Special Events
Event Date: [ 10.14.13 3:15 PM ]
United States
On the Road
Event Date: [ 6.27.13 10:15 AM ]
Googleplex, Mountain View, California — June 21-23, 2013
United States

You can answer the question, but are you bright enough to ask it?

James Lee Byars

by John Brockman

The Edge motto, adopted from the artist James Lee Byars' "World Question Center" is "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves". As Wallace Stevens wrote in "Notes Toward A Supreme Fiction" (1942): "The final elegance, not to console / Nor sanctify, but plainly to propound." 

It's the quality of the questions that defines the scientific endeavor, not the answers encrusted in stories and narratives. This year, at SciFoo 2013, Edge presented the opportunity to several of the nearly 300 participants to respond to the following: "What is your question from SciFoo 2013?"  Watch the 8-minute video below for the responses. This is followed by responses to the question "Who and/or what was fresh and new at SciFoo 2013?",  and a photo gallery, which extends to San Francisco the following evening.

But first, what is "SciFoo"?

The annual event is run by three sponsors: O'Reilly Media (Tim O'Reilly is responsible for "FOO", or, "friends of O'Reilly"), Nature Magazine (and their spin-off company, Digital Science), and Google. This year  62% of the participants were new. This approach keeps the event new and fresh every year. The ratio of participants to interesting people? 1-to-1. 

As theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek noted in his report on SciFoo 2007 for Edge:

"SciFoo is a conference like no other. It brings together a mad mix from the worlds of science, technology, and other branches of the ineffable Third Culture at the Google campus in Mountain View. Improvised, loose, massively parallel—it's a happening. If you're not overwhelmed by the rush of ideas then you're not paying attention."

Also, see George Dyson's report on SciFoo 2007Photos and comments on SciFoo2009, and the Edge-SciFoo report on SciFoo 2011

Tyler CowenJoseph "Yossi" Vardi, Carl PageFiery CushmanLee SmolinLinda StonePaul DaviesPaul SteinhardtPeter NorvigRichard PottsSteve FullerStuart Firestein

George DysonEsther DysonSteve FullerStewart BrandPaul Saffo, Coco KrummeJohn Coates


A fascinating weekend, with one lingering regret—that I missed Rory Wilson’s talk on the use of accelerometers in free living animals. I had to piece together the gist of his talk from scraps given me by others and, fortunately, by Rory himself. In his work as an animal behaviourist Rory has been using actigraphy and accelerometers attached to animals in the wild in order to monitor continuously their energy expenditure. Beyond this, though, the data Rory has collected has uncovered subtle changes in background movement that actually reflect the animal’s motivational state. This finding is tremendously interesting. As we learn more about the brain, the more we see that it is built primarily to plan and execute movement, that activities we—under the influence of our Platonic heritage—commonly viewed as pure thought in fact have a somatic echo. Some scientists working with actigraphy have even found predictors, tremors if you will, of impending neuro-degenerative disease. But background activity changes that may reflect motivational states? The very possibility should tantalize any behavioural scientist.


Serendipity was at work this weekend: I met perhaps the only other person at scifoo (on the entire googolplex?) with a dumb phone. I stubbornly hold onto mine for the very purpose of serendipity, to dampen distraction. Ziyad Marar and I had a wonderful conversation about habits and human behavior, and soon discovered we have in common 1999-era telephones, as well as a healthy skepticism of social media. I hadn't heard of Ziyad's books (Happiness Paradox, Deception, Intimacy), but I picked up two at scifoo and couldn't put them down: his writing mulls human nature, weaving in literature and philosophy without succumbing to the tired conventions of contemporary science writing. A breath of fresh air.

PAUL SAFFO: Kröpelin's Mysteries of the Sahara

The single most astonishing session for me was Stefan Kröpelin's "Miracle of the Sahara." Kroplin compressed 40 years of research and exploration into a whirlwind tour of the Sahara's mysteries and what it is like to do science there. Summarizing conditions, he noted, "Sometimes, you get stuck hundreds of times per day… and the real problem isn't the heat; it's the cold." The size of the U.S, Kröpelin's Sahara is full of mysteries: Gilf Kebir, a sand plateau atop an ancient fluvial system in Southwest Egypt holds rock art from the middle Holocene, over 10,000 figures in one cave alone. The Wadi Howar was thought by Heroditus to be the source of the Nile; now it is vast desert, but in it's heart is the Ounianga Kebir, a cluster of freshwater aquifer-fed "gravity lakes," and home to seven crocodiles, the remnant of an Ice Age population, now isolated from other crocs by hundreds of miles of searing desert.
But the biggest mystery was sitting right in front of Kröpelin as he spoke. It was a chunk of "Libyan Desert Glass," 28 million year-old fused glass the color of pale emerald and the purest natural glass in the world. Discovered by Europeans in 1932, the stuff is strewn across a vast area of desert at the edge of Egypt's great Sand Sea. Kröpelin's chunk looked like a glass meteorite, complete with ablation regmaglypts, suggesting that the glass was created by a meteor strike that liquefied the surface rocks in a process not unlike that which created tektite strewn-fields elsewhere on the earth. Except… no one has found a crater. Perhaps the glass is a radiative melt artifact of a Tunguska-like airburst? Others speculate that it is hydrovolcanic in origin, but no has found a volcanic source. 
What we do know is that the Sahara's earliest inhabitants knapped the glass into tools, and that it was prized by the Egyptians—a scarab carved from the stuff is set into a pectoral worn by Tutankhamun. That fact tied nicely with Kröpelin's final and most surprising statement: the origins of the pharonic tradition lie in the Western Desert, not the Nile Valley. And if the Egyptian civilization was born from the Sahara, then by association, Europe's roots are hidden there as well.

STEWART BRANDWhat if climate change is good for civilization?

(If it is, it would completely invalidate the first chapter of my Whole Earth Discipline, which spells out how climate change is an apocalypse-in-waiting for civilization. My personal mantra tries to be: "Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about." This might be one of them.)
Climate change apparently ignited civilization in Egypt, said Stefan Kröpelin in a small, intense session at SciFoo. His four decades of insanely adventurous researches in the eastern Sahara—where no one goes—show that people lived all over that region when it was a rich savanna filled with game, before 8,000 years ago. In those centuries people avoided the Nile, which was dangerous with floods and fearsome animals.
In the period 5300-3500 BCE the Sahara gradually but relentlessly dried up. The people from the desert were forced to take on the Nile, first for farming, soon for a river-taming civilization of such durability that it eventually inspired Greece, Rome, and Europe.
Climate change made it happen. The evidence is in the sumptuous cave art at Wadi Sura and the silt of the astonishingly ancient Ounianga Lakes.
What is our unthinkably dangerous Nile that climate change might force us to take on? What abilities might we be forced to acquire?

STEVE FULLERHow must we re-orient ourselves to make the most out of seasteading?

At Sci Foo Camp 2013, David Ewing Duncan and Linda Avey presented a very persuasive case for an indefinite expansion of 'seasteading', a term that I had learned about from Duncan in an earlier session on cognitive and moral enhancement by neuroscientific means. I had been already familiar with Peter Thiel's support for a ship floating just beyond US territorial waters near San Francisco Bay that enabled innovators lacking US citizenship to conduct research outside the gaze of American regulators. However, the session enabled me to see that seasteading, far from being a strategy for avoiding inconvenient forms of regulation, on the contrary might be something that states themselves encourage—though perhaps indirectly, depending on the political climate. However, this proposal would make policy sense only on the following condition: The outcomes of the research conducted in these 'ethics-free' zones would have to be made public, with the understanding that no one would be prosecuted, no matter how bad the outcomes are perceived to have been. In other words, we would need to become sufficiently mature to accept the admission of error in pursuit of a good cause as adequate punishment in itself. 


The most wonderful session I attended—and the most meaningful experience overall—was Michael Chorost talking about his own cochlear implant.  It was what science really is—the response to curiosity.  He told us how it worked, played recordings so we could get some sense of how things sound to people who have an implant.  He passed some samples around the room for us to touch and examine. We talked about learning to hear—and how there's a point in childhood after which it gets harder and harder to learn. We got an understanding of the technology, and also of how the technology changes both individual lives and cultural norms—such as sign language, which may become the language of the poor deaf as the rich deaf start using cochlear implants. In theory they can be covered by Medicare, but somehow the rich seem to get them and the poor don't...  Is that right?

Is there something similar coming for vision? (Of course, this comment—and the session itsel —raises questions and doesn't answer them all; that's the point of SciFoo...)


This was SciFoo's seventh year, and, in era where the half-life of a conference is measured in years, not decades, it is holding up well. Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly), Timo Hannay (Nature/Digital Science )and Chris DiBona (Google) have found a formula that works, and are sticking to it. Big Data, once the all-consuming subject, is now just another scientific instrument, like a space telescope or an electron microscope, and the excitement was back to the details of what you can do with it, now that you have it. And how do you encourage scientific thinking in children (and politicians)? Among the people who showed up from left field and stole the show (a regular occurrence at SciFoo) this year was Carmen Medina, who, in her own introductory words, "spent 32 years at the Central Intelligence Agency and decided early on that how we form opinions is much more interesting than any particular opinion. Passionate about empowering heretics in the workplace and attacking conventional wisdom. Believe we need entirely new construct for the concept of national security, perhaps abandoning it altogether. Convinced there is worldwide conspiracy for preservation of Mediocrity." Amen!

Edge Dinners
Event Date: [ 2.26.13 2:30 PM ]
United States

Special Events
Event Date: [ 9.24.12 ]
United States

Recently we have published a number of Conversations on related subjects such as "Big Data", "Linked Data", "Data Science", "Web Science", "Semantic Web", "Network Science". Clearly, a new realm is rapidly coming into public consciousness.

In this regard, we have set up this "Special Event" page on "Computational Social Science" to organize and present this material to our readers and to provide access to the ongoing Edge Conversations and related discussions. 

Published to date are eight Conversations with: Dirk HelbingNicholas A. ChristakisJ. Craig VenterJ. Craig Venter, Cesar HidalgoSandy PentlandAlbert-László Barabási and Tim O'Reilly. The presentations include more than five hours of video as well as the texts.

John Brockman

A Conversation with Tim O'Reilly [10.4.12]

If we're going to get science policy right, it's really important for us to study the economic benefit of open access and not accept the arguments of incumbents. Existing media companies claim that they need ever stronger and longer copyright protection and new, draconian laws to protect them, and meanwhile, new free ecosystems, like the Web, have actually led to enormous wealth creation and enormous new opportunities for social value. And yes, they did in fact lead in some cases to the destruction of incumbents, but that's the kind of creative destruction that we should celebrate in the economy. We have to accept that, particularly in the area of science, there's an incredible opportunity for open access to enable new business models.

TIM O'REILLY is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., a leading computer book publisher. O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, the Strata series of conferences on big data, and Tools of Change for Publishing. O'Reilly Media's Maker Media unit publishes Make Magazine and operates Maker Faire, the world's largest gathering of DIY hardware enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures is a leading early stage venture capital firm.

Tim O'Reilly's Edge Bio Page

[14:21 minutes]

A Conversation with Albert-lászló Barabási [9.24.12]

One question that fascinated me in the last two years is, can we ever use data to control systems? Could we go as far as, not only describe and quantify and mathematically formulate and perhaps predict the behavior of a system, but could you use this knowledge to be able to control a complex system, to control a social system, to control an economic system?

ALBERT-LÁSZLÓ BARABÁSI is a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Departments of Physics, Computer Science and Biology, as well as in the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women Hospital, and is a member of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Albert-László Barabási Edge Bio Page

[54:58 minutes]

A Conversation with Alex (Sandy) Pentland  [8.30.12] 

With Big Data we can now begin to actually look at the details of social interaction and how those play out, and are no longer limited to averages like market indices or election results. This is an astounding change. The ability to see the details of the market, of political revolutions, and to be able to predict and control them is definitely a case of Promethean fire --- it could be used for good or for ill, and so Big data brings us to interesting times. We're going to end up reinventing what it means to have a human socie

ALEX 'SANDY' PENTLAND is a pioneer in big data, computational social science, mobile and health systems, and technology for developing countries. He is one of the most-cited computer scientists in the world and was named by Forbes as one of the world's seven most powerful data scientists. He currently directs the 

Sandy Pentland's Edge Bio Page

[24:08 minutes]

A Conversation with Cesar Hidalgo [8.28.12] 

We have always had this tension of understanding the world, at small spatial scales or individual scales, and large macro scales. In the past when we looked at macro scales, at least when it comes to many social phenomena, we aggregated everything. Our idea of macro is, by an accident of history, a synonym of aggregate, a mass in which everything is added up and in which individuality is lost. What data at high spatial resolution, temporal resolution and typological resolution is allowing us to do, is to see the big picture without losing the individuality inside it.

CESAR HIDALGO is an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab, and faculty associate at Harvard University’s Center for International Development. His work focuses on improving the understanding of systems by using and developing concepts of complexity, evolution, and network science. He is also the founder and driving force behind Cambridge Nights, a series of online video interviews with academics who discuss the way in which they view the world.

Cesar Hidalgo's Edge Bio Page

[44:08 minnutes]

A Conversation with Nicholas A. Christakis [8.21.12]

These three things—a biological hurricane, computational social science, and the rediscovery of experimentation—are going to change the social sciences in the 21st century. With that change will come, in my judgment, a variety of discoveries and opportunities that offer tremendous prospect for improving the human condition.

It's one thing to say that the way in which we study our object of inquiry, namely humans, is undergoing profound change, as I think it is. The social sciences are indeed changing. But the next question is: is the object of inquiry also undergoing profound change? It's not just how we study it that's changing, which it is. The question is: is the thing itself, our humanity, also changing?

NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS is a Physician and Social Scientist, Harvard University; Coauthor (with James Fowler) of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.

Nicholas A. Chrsitakis's Edge Bio Page

40:59 minutes]

After Dinner Talk by J. Craig Venter [7.10.12] 

We can now send biology at the speed of light, and this is one of the implications of our work, which we recorded two years ago making the first synthetic life form. We completely synthesized the genetic code of a cell starting with a digital code in the computer—it's the ultimate interface between computers and biology. The digital code and the genetic code have a lot in common; something Schrodinger pointed out in 1943, saying it could be something as simple as the Morse code. ... Digital code, as you know, is a binary code, and ones and zeroes, and your genetic code is literally four-base code with ACGs and Ts. We can now readily convert in between the two, and we can define life at its most basic level. Things that were a mystery fifty, sixty, seventy years ago, we now understand completely.

Genomics researcher J. CRAIG VENTER is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century, most notably for the first sequencing and analysis of the human genome published in 2001 and the most recent and most complete sequencing of his diploid human genome in 2007. He is Co-Founder, Chairman, Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; Founder, J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded.

J. Craig Venter's Edge Bio Page

34:16 minutes]

On the 70th Anniversary of Schroedinger's Lecture at Trinity College by J. Craig Venter [7.12.12] 

I view DNA as an analogue coding molecule, and when we sequence the DNA, we are converting that analogue code into digital code; the 1s and 0s in the computer are very similar to the dots and dashes of Schrodinger's metaphor. I call this process "digitizing biology".

Genomics researcher J. CRAIG VENTER is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century, most notably for the first sequencing and analysis of the human genome published in 2001 and the most recent and most complete sequencing of his diploid human genome in 2007. He is Co-Founder, Chairman, Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; Founder, J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded.

J. Craig Venter's Edge Bio Page

[55:14 minutes]

Dirk Helbing [6.19.12]

There's a new kind of socio-inspired technology coming up, now. Society has many wonderful self-organization mechanisms that we can learn from, such as trust, reputation, culture. If we can learn how to implement that in our technological system, that is worth a lot of money; billions of dollars, actually. We think this is the next step after bio-inspired technology.

PROFESSOR DIRK HELBING is Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation, at ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the Scientific Coordinator of the FuturICT Flagship Proposal.

Dirk Helbing's Edge Bio Page

[42:54 minutes]

Special Events
Event Date: [ 8.20.12 5:00 AM ]
Spring Mountain Vineyard
2805 Spring Mountain Road
Saint Helena, CA 94574-1775
United States


Villa Miravalle at Spring Mountain

Daniel Kahneman & Richard Thaler at Edge Retreat, Spring Mountain Vineyard, August 2013

Edge Master Class 2011: What's New In Human Nature
Daniel Kahneman, Martin Nowak, Steven Pinker, Leda Cosmides, Michael Gazzaniga,  Elaine Pagels
Special Events
Event Date: [ 7.10.12 ]
Ristorante Del Cambio




Jennifer Jacquet  & Ginevra Elkann, President, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli


Ginevra Elkann e Carlo Antonelli
hanno il piacere di invitarla all'
Edge dinner 
in onore di John Brockman, Craig Venter e Brian Eno 
martedì 10 luglio
ore 19.30 aperitivo
ore 20.30 cena
Ristorante Del Cambio – Piazza Carignano, 2  – Torino


After Dinner Talk:




Ginevra Elkann, Film Producer, Asmara Films; President, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Carlo Antonelli, Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine, Italy


Massimo Banzi, Co-founder, Arduino Project

Gabriele Beccaria, Editor, Tutto Scienza, science supplement of La Stampa

Tommaso Bertani, DJ

Vittorio Bo, Director, Genoa Science Festival; Codice Publishing

John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge.org; CEO, Brockman, Inc.; Author.

Mario Calabresi, Italian Journalist and Author; Director, La Stampa

Andrea Cane, Publishing Director, Trade Division, De Agostini Editore

Max Casacci, Guitarist, Producer

Franca De D'Agostini, Philosopher, University of Turin & University of Milan 

Alain Elkann, Novelist, Journalist; President, Egyptian Museum of Turin; Director of Cultural Programs, Italian Television

Brian Eno, Artist; Composer; Recording Producer: U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads, Paul Simon; Recording Artist

Lara Favaretto, Artist

Marco Gilli, Director Politecnico di Torino; Professor, Department of Electronics and Telecommunication

Jennifer Jacquet Researcher, NYU, studying the effect of honor and shame on cooperation

Heather Kowalski, Communications Consultant, J. Craig Venter Institute

Arto Lindsay, Pop Musician, Audio Provocateur, Producer

Katinka Matson, Artist; Literary Agent; President, Brockman, Inc.; Co-Founder, Edge.org

Marzia Migliora, Artist

Martina Mondadori, Publisher, Tar magazine; Non-Executive Member, Board of Directors, Momdadori

Franco Noero, Galleria Franco Noero 

Marcella Pralormo, Director, Pinacoteca Agnelli

Gaetano Prisciantelli, Journalist, Il Venredi, La Rebbublica

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Director, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Tadjbakhsh Shahriar, COO, EXOR; Former Director, Goldman Sachs, Paris

Gianluigi Ricuperati, Writer and Essayist, La Repubblica

Scarlett Rouge, Artist

J Craig Venter, Genomics Researcher; Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded


J. Craig Venter & Ginevra Elkann


To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Schroedinger's famous lecture, J. Craig Venter speaks at Examination Hall, Trinity College, Dublin on 







Edge Dinners
Event Date: [ 7.10.12 ]
United States

[click to enlarge

Ginevra Elkann e Carlo Antonelli
hanno il piacere di invitarla all'
Edge Dinner 
in onore di John Brockman, J. Craig Venter e Brian Eno 
martedi 10 Luglio
ore 19.30 aperitivo

ore 20.30 cena
Ristorante Del Cambio  Piazza Carignano, 2  – Torino

After Dinner Talk:
J. Craig Venter"Biology At The Speed Of Light" 


Ginevra Elkann, Film Producer, Asmara Films; President, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Carlo Antonelli, Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine, Italy


Massimo Banzi, Co-founder, Arduino Project
Gabriele Beccaria, Editor, Tutto Scienza, science supplement of La Stampa
Tommaso Bertani, DJ
Vittorio Bo, Director, Genoa Science Festival; Codice Publishing
John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge.org; CEO, Brockman, Inc.; Author.
Mario Calabresi, Italian Journalist and Author; Director, La Stampa
Andrea Cane, Publishing Director, Trade Division, De Agostini Editore
Max Casacci, Guitarist, Producer
Franca De D'Agostini, Philosopher, University of Turin & University of Milan 
Alain Elkann, Novelist, Journalist; President, Egyptian Museum of Turin; Director of Cultural Programs, Italian Television
Brian Eno, Artist; Composer; Recording Producer: U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads, Paul Simon; Recording Artist
Lara Favaretto, Artist
Marco Gilli, Director Politecnico di Torino; Professor, Department of Electronics and Telecommunication
Jennifer Jacquet Researcher, NYU, studying the effect of honor and shame on cooperation
Heather Kowalski, Communications Consultant, J. Craig Venter Institute
Arto Lindsay, Pop Musician, Audio Provocateur, Producer
Katinka Matson, Artist; Literary Agent; President, Brockman, Inc.; Co-Founder, Edge.org
Marzia Migliora, Artist
Martina Mondadori, Publisher, Tar magazine; Non-Executive Member, Board of Directors, Momdadori
Franco Noero, Galleria Franco Noero 
Marcella Pralormo, Director, Pinacoteca Agnelli
Gaetano Prisciantelli, Journalist, Il Venredi, La Rebbublica
Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Director, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
Tadjbakhsh Shahriar, COO, EXOR; Former Director, Goldman Sachs, Paris
Gianluigi Ricuperati, Writer and Essayist, La Repubblica 
Scarlett Rouge, Artist
J Craig Venter, Genomics Researcher; Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded


Special Events
Event Date: [ 6.22.12 ]


Chris Anderson
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

Samuel Arbesman
The Half-life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date

Dan Ariely
The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves

Charles Arthur
Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet

John D. Barrow
The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos [Paperback]

Mary Catherine Bateson
Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom (Vintage) [Paperback]

Roy Baumeister
and John Tierney

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

Gregory Benford

Jesse Bering
Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human

Nick Bilton
I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work & Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted [Paperback]

David Brin

Max Brockman
Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge

John Brockman
This Will Make You Smarter
John Brockman
John Brockman

David Brooks
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
Stephen Budiansky
Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815 (Vintage) [Paperback]
David M. Buss
Dangerous Passion

Benedict Carey
Poison Most Vial: A Mystery
Noam Chomsky
Occupy (Occupied Media Pamphlet Series) [Paperback]
Douglas Coupland
Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People

Brian Cox & Arthur Cohen
Wonders of the Universe
Austin Dacey
The Future of Blasphemy: Speaking of the Sacred in an Age of Human Rights
Antonio Damasio
Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

Richard Dawkins & Dave Mckean
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True
Emanuel Derman
Models.Behaving.Badly: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life
David Deutsch
The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World[paperback]

Peter Diamandis
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross
The Rapture of the Nerds
Cory Doctorow
The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (Outspoken Authors) [Paperback]

George Dyson
Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
David M. Eagleman
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
[paperback edition]
Dylan Evans
Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty

Daniel L. Everett
Language: The Cultural Tool
Stuart Firestein
Ignorance: How It Drives Science
Michael Gazzaniga
Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

James Geary
Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World[Paperback]
David Gelernter
America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In the Obamacrats)
Karl W. Giberson
The Wonder of the Universe: Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned World

Anthony Giddens
The Third Way (A New edition)
John Gottman & Nan Silver
What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal
Jonathan Gottschall
The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

A. C. Graylin
The Good Book March 2011
Brian Greene
The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos [Paperback]
Jonathan Haidt
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Paul Harris
Trusting What You're Told: How Children Learn from Others
Sam Harris
Free Will
Mark Henderson
The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters

Bruce Hood
The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity

John Horgan
The End of War
Arianna Huffington
Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Ordinary Citizen

Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs
Alok Jha
50 Ways the World Is Going to End: The Biggest Threats to the Planet. by Alok Jha
Steven Johnson
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation [Paperback]

Daniel Kahneman
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Eric R. Kandel
The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present
Andrew Keen
Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us

Christian Keysers
The Empathic Brain
Alexander Kluge
December (SB-The German List)
Alexander Kluge
Air Raid (SB-The German List)

Lawrence M. Krauss
A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing
Robert Kurzban
Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind [Paperback]
Jonah Lehrer
Imagine: How Creativity Works

John Lloyd
The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong
Benoit Mandelbrot
The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick
Gary Marcus
Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning

Annalena Mcafee
The Spoiler
Tom Mccarthy
Tintin and the Secret of Literature [Paperback]
Pamela Mccorduck
Bounded Rationality, A Novel

John Mcwhorter
What Language Is
Evgeny Morozov
The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom
Steve Nadis & Shing- Tung Yau
The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions [Paperback]

John Naughton
Knowledge: Everything You Really Need to Know about the Internet
Alva Noë
Varieties of Presence
Martin Nowak with Roger Highfield
Supercooperators [Paperback]

Mark Pagel
Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind
Elaine Pagels
Heinz R Pagels
The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (Dover Books on Physics) [Paperback][reprint]

Bruce Parker
The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (Macsci) [paperback]
Christopher Phillips
Constitution Café: Jefferson's Brew for a True Revolution [Paperback]
Clifford Pickover
The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics (Sterling Milestones)

Daniel Pink
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Steven Pinker
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
William Poundstone
Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You ... Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy

Jesse Prinz
The Conscious Brain (Philosophy of Mind)
Robert Provine
Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond
Vilayanur Ramachandran
The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human [Paperback]

Lisa Randall
Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
Martin Rees
From Here to Infinity: A Vision for the Future of Science
Ed Regis & George Church
Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

Howard Rheingold
Net Smart: How to Thrive Online
Steven Rose & Hilary Rose
Genes, Cells and Brains: Bioscience's Promethean Promises
Robin S. Rosenberg
The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Understanding Lisbeth Salander and Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy

Robin S. Rosenberg
What's the Matter With Batman?: An Unauthorized Clinical Look Under the Mask of the Caped Crusader
Carlo Rovelli
The First Scientist: Anaximander and His Legacy
Rudy Rucker
Surfing the Gnarl (Outspoken Authors)

Douglas Rushkoff
Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age
Martin Seligman
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being [Paperback]
Karoly Simonyi
A Cultural History of Physics

Laurence C. Smith
The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future [Paperback]
Christopher Stringer
Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth
Steven Strogatz
The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
Don Tapscott
Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet
Eric J. Topol, M D
The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

Robert Trivers
The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life
Neil Turok
The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos (CBC Massey Lecture)
Ai Weiwei

Margaret Wertheim
Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything
Timothy D. Wilson
Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
David Sloan Wilson
The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time

E. O. Wilson
The Social Conquest of Earth
Naomi Wolf
Vagina: A New Biography
Nathan Wolfe
The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age

Carl Zimmer
A Planet of Viruses
Phil Zuckerman
Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion
Special Events
Event Date: [ 6.15.12 ]
United States



"For those seeking substance over sheen, the occasional videos released at Edge.org hit the mark. The Edge Foundation community is a circle, mainly scientists but also other academics, entrepreneurs, and cultural figures.

Edge's long-form interview videos are a deep-dive into the daily lives and passions of its subjects, and their passions are presented without primers or apologies. The decidedly noncommercial nature of Edge's offerings, and the egghead imprimatur of the Edge community, lend its videos a refreshing air, making one wonder if broadcast television will ever offer half the off-kilter sparkle of their salon chatter."

The Boston Globe


Sarah- Jayne Blakemore

Royal Society University Research Fellow and Full Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

The idea that the brain is somehow fixed in early childhood, which was an idea that was very strongly believed up until fairly recently, is completely wrong. There's no evidence that the brain is somehow set and can't change after early childhood. In fact, it goes through this very large development throughout adolescence and right into the 20s and 30s, and even after that it's plastic forever, the plasticity is a baseline state, no matter how old you are. That has implications for things like intervention programs and educational programs for teenagers.


A Conversation with Carlo Rovelli 

Theoretical Physicist; University of the Mediterraneum, Marseille; Author, Quantum Gravity

I seem to be saying two things that contradict each other. On the one hand, we trust scientific knowledge, on the other hand, we are always ready to modify in-depth part of our conceptual structure about the world. But there is no contradiction, because the idea of a contradiction comes from what I see as the deepest misunderstanding about science: the idea that science is about certainty.  


A Conversation with Bruce Hood

Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre in the Experimental Psychology Department at the University of Bristol; Author, The Self-Illusion

The self is something that is central to a lot of psychological questions and, in fact, a lot of psychologists have difficulty describing their work without positing the notion of a self. It's such a common daily, profound, indivisible experience for most of us. Some people do manage to achieve states of divided self or anatta, no self, they're really skilled Buddhists. But for the majority of us the self is a very compulsive experience. I happen to think it's an illusion and certainly the neuroscience seems to support that contention. Simply from the logical positions that it's very difficult to, without avoiding some degree of infinite regress, to say a starting point, the trail of thought, just the fractionation of the mind, when we see this happening in neurological conditions. The famous split-brain studies showing that actually we're not integrated entities inside our head, rather we're the output of a multitude of unconscious processes.


A Conversations with Simon Baron-Cohen

Psychologist, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University; Author, The Science of Evil

This is a hormone that has fascinated me. It's a small molecule that seems to be doing remarkable things. The variation we see in this hormone comes from a number of different sources. One of those sources is genes; many different genes can influence how much testosterone each of us produces, and I just wanted to share with you my fascination with this hormone, because it's helping us take the science of sex differences one step further, to try to understand not whether there are sex differences, but what are the roots of those sex differences? Where are they springing from? And along the way we’re also hoping that this is going to teach us something about those neuro-developmental conditions like autism, like delayed language development, which seem to disproportionately affect boys more than girls, and potentially help us understand the causes of those conditions.

Q & A




George Dyson

Science Historian; Author, Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe; Darwin Among the Machines

What we're missing now, on another level, is not just biology, but cosmology. People treat the digital universe as some sort of metaphor, just a cute word for all these products. The universe of Apple, the universe of Google, the universe of Facebook, that these collectively constitute the digital universe, and we can only see it in human terms and what does this do for us?

We're missing a tremendous opportunity. We're asleep at the switch because it's not a metaphor. In 1945 we actually did create a new universe. This is a universe of numbers with a life of their own, that we only see in terms of what those numbers can do for us. Can they record this interview? Can they play our music? Can they order our books on Amazon? If you cross the mirror in the other direction, there really is a universe of self-reproducing digital code. When I last checked, it was growing by five trillion bits per second. And that's not just a metaphor for something else. It actually is. It's a physical reality.


A Talk With Vilaynur Ramachandran 

Neuroscientist; Professor & Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, UC, San Diego; Author, The Tell-Tale Brain 

So here is something staring you in the face, anextraordinary syndrome, utterly mysterious, where a person wants his normal limb removed. Why does this happen? There are all kinds of crazy theories about it including Freudian theories. One theory asserts, for example, that it's an attention seeking behavior. This chap wants attention so he asks you to remove his arm. It doesn't make any sense.Why does he not want his nose removed or ear removed or something less drastic? Why an arm.


A Talk With Christopher Stringer 

Paleoanthropologist, The Natural History Museum, London; Author, Lone Survivors 

I'm thinking a lot about species concepts as applied to humans, about the "Out of Africa" model, and also looking back into Africa itself. I think the idea that modern humans originated in Africa is still a sound concept. Behaviorally and physically, we began our story there, but I've come around to thinking that it wasn't a simple origin. Twenty years ago, I would have argued that our species evolved in one place, maybe in East Africa or South Africa. 



A Talk With Mark Pagel

Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Reading University, England and The Santa Fe Institute; Author, Wired for Culture 

A tiny number of ideas can go a long way, as we've seen. And the Internet makes that more and more likely. What's happening is that we might, in fact, be at a time in our history where we're being domesticated by these great big societal things, such as Facebook and the Internet. We're being domesticated by them, because fewer and fewer and fewer of us have to be innovators to get by. And so, in the cold calculus of evolution by natural selection, at no greater time in history than ever before, copiers are probably doing better than innovators.  


Raphael Bousso 

Professor of Theoretical Physics, Berkeley

Andrei Linde had some ideas, Alan Guth had some ideas, Alex Vilenkin had some ideas. I thought I was coming in with this radically new idea that we shouldn't think of the universe as existing on this global scale that no one observer can actually see, that it's actually important to think about what can happen in the causally connected region to one observer, what can you do in any experiment that doesn't actually conflict with the laws of physics, and require superluminal propagation, that we have to ask questions in a way that conform to the laws of physics if we want to get sensible answers.


Brian Eno & Jennifer Jacquet

ENO: Artist; Composer; Recording Producer: U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads, Paul Simon; Recording Artist, Small Craft on a Milk Sea
JACQUET: Postdoctoral Researcher, Fisheries Centre/Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, researching cooperation and the tragedy of the commons

ENO: Usually one is asked to do music for films but this is for a totem pole.

JACQUET: Throughout the 19th century, native tribes that spanned the north coast of North America erected shame totem poles to signal to the community that certain individuals or groups had transgressed. 




Googleplex, Mountain View, California — August 12-14, 2011
Frank Wilczek, Jennifer Jacquet, Timo Hannay

WILCZEK Physicist, MIT; Recipient, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics; Author, The Lightness of Being

HANNAY Managing Director, Digital Science, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.;Former Publisher, Nature.com; Co-Organizer, Sci Foo

 Ask the question you are asking yourself. You have one minute.—JB








A Conversation with Jaron Lanier

Computer scientist; musician; author, You Are Not A Gadget

If you aspire to use computer network power to become a global force through shaping the world instead of acting as a local player in an unfathomably large environment, when you make that global flip, you can no longer play the game of advantaging the design of the world to yourself and expect it to be sustainable. The great difficulty of becoming powerful and getting close to a computer network is: Can people learn to forego the temptations, the heroin-like rewards of being able to reform the world to your own advantage in order to instead make something sustainable?


An Edge Conversation with Nathan Myhrvold

CEO and Managing Director, Intellectual Ventures; Co-Author (with Bill Gates), The Road Ahead; Author, Modernist Cuisine

Cooking also obeys the laws of physics, in particular chemistry. Yet it is quite possible to cook without understanding it. You can cook better if you do understand what is going on, particularly if you want to deviate from the ways that people have cooked before. If you want to follow a recipe exactly, slavishly, what the hell, you can do it without understanding it. As a rote automaton, you can say, "yes, I mixed this, I cook at this temperature" and so forth. But if you want to do something really different, if you want to go color outside the lines, if you want to go outside of the recipe, it helps if you have some intuition as to how things work.


Daniel Kahneman

Eugene Higgins Emeritus Professor of Psychology; Nobel Laureate; Author, Thinking Fast and Slow

The power of settings, the power of priming, and the power of unconscious thinking, all of those are a major change in psychology. I can't think of a bigger change in my lifetime. You were asking what's exciting? That's exciting, to me.






Martin Nowak

Professor of Biology and Mathematics, Harvard University; coathor, SuperCooperators

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








Steven Pinker 

Johnstone Family Professor, Department of Psychology; Harvard University; Author, The Better Angles of Our Nature 

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.




Leda Cosmides 

Professor of Psychology at UCSB

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?




Michael Gazzaniga

Neuroscientist, UC Santa Barbara; Author, Who's In Charge

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?







Elaine Pagels

Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University; Author, Revelations

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



A Conversation with Gary Klein

Cognitive Psychologist; Author, Sources of Power; Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for Keys to Adaptive Decision Making

Judgments based on intuition seem mysterious because intuition doesn't involve explicit knowledge. It doesn't involve declarative knowledge about facts. Therefore, we can't explicitly trace the origins of our intuitive judgments. They come from other parts of our knowing. They come from our tacit knowledge and so they feel magical. Intuitions sometimes feel like we have ESP, but it isn't magical, it's really a consequence of the experience we've built up.



A Conversation With Geoffrey West 

Distinguished Professor and Past President, Santa Fe Institute

The question is, as a scientist, can we take these ideas and do what we did in biology, at least based on networks and other ideas, and put this into a quantitative, mathematizable, predictive theory, so that we can understand the birth and death of companies, how that stimulates the economy?





A Conversation with Timothy Wilson 

Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia; Co-author, Social Psychology; Author, Strangers to Ourselves; Redirect

One of the basic assumptions of the field is that it's not the objective environment that influences people, but their constructs of the world. You have to get inside people's heads and see the world the way they do. You have to look at the kinds of narratives and stories people tell themselves as to why they're doing what they're doing. What can get people into trouble sometimes in their personal lives, or for more societal problems, is that these stories go wrong. People end up with narratives that are dysfunctional in some way. 



A Conversation with Hugo Mercier

Postdoc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics program at the University of Pennsylvania



A Talk With Armand Marie Leroi 

Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Imperial College; Author, Mutants

"Okay, but who is the real top dog? For me, the answer is absolutely clear. It's Aristotle. And it's a surprising answer because even though I suppose some biologists might know, should they happen to remember their first year textbooks, that Aristotle was the Father of Biology, they would still say, "well, yes, but he got everything wrong." And that, I think, is a canard. The thing about Aristotle - and this is why I love him - is that his thought was is so systematic, so penetrating, so vast, so strange—and yet he's undeniably a scientist."



A Talk with Simone Schnall 

Director, Cambridge Embodied Cognition and Emotion Laboratory; University Lecturer, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology Cambridge

As far as morality goes, disgust has received a lot of attention, and there has been a lot of work on it. The flip side of it is cleanliness, or being tidy, proper, clean, pure, which has been considered the absence of disgust, or contamination. But there is actually more to being clean, and having things in order. On some level even cleanliness, or the desire to feel clean and pure has a social origin in the sens that primates show social grooming: Monkeys tend to get really close to each other, they pick insects off each other's fur, and it's not just useful in terms of keeping themselves clean, but it has an important social function in terms of bonding them together


A Talk by George Dyson

Science Historian; Author, Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe; Darwin Among the Machines

Where is this whole digital world going?  And I'm going to risk being thrown out of here by saying... not that digital is over, but that we've already moved into a new phase, that people just are not recognizing yet: back to analog. We're taking that cathode ray tube back the other way.



A Presentation by Jonathan Haidt

Professor of Social Psychology, University of Virginia; Author, The Righteous Mind

I'm all in favor of reductionism, as long as it's paired with emergentism. You've got to be able to go down to the low level, but then also up to the level of institutions and cultural traditions and, all kinds of local factors. A dictum of cultural psychology is that "culture and psyche make each other up." We psychologists are specialists in the psyche. What are the gears turning in the mind? But those gears turn, and they evolved to turn, in various ecological and economic contexts.  



A Presentation By Paul Bloom

Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology, Yale University; Author, How Pleasure Works

What I want to do today is talk about some ideas I've been exploring concerning the origin of human kindness. And I'll begin with a story that Sarah Hrdy tells at the beginning of her excellent new book, "Mothers And Others." She describes herself flying on an airplane. It’s a crowded airplane, and she's flying coach. She's waits in line to get to her seat; later in the flight, food is going around, but she's not the first person to be served; other people are getting their meals ahead of her. And there's a crying baby. The mother's soothing the baby, the person next to them is trying to hide his annoyance, other people are coo-cooing the baby, and so on.

As Hrdy points out, this is entirely unexceptional. Billions of people fly each year, and this is how most flights are. But she then imagines what would happen if every individual on the plane was transformed into a chimp. Chaos would reign. By the time the plane landed, there'd be body parts all over the aisles, and the baby would be lucky to make it out alive.

The point here is that people are nicer than chimps.


A Presentation By David Pizarro 

Psychologist, Cornell University

What I want to talk about is piggybacking off of the end of Paul's talk, where he started to speak a little bit about the debate that we've had in moral psychology and in philosophy, on the role of reason and emotion in moral judgment. I'm going to keep my claim simple, but I want to argue against a view that probably nobody here has, (because we're all very sophisticated), but it's often spoken of emotion and reason as being at odds with each other — in a sense that to the extent that emotion is active, reason is not active, and to the extent that reason is active, emotion is not active. (By emotion here, I mean, broadly speaking, affective influences).

I think that this view is mistaken (although it is certainly the case sometimes). The interaction between these two is much more interesting. So I'm going to talk a bit about some studies that we've done. Some of them have been published, and a couple of them haven't (because they're probably too inappropriate to publish anywhere, but not too inappropriate to speak to this audience). They are on the role of emotive forces in shaping our moral judgment. I use the term "emotive," because they are about motivation and how motivation affects the reasoning process when it comes to moral judgment.


A Presentation By Elizabeth Phelps 

Neuroscientist; Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University

In spite of these beliefs I do think about decisions as reasoned or instinctual when I'm thinking about them for myself. And this has obviously been a very powerful way of thinking about how we do things because it goes back to earliest written thoughts. We have reason, we have emotion, and these two things can compete. And some are unique to humans and others are shared with other species.

And economists, when thinking about decisions, have also adopted what we call a dual system approach. This is obviously a different dual system approach and here I'm focusing mostly on Kahneman's System 1 and System 2. As probably everybody in this room knows Kahneman and Tversky showed that there were a number of ways in which we make decisions that didn't seem to be completely consistent with classical economic theory and easy to explain. And they proposed Prospect Theory and suggested that we actually have two systems we use when making decisions, one of which we call reason, one of which we call intuition.

Kahneman didn't say emotion. He didn't equate emotion with intuition.


W. Daniel Hillis

Physicist, Computer Scientist, Chairman of Applied Minds, Inc.; author, The Pattern on the Stone

Right now, I am asking a lot of questions about cancer, but I probably should explain how I got to that point, why somebody who's mostly interested in complexity, and computers, and designing machines, and engineering, should be interested in cancer. I'll tell you a little bit about cancer, but before I tell you about that, I'm going to tell you about proteomics, and before I tell you about proteomics, I want to get you to think about genomics differently because people have heard a lot about genes, and genomics in the last few years, and it's probably given them a misleading idea about what's important, how diseases work, and so on.



W. Daniel Hillis

Physicist, Computer Scientist, Chairman of Applied Minds, Inc.; author, The Pattern on the Stone

What I've been talking about here is more analysis than construction. The genome is used to construct things, and I'm claiming it's not the best place for analysis of what's going on. Certainly there are times it is useful, but I don't think that's where most of the information is. In fact, in some sense, it is literally true that the information that's in proteomics tells you everything that was in the genome, everything useful that was in the genome. In a sense, the genome is redundant if you have the proteomics, that's theoretical though, because the genome is digital, and we actually have it. In many ways it's enabled proteomics.


Kary Mullis 

Nobel Prize winner, Chemistry 1993; author, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field

Now we are starting to work with organisms that are more likely to appear in a hospital, like staph and influenza, and we have our sights on Clostridia difficile, Pneumococcus aeruginosa, Acetinobacter baumanii and an alarming number of other bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. We are also working on influenza, which has a convenient little feature called M2e. 




Richard Foreman  

Playwright & Director; Founder, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater

"I believe that people, en masse, always have a reaction that is lower and less interesting than any individual person that you can confront and have a relationship with." 


Robert Sapolsky  

Neuroscientist, Stanford University; Author, Monkeyluv

"The parasite my lab is beginning to focus on is one in the world of mammals, where parasites are changing mammalian behavior. It's got to do with this parasite, this protozoan called Toxoplasma."







Stanislas Dehaene  

DEHAENE Neuroscientist; Collège de France, Paris; Author, The Number Sense; Reading In the Brain

"For the past twelve years my research team has been using all the brain research tools at its disposal, from functional MRI to electro- and magneto-encephalography and even electrodes inserted deep in the human brain, to shed light on the brain mechanisms of consciousness." 





A Talk By Sendhil Mullainathan

Professor of Economics at Harvard

I want to close a loop, which I'm calling "The Irony of Poverty." On the one hand, lack of slack tells us the poor must make higher quality decisions because they don't have slack to help buffer them with things. But even though they have to supply higher quality decisions, they're in a worse position to supply them because they

Edge Dinners
Event Date: [ 2.28.12 ]
United States


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