilidades que, una vez vistas, no pueden negarse». El sufrimiento remediable. Ahí estaba y está la clave. ...

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Google Translation




LA REVOLUCION NATULAISTA
Martes 18 De Novembre de 2008

PRESENTACION DE CULTURA 3.0

Como venimos anunciando estos días, mañana presentamos públicamente en Madrid la plataforma "Tercera cultura" y su portal Cultura 3.0, después del esfuerzo de unos pocos aventureros, y en particular de Teresa Giménez Barbat, Vicente Carbona, Roger Corcho y Alex Mestre. El acto tendrá lugar en la Fundación de la Universidad Rey Juán Carlos, a las 19:30. Nos acompañarán Arcadi Espada y José Pardina, director de la revista Muy Interesante, además de todas las personas que confirmaron su asistencia en Facebook. Yo hablaré brevemente sobre el origen histórico de la Tercera Cultura y una parte de su despliegue actual, de Snow a la neurofilosofía.

Como contenidos originales de la web, empezaremos aportando una entrevista con Juan Ignacio Cirac, director de la División Teórica del Instituto Max-Planck para la Óptica Cuántica, y próximamente otra con Juan Uriagereka, biolingüista de la universidad de Maryland. Ambos son dos científicos relevantes de nuestro país y ha sido una suerte contar con su colaboración para empezar a plantear los temas que nos interesan. Más proyectos e información sobre la red social aquí.

Reacciones (en la red): Daniel Tercero, José Pardina, Sapere Audere, Ya me gustaría, Aula Siglo XXI, Ciudadanos en la prensa, Rumbo a los mares del sur, Las penas del agente Smith, El Mundo, La Cataluña ilustrada, Arcadi Espada, Luna antagónica, EDGE...

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When faced with disaster, the natural response of people — and businesses — is to fight for time and hope for the best. The likely outcome of this strategy would be a succession of failures that would spare no one. We believe that there is a better way: simultaneous bankruptcy filing by all three companies would substantially reduce both the uncertainty and the stigma for each one.

SYNC, AND SWIM TOGETHER
By Daniel Kahneman and Andrew M. Rosenfield

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, an emeritus professor of psychology at Princeton, received the Nobel in economics in 2002. ANDREW M. ROSENFIELD is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School and the chairman of an investment advisory firm.

Daniel Kahneman's Edge Bio Page

Andrew M. Rosenfield's Edge Bio Page


SYNC, AND SWIM TOGETHER

The chief executive of General Motors recently said bankruptcy is not an option and that even talking about it hurts business. He is probably right.

Bankruptcy has worked well for troubled companies in many industries — by providing a way for them to adjust their contractual arrangements with investors, employees, suppliers, distributors, dealers and others. But it is not well suited to automakers because cars are durable goods that buyers hold and use for many years. Indeed, 8 in 10 consumers say they would not buy or lease a car from a manufacturer that files for bankruptcy.

Auto companies considering bankruptcy protection face two related problems: uncertainty and stigma. Potential car buyers become uncertain about the reliability of warranties and the long-term availability of service and parts. And there is little pleasure in driving around in the product of a failed company.

Any one of the three major American carmakers — Chrysler, Ford and G.M. — could probably file for Chapter 11 today, because the present value of its liabilities most likely exceeds the present value of its assets. (That is really the only basis for a business to seek a bailout from the government.) However, the flight of customers would be so severe that the financing that the company would need to thrive in reorganization would probably not be available, especially at a time of so much turmoil in the credit markets.

Does this mean doom for the Big Three? Clearly the market thinks so. In the absence of swift and significant governmental action, the companies appear to be headed for failure. The combined equity valuations of Chrysler, Ford and G.M. total less than $6 billion, which is not even a fifth the valuation of Honda and only about a twentieth that of Toyota.

When faced with disaster, the natural response of people — and businesses — is to fight for time and hope for the best. The likely outcome of this strategy would be a succession of failures that would spare no one. We believe that there is a better way: simultaneous bankruptcy filing by all three companies would substantially reduce both the uncertainty and the stigma for each one.

A coordinated filing would send a message that the problem is systemic — not an indication that American manufacturers produce inferior cars and trucks. It would also signal that a systemic solution to save the industry is in the works.

We do not suggest that this would be a panacea: the American carmakers' market share would most likely decline, but less so than if the companies were allowed to fail one after the other.

The Big Three are competitors and not all would welcome the idea of coordinated bankruptcy. And even if they wanted to, they could not simply decide to simultaneously file, because any such private agreement could be viewed as a garden-variety violation of antitrust law. Government intervention will be required.

To assure consumers that the American automobile industry will be able to reorganize, the federal government should facilitate a simultaneous bankruptcy filing and also provide the debt financing needed. These actions could help avoid a very costly liquidation with job losses not only among the Big Three but also at companies that provide parts and services to them, and stretching more generally throughout the economy.

Any other form of bailout for Detroit would likely require a long political process, and that would only worsen the economic destruction.


[Editor's Note: First published as an Op-Ed Page article in The New York Times on November 25, 2008]




NEW YORK TIMES
November 25, 2008

BOOKS OF THE TIMES
Polly Wanna Cracker? Squawk! Do Better, That's So Bush League
By Michiko Kakutani

When Alex the African gray parrot died in 2007, the world mourned. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe ran articles reviewing his life achievements. The Economist devoted its obituary for the week of Sept. 22, 2007, to Alex. (Earlier weeks had featured Luciano Pavarotti and Ingmar Bergman.) ABC News, CNN and National Public Radio did segments about his lifetime collaboration with the scientist Irene M. Pepperberg. And an Internet condolence book (remembering-alex.org) was set up so that fans could grieve in public.

"Alex, the African gray parrot who was smarter than the average U.S. president, has died at the relatively tender age of 31," read an obituary in The Guardian of London. "He could count to six, identify colors, understand concepts such as bigger and smaller and had a vocabulary of 150 words. To his supporters he was proof that the phrase 'birdbrain' should be expunged from the dictionary."

...




YOUTUBE

MISSIONARY LINGUIST LOSES FAITH

Daniel Everett on the Pirahã language and culture.

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2



NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
November 23, 2008

IDEA LAB

BECOMING SCREEN LITERATE

By Kevin Kelly

Everywhere we look, we see screens. The other day I watched clips from a movie as I pumped gas into my car. The other night I saw a movie on the backseat of a plane. We will watch anywhere. Screens playing video pop up in the most unexpected places — like A.T.M. machines and supermarket checkout lines and tiny phones; some movie fans watch entire films in between calls. These ever-present screens have created an audience for very short moving pictures, as brief as three minutes, while cheap digital creation tools have empowered a new generation of filmmakers, who are rapidly filling up those screens. We are headed toward screen ubiquity.

When technology shifts, it bends the culture. Once, long ago, culture revolved around the spoken word. The oral skills of memorization, recitation and rhetoric instilled in societies a reverence for the past, the ambiguous, the ornate and the subjective. Then, about 500 years ago, orality was overthrown by technology. Gutenberg's invention of metallic movable type elevated writing into a central position in the culture. By the means of cheap and perfect copies, text became the engine of change and the foundation of stability. From printing came journalism, science and the mathematics of libraries and law. The distribution-and-display device that we call printing instilled in society a reverence for precision (of black ink on white paper), an appreciation for linear logic (in a sentence), a passion for objectivity (of printed fact) and an allegiance to authority (via authors), whose truth was as fixed and final as a book. In the West, we became people of the book.

Now invention is again overthrowing the dominant media. A new distribution-and-display technology is nudging the book aside and catapulting images, and especially moving images, to the center of the culture. We are becoming people of the screen. The fluid and fleeting symbols on a screen pull us away from the classical notions of monumental authors and authority. On the screen, the subjective again trumps the objective. The past is a rush of data streams cut and rearranged into a new mashup, while truth is something you assemble yourself on your own screen as you jump from link to link. We are now in the middle of a second Gutenberg shift — from book fluency to screen fluency, from literacy to visuality. ...

...



INTELLIGENT LIFE
November 18, 2008


THE RISE OF THE JOURNO-GURUS

Businessmen used to get their big ideas from management gurus; now they turn to journalists like Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman. Adrian Wooldridge examines their rise ...

...The Gladwell of the new economy is Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine. (For the record: Anderson used to work at The Economist and shared an office with this author.) In "The Long Tail" he argued that the internet is shifting the focus of the economy from producing a small number of big hits to satisfying a legion of niche markets. Amazon and iTunes can stock virtually everything. And the falling cost of distribution means that every niche consumer can get their hands on what they want. Anderson insists that the demand for products not available in bricks-and-mortar stores is potentially as big as for those that are, and suggests that a relatively homogeneous culture is giving way to a fragmented world in which a thousand flowers bloom. ...

...



SALON.COM
November 19, 2008

God enough
We should see the ceaseless creativity of nature as sacred, argues biologist Stuart Kauffman, despite what Richard Dawkins might say.

By Steve Paulson

In his recent book, "Reinventing the Sacred," Kauffman has launched an even more audacious project. He seeks to formulate a new scientific worldview and, in the process, reclaim God for nonbelievers. Kauffman argues that our modern scientific paradigm -- reductionism -- breaks down once we try to explain biology and human culture. And this has left us flailing in a sea of meaninglessness. So how do we steer clear of this empty void? By embracing the "ceaseless creativity" of nature itself, which in Kauffman's view is the real meaning of God. It's God without any supernatural tricks. ...

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NEW YORK TIMES
November 20, 2008


Regenerating a Mammoth for $10 Million

Still, several technical barriers have fallen in surprising ways. One barrier was that ancient DNA is always shredded into tiny pieces, seemingly impossible to analyze. But a new generation of DNA decoding machines use tiny pieces as their starting point. Dr. Schuster's laboratory has two, known as 454 machines, each of which costs $500,000.

Another problem has been that ancient DNA in bone, the usual source, is heavily contaminated with bacterial DNA. Dr. Schuster has found that hair is a much purer source of the host's DNA, with the keratin serving to seal it in and largely exclude bacteria.

A third issue is that the DNA of living cells can be modified only very laboriously and usually at one site at a time. Dr. Schuster said he had been in discussion with George Church, a well-known genome technologist at Harvard Medical School, about a new method Dr. Church has invented for modifying some 50,000 genomic sites at a time. ...

...


PRE-ORDER NOW

WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT
Edited by John Brockman
With An Introduction By BRIAN ENO

"A thought-provoking collection of focused and tightly argued pieces demonstrating the courage to change strongly held convictions."
Publishers Weekly

"An Intellectual Treasure Trove"
San Francisco Chronicle


[Forthcoming, January 9, 2009]

Contributors include: STEVEN PINKER on the future of human evolution • RICHARD DAWKINS on the mysteries of courtship SAM HARRIS on why Mother Nature is not our friend NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB on the irrelevance of probability ALUN ANDERSON on the reality of global warming ALAN ALDA considers, reconsiders, and re-reconsiders God LISA RANDALL on the secrets of the Sun RAY KURZWEIL on the possibility of extraterrestrial life BRIAN ENO on what it means to be a "revolutionary" HELEN FISHER on love, fidelity, and the viability of marriage…and many others.

Praise for the online publication of
What Have You Change Your Mind About?

"The splendidly enlightened Edge website (www.edge.org) has rounded off each year of inter-disciplinary debate by asking its heavy-hitting contributors to answer one question. I strongly recommend a visit." The Independent

"A great event in the Anglo-Saxon culture." El Mundo

"As fascinating and weighty as one would imagine." The Independent

"They are the intellectual elite, the brains the rest of us rely on to make sense of the universe and answer the big questions. But in a refreshing show of new year humility, the world's best thinkers have admitted that from time to time even they are forced to change their minds." The Guardian

"Even the world's best brains have to admit to being wrong sometimes: here, leading scientists respond to a new year challenge." The Times

"Provocative ideas put forward today by leading figures."The Telegraph

The world's finest minds have responded with some of the most insightful, humbling, fascinating confessions and anecdotes, an intellectual treasure trove. ... Best three or four hours of intense, enlightening reading you can do for the new year. Read it now." San Francisco Chronicle

"As in the past, these world-class thinkers have responded to impossibly open-ended questions with erudition, imagination and clarity." The News & Observer

"A jolt of fresh thinking...The answers address a fabulous array of issues. This is the intellectual equivalent of a New Year's dip in the lake—bracing, possibly shriek-inducing, and bound to wake you up." The Globe and Mail

"Answers ring like scientific odes to uncertainty, humility and doubt; passionate pleas for critical thought in a world threatened by blind convictions." The Toronto Star

"For an exceptionally high quotient of interesting ideas to words, this is hard to beat. ...What a feast of egg-head opinionating!" National Review Online


WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?
Today's Leading Thinkers on Why Things Are Good and Getting Better
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by DANIEL C. DENNETT



[2007]

"The optimistic visions seem not just wonderful but plausible." Wall Street Journal

"Persuasively upbeat." O, The Oprah Magazine

"Our greatest minds provide nutshell insights on how science will help forge a better world ahead." Seed

"Uplifting...an enthralling book." The Mail on Sunday


WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?
Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by STEVEN PINKER
Afterword by RICHARD DAWKINS


[2006]

"Danger – brilliant minds at work...A brilliant bok: exhilarating, hilarious, and chilling." The Evening Standard (London)

"A selection of the most explosive ideas of our age." Sunday Herald

"Provocative" The Independent

"Challenging notions put forward by some of the world's sharpest minds" Sunday Times

"A titillating compilation" The Guardian

"Reads like an intriguing dinner party conversation among great minds in science" Discover


WHAT WE BELIEVE BUT CANNOT PROVE?
Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty
Edited by John Brockman
Introduction by IAN MCEWAN


[2006]

"Whether or not we believe proof or prove belief, understanding belief itself becomes essential in a time when so many people in the world are ardent believers." LA Times

"Belief appears to motivate even the most rigorously scientific minds. It stimulates and challenges, it tricks us into holding things to be true against our better judgment, and, like scepticism -its opposite -it serves a function in science that is playful as well as thought-provoking. not we believe proof or prove belief, understanding belief itself becomes essential in a time when so many people in the world are ardent believers." The Times

"John Brockman is the PT Barnum of popular science. He has always been a great huckster of ideas." The Observer

"An unprecedented roster of brilliant minds, the sum of which is nothing short of an oracle—a book ro be dog-eared and debated." Seed

"Scientific pipedreams at their very best." The Guardian

"Makes for some astounding reading." Boston Globe

"Fantastically stimulating...It's like the crack cocaine of the thinking world.... Once you start, you can't stop thinking about that question." BBC Radio 4

"Intellectual and creative magnificence" The Skeptical Inquirer



[2008]



"Compelling"
"Stellar"

"Important"

[2006]

"Irresistible"
"Excellent"
"Fascinating"


[2006]

"incisive"
"deeply passionate"
"engaging"

[2004]

"Intriguing"
"Engrossing"
"Invigorating"



[1994]

"Rousing"
"Astonishing"
"Bloodthirsty"

[2000]

"Dazzling"
"Wondrous"
"Outstanding"


[2002]


"Provocative"
"Captivating"
"Mind-stretching"

Edge Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit private operating foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


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