Edge @ DLD 2014 [1]

JANUARY 19-21, 2014

On the road to Munich in January for DLD14 [2], the 10th annual DLD conference (Digital-Life-Day) run by Steffi Czerny [3] and Lukas Kubina [4] for Hubert Burda Media. The theme this year: "Content and Context." It was the fifth time Edge has been asked to participate. (See below for links to our previous DLD co-events.)

Steffi Czerny [3] and John Brockman [5]

This year the Edge conversation was on "information" from the Neandertal DNA sequenced by Svante Pääbo, the founder of the field of ancient DNA, to the multi-particle entanglement states of physicist Anton Zeilinger, which have become essential in fundamental tests of quantum mechanics and in quantum information science, most notably in quantum computation. In addition, Edge's roving editor, Jennifer Jacquet, was present for a session on "Time's Role in the Tragedy of the Commons" in which she developed themes in her work recently presented on Edge

Svante Pääbo [6]Anton Zeilinger [7]John Brockman: [5] On Information

Information is the foundation of our universe—and life itself. Cultural impresario John Brockman hosts a Third Culture conversation, spanning science and the humanities.


SVANTE PÄÄBO the founder of the field of ancient DNA, is Director, Department of Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig. Among his achievements are the first demonstration of DNA survival in an ancient Egyptian mummy, the first amplification of ancient DNA, the first study of the DNA from the Iceman found in the Alps, and the first retrieval of DNA from a Neanderthal in 1997. Four years ago, he initiated and organized an effort to sequence the entire Neanderthal genome. The first scientific overview of the genome was published in 2009 and was front page news wordwide. He is the author of Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost GenomesSvante Pääbo's Edge Bio Page [6]

ANTON ZEILINGER, a physicist, is Professor of Physics at the Quantum Optics, Quantum Nanophysics, Quantum Information Institute of University of Vienna. He is President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the author of Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation. Zeilinger is a pioneer in the field of quantum information and of the foundations of quantum mechanics. He realized many important quantum information protocols for the first time, including quantum teleportation of an independent qubit, entanglement swapping (i.e. the teleportation of an entangled state), hyper-dense coding (which was the first entanglement-based protocol ever realized in experiment), entanglement-based quantum cryptography, one-way quantum computation and blind quantum computation. His further contributions to the experimental and conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics include multi-particle entanglement and matter wave interference all the way from neutrons via atoms to macromolecules such as fullerenes. Anton Zeilinger's Edge Bio Page [7]

Jennifer Jacquet [9]: Times Role in the Tragedy of the Commons

How do tensions between individuals and groups play out? Between high-consuming people and low? Between the now and the future? Game theory offers answers.

JENNIFER JACQUET is Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU, researching shame, [10] cooperation and the tragedy of the commons. She is also Edge's Roving Editor (see interviews with Adam Alter [11] and Joseph Heinrich [12]).

Her work was recently featured on Edge after Nature Climate Change published a study by Jacquet and her colleagues at two Max Planck Institutes on "Delayed Gratification Hurts Cimate Change Cooperation" [13].  Jennifer Jacquet's Edge Bio Page [9]

EDGE @DLD: 2011: AN EDGE CONVERSATION IN MUNICH [14] with Stewart Brand, George Dyson, Kevin Kelly, introduced by Andrian Kreye. A session with three of the original members of Edge who year in and year out provide the core sounding board for the ideas and information we present to the public. I refer to them in private correspondance as "The Council." Every year, beginning late summer, I consult with Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, and George Dyson, and together we create the Edge Annual Question which Edge has been asking since 1996. 2010: "INFORMAVORE" [15] with Frank Schirrmacher, Editor of the Feuilleton and Co-Publisher of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Andrian Kreye, Feuilleton Editor of Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Munich; and Yale computer science visionary David Gelernter, who, in his 1991 book Mirror Worlds presented what's now called "cloud computing." 2009: REFLECTIONS ON A CRISIS [16]Daniel Kahneman, the greatest living psychologist, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the foremost scholar of extreme events discuss hindsight biases, the illusion of patterns, perception of risk, and denial. 2008: LIFE: A GENE-CENTRIC VIEW [17]Richard Dawkins & J. Craig Venter. It's not everyday you have Richard Dawkins and Craig Venter on a stage talking for an hour. That it occured in Germany, where the culture had been resistant to open discussion of genetics, and at DLD, the Digital, Life, Design conference organized by Hubert Burda Media in Munich, a high-level event for the digital elite—the movers and shakers of the Internet—made the discussion particularly interesting.