Edge in the News

David Pescovitz, Boing Boing [6.10.13]

During the brief moment that I majored in anthropology in college, I was fascinated by the work of Napoleon A. Chagnon and his seminal 1968 text Yanomamo: The Fierce People. Chagnon's time as a field scientist in the Amazon had a profound impact on the field of anthropology even as his methods (and misunderstandings of his methods) resulted in an academic war on his research and his character. To further explore Chagnon's legacy, and what he really found in the rainforest, BB pal John Brockman of EDGE convened a meeting between Chagnon and big thinkers Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham, Daniel C. Dennett, and David Haig. The result is 30,00 words of conversation and hours of video that John says is "one of the most significant events in (Edge's) sixteen year history.

Folha De S.Paulo [6.6.13]

Every year, the Edge.org website, run by a group of scientists and intellectuals in the U.S., presents a provocative question the responses to which  are then collected in a book that is invariably instructive and surprising, since the contributions are heavyweights from various fields of academia and the world of the arts. "What is your favorite explanation is that deep, elegant or beautiful?" was the question proposed in 2012. Almost 200 responses are collected in the volume This Explains Everything, launched earlier this year.

One of the texts that particularly caught my attention is the novelist and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, she remembers that there is in principle no connection between the fact that a theory is beautiful and it is true, and yet we tend to use aesthetic criterion for deciding between competing explanations. ...  


1. The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker (Penguin, $20). A monumental achievement. Pinker, a Harvard psychology professor, draws on 5,000 years of historical evidence to explain in fascinating detail how violence has declined across human history. More broadly, he shows that human beings have learned to treat each other better in general.

2. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16). Most "idea books" are bloated essays; this one, from a Nobel Prize–winning economist, is worth reading all the way through. Kahneman offers a fascinating set of ideas about how human beings think and reason, for better and worse.
3. The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt (Vintage, $16). A brilliant mixture of political philosophy and sociology. According to Haidt, two reasonable people can find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum based on the relative importance each assigns to just six values. The book explains why we embrace certain ideologies better than any other I've read. . . .


Business Insider [5.27.13]

In order to sharpen our reasoning skills, we must have a good grasp of our own cognitive biases, as well as the basic laws of the universe.

But in a dynamic world, new laws are constantly emerging.

The editors over at Edge.org asked some of the most influential thinkers in the world — including neuroscientists, physicists and mathematicians — what they believe are the most important scientific concepts of the modern era.

The result is "This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts To Improve Your Thinking," a compilation of nearly 200 essays exploring concepts such as the "shifting baseline syndrome" and a scientific view of "randomness."

Columbia Journalism Review [5.8.13]

Nautilus, a new science magazine whose first issue appeared online April 29, has New York Times reporter Dennis Overbye, one of the beat’s veterans, feeling a bit a nostalgic. In a review on Monday, he wrote:

The audience has fragmented among stalwarts like National Geographic and Scientific American; blogs; and new-media adventures like the TED talks, the World Science Festival and Edge.org, the online salon, and Simons Science News, a new effort by the mathematician and philanthropist James H. Simons. ...

... It’s easy to sympathize with Overbye. Since the number of science writers and newspaper science sections began to plummet at the end of the ’80s, there has been a sense among the concerned that there is a crisis in science journalism. Thanks to new online ventures like Nautilus, however, that feeling has begun to dissipate. ...

The New York Times [5.6.13]

...The Times started its science section in 1978. A year later the same folks who publish Penthouse brought forth Omni, a mix of science and speculation. In rapid succession the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of the journal Science, started Science79; Time Inc. started Discover; and Science Digest expanded to a full-size glossy magazine. The New York Academy of Sciences published The Sciences.

This profusion led to a hiring frenzy for science journalists, who, for a golden while anyway, had a blast producing magazines on scales of time and money that seem unworldly today.

A decade later most were gone or struggling for lack of advertising, despite circulations in the range of half a million and despite the growing importance of science in an age of climate change, energy crises and AIDS. The lone survivor of that golden era, Discover, has been sold four times. A more recent arrival, Seed, noted for its edginess, exists only online.

The audience has fragmented among stalwarts like National Geographic and Scientific American; blogs; and new-media adventures like the TED talks, the World Science Festival and Edge.org, the online salon, and Simons Science News, a new effort by the mathematician and philanthropist James H. Simons. ...

Chosun.com [5.5.13]


Meet the 'Edge Series' organizer John Brockman

"In asking some of the the most sophisticated thinkers in the world 'What are the questions you are asking yourselves?' I am aware that this is not for everybody. I am aiming at the brightest people and fortunately, there enough people out there interested in the latest knowledge derived from empirical scientific investigations."

...The office window in John Brockman's (age 72) office looks out at the Empire State Building. He is an architect and impresario of 'scientific ideas' and a showman. Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel Steven Pinker's How The Mind Works .... these towering books, representative of his interests, go through his hands, both in his professional role as a literary agent and CEO of Brockman, Inc. and in wearing his nonprofit hat as President of Edge Foundation, Inc. and publisher and editor of Edge.

Brockman has taken scientists out of their usual territory, and secured for them a global role as the most highly recognized thinkers in the society of informed intellectuals. 

Thus, the focus of the new Edge book This Will Change Everything is concerned with predictions about the future based on empirical scientific evidence. Korean translation by Kim So. Published by Galleon.

Online Translation

WETENSCHAP 24—Northern Review Team [5.1.13]

Every year, Edge.org, the virtual scientific think tank, a central question. This time the result is a collection full of articles that becoming a simple, non-obvious idea provides an explanation for a complex series of phenomena…

…This explains everything nicely shows that not clear formulated questions can lead. produce excellent insights Precisely because of the different individual interpretations of the question by the contributors is a wonderfully varied trip through the intersection of the worlds of aesthetics and truth become a must for any interested layman.

Bloomberg [4.29.13]

...IvyConnect membership perks include “preferential table reservations” at the Dream Downtown hotel’s rooftop lounge, according to the group’s website, plus discounts to the Guggenheim Museum and Juice Press, which sells unpasteurized smoothies and cleanses. An online philanthropy page lists “curated social-impact projects,” and its section on ideas features links to NYU journalism professor Clay Shirky’s TED talk and New York Times columnist David Brooks’ foreword to a book titled This Will Make You Smarter.

Politiken.DK [4.28.13]

Edge.org is highly recommendable if you think it's interesting to hear and read interviews about the latest philosophical thinking. . . . It is a gathering of highly skilled minds who are trying to diagnose themselves. There are posts from particular Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Ai Weiwei, Brian Eno, Kevin Kelly, Danny Hillis, Marissa Meyer, Stewart Brand, Howard Gardner, Matt Ridley. Our own Tor Nørretranders is the only Dane in the club.

The Guardian [4.25.13]

When Prospect magazine listed Britain's leading public intellectuals in 2004 and invited readers' votes, it was Richard Dawkins who emerged as No 1. Nine years on, the biologist, author and campaigner has bettered that by topping its "world thinkers" rankings, beating four Nobel prize winners (and another contender regarded as certain to receive one soon) in a poll based on 65 names chosen by a largely US- and UK-based expert panel.

Joining him in the top 10 are the psychologists Steven Pinker (3) and Daniel Kahneman (10), the economists Paul Krugman (5) and Amartya Sen (7) and the philosopher Slavoj Žižek (6), who all, like him, figured in the magazine's first list of world-class thinkers in 2005.

Korean Joong Ang Daily [4.13.13]


Playing a more influential role than editors, referred to as the 'culture conductor' or 'enzymes of knowledge', John Brockman is at the forefront of knowledge with the Edge Foundation, which has more than 700 people contributing...

John Brockman's new book is rich with the latest by cultural studies experts in various fields, such as author and geography scholar Jared Diamond, the popular musician and cultural theorist Brian Eno, Harvard Medical School professor Nicholas Christakis, famous for his study of social network contagion effect...

Brockman, the rare individual who can comfortably call New York's avant-garde artists and Nobel Prize winners alike, has been a consultant to The White House and to the Pentagon. Every year, he hosts the "Edge Dinner'. among the Internet industry bigwigs who have attended what has become known as "The Billionaires' Dinner ' are Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, as well as Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg,  

Online Translation

Chosun [4.8.13]

Culture: The 'Best Of Edge' series second book edited by John Brockman presents the extraordinary intelligence of the online salon Edge (www.edge org), in the articles, interviews, lectures of seventeen of its members, including  Jared Diamond, Nicholas A. Christakis, Daniel Dennett. ...


Metro [4.8.13]

Now anyone can now have the benefit of the brains of the best contemporary scholars such as Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene.

To put together this 'dangerous' book, John Brockman established Edge (http://www.edge.org/) and asked more than 600 international scholars, among them many famous authors, to share their research and their knowledge.

The conversation concerns the 'edge' of today's state-of-the-art knowledge and discussion about thorny issues. It's an ongoing online conversation in which the words, ideas, and studies of the notable minds of the salon are also  stored and archived. 

Intrerest for the latest information on the edge in their respective among new users is increasing. In particular, in universities such as Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, the latest theories of the professors or experts are now readily available to the public. With the publication of this book in Korea, Edge, so widely known in academia, now will reach the general readers as well. 

In addition to Diamond and Dawkins, among the members of Edge whose writing are represented in 'Culture Shock' are Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate, and Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi, author of Flow.

La Nacion [4.7.13]

The Edge.org: "Excellent training environment and global scientific discussion" ...

The Kyunghyang Shinmun [4.5.13]

The multimedia artist, publisher, representative, American John Brockman has the most expensive "address book" in the world. Edge was established in 1996 as a foundation to both the humanities, science, art, business, and he was recruited throughout his outstretched connections. Special lectures, annual dinners and the conversations convey a world where knowledge is produced. Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, Daniel Kahneman are some of the members of the Foundation.

Of the 'Best of Edge Series' by Edge Foundation, CULTURE is the second volume. By several intellectuals, it introduces the key issues and trends in the field....

N Culture Magazine [3.29.13]

Since last October I'm in San Sebastian, Spain, as a writer in residence at the DIPC (Donostia International Physics Center and Center Donostia International Physics), led by physicist Pedro Miguel Echenique. Participated crossbreeding project, which seeks to move the boundaries between art, science and humanities, and aims-to-share deal is a transdisciplinary perspective. In particular, we are currently working on the borders between literature and science: what CP Snow (a famous lecture in 1959) called "the two cultures". In recent times, inspired by that debate I installed Snow, thinkers like John Brockman coined and popularized concepts such as "third culture" towards greater communication and understanding between the scientific and humanistic culture. ...

The Malaysian Times [3.28.13]

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama)—The Maylasian government, pushing for the adoption of the English language throughout the country and the imporvement of English proficiency, has implemented MUET, "The Malaysian University English Test", which is being administered to all university students. 

To test reading comprehension,  the  material chosen includes "adaptations from the Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, and a book entitled This Will Change Everything, [edited] by John Brockman" [i.e. Edge].

Edge [3.27.13]

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller's original Edge essay, "Chinese Eugenics", a response to the 2013 Question"What Should We Be Worried About?" has gone viral on the Web, picked up by a range of publications: ViceSlateBBC FutureAmerican ConservativeReddit, among others. Click here to read Miller's original essay.

Pagina|12 (Buenos Aires) [3.24.13]

He spent the 2012 and the world did not end: now what? That same uncertainty overflew the site Edge.org when called on its members to respond, as every year, the same question. That's how some of the scientific minds, brightest artistic and journalistic research centered on the world faced the big question after the apocalypse that was not: "Why should we fear in the coming years?". As it has done every year, selected and translated Radar best (and most terrifying) answer: the end of the individual and the technology transfer to the mysteries of the mind and the risks of living too. …