tania_lombrozo's picture
Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley


How will advances in mental prosthetics that connect us with other human and machine minds change the way we think about expertise?



alex_poots's picture
Artistic Director and CEO, The Shed


Will artistic invention enlighten the age of AI?



dirk_helbing's picture
Professor of Computational Social Science, ETH Zurich; TU Delft, The Netherlands


What does it mean to be human?



paul_j_steinhardt's picture
Albert Einstein Professor in Science, Departments of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University; Coauthor, Endless Universe


Will the universe observed today someday begin to contract, bounce, and be reborn?



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


Why should we prize the original object over a perfect replica?



gianluigi_ricuperati's picture
Writer; Essayist; Curator


Is the botscape going to force us to give up the use of the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun, I?



mary_catherine_bateson's picture
Professor Emerita, George Mason University; Visiting Scholar, Sloan Center on Aging & Work, Boston College; Author, Composing a Further Life


Will the process of discovery be completed in any of the natural sciences?



oliver_scott_curry's picture
Senior Researcher, Director, The Oxford Morals Project, Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford


Why be good?



yuri_milner's picture
Physicist; Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist; Science Philanthropist


If we discover another intelligent civilization, what should we ask them?



eric_r_weinstein's picture
Mathematician and Economist; Managing Director of Thiel Capital


Does something unprecedented happen when we finally learn our own source code?



martin_lercher's picture
Professor of Computational Cell Biology at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf; Co-author (with Itai Yanai), The Society of Genes


What proportion of "ethnic" and "religious" tensions are rooted in our genes?



isabel_behncke_izquierdo's picture
Primatologist; Associate Professor, Social Complexity Research Centre (CICS) Gobierno UDD, Santiago de Chile; Visiting Researcher, Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group (SENRG) University of Oxford


What is the biological price of being a species with a sense of humor?



linda_wilbrecht_1's picture
Associate Professor, UC Berkeley Department of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute


How can we sculpt how individual brains develop to avert mental illness?



itai_yanai's picture
Director, Institute for Computational Medicine; Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine; Co-author (with Martin Lercher), The Society of Genes


How can we rebel against our genes if we are biological creatures without free will?



daniel_haun's picture
Professor of Early Child Development and Culture, Director, Leipzig Research Center for Early Child Development, Leipzig University


Which facets of life will we never understand once biological and cultural diversity has vanished?



bret_weinstein's picture
Theoretical Evolutionary Biologist


Can humans set a non-evolutionary course that is game-theoretically stable?



dustin_yellin's picture
Artist; Founder, Pioneer Works


Will the frontiers of consciousness be technological or linguistic?



stephen_j_stich's picture
Board of Governors Professor, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University


Why did we acquire our extraordinary human capacity for social learning?



paul_saffo's picture
Technology Forecaster; Consulting Associate Professor, Stanford University


Will we ever be able to predict earthquakes?



gino_segre's picture
Professor of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania; Author, The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age


Can the human brain ever fully understand quantum mechanics?



w_brian_arthur's picture
External Professor, Santa Fe Institute; Visiting Researcher, Intelligent Systems Lab, PARC; Inaugural Recipient, Lagrange Prize; Author, The Nature of Technology


Does consciousness reside only in our brains?



nina_stegeman's picture
Associate Editor, EDGE; Project Manager, Brockman, Inc.


What would the ability to synthesize creativity do to cultural evolution?



elizabeth_wrigley_field's picture
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Faculty Member, Minnesota Population Center


How do our microbes contribute to that particular combination of continuity and change that makes us human?



scott_sampson's picture
President & CEO, Science World British Columbia; Dinosaur paleontologist and science communicator; Author, How To Raise A Wild Child


How do ideas about biological evolution change once one species has control over the origin and extinction of all other species?



tyler_cowen's picture
Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics, George Mason University; Distinguished Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; General Director, Mercatus Center


How far are we from wishing to return to the technologies of the year 1900?



timo_hannay's picture
Founding Managing Director, SchoolDash; Co-organizer, Sci Foo Camp


Why do we get to ask questions at all?



nicholas_a_christakis's picture
Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, Yale University; Co-author, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives


Will some things about life, consciousness, and society necessarily remain unseen?



john_w_krakauer's picture
Neurologist and Neuroscientist, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Is our continued coexistence with the other big mammals essential to furthering our understanding of human cognition?



jonathan_gottschall's picture
Distinguished Research Fellow, English Department, Washington & Jefferson College; Author, The Storytelling Animal


Are stories bad for us?



gregory_benford's picture
Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy, UC-Irvine; Novelist, The Berlin Project


What is the hard limit on human longevity?



david_edelman's picture
Neuroscientist; Guest Investigator, Dartmouth College


Will we ever be replaced by another earthly species capable of evolving to a similar degree of social and technical sophistication that effectively fills the biocultural niche we vacated?



olivier_sibony's picture
Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School; Affiliate Professor, HEC Paris; Guest Lecturer, London Business School; Author, You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake!


Will we ever find an organization form that brings out the best in people?



charles_seife's picture
Professor of Journalism, New York University; Former Journalist, Science Magazine; Author, Hawking Hawking


How can we reap the benefits of the wide and open exchange of data without undermining the values that depend upon the scarcity of information?



martin_nowak's picture
Professor of Biology and Mathematics, Harvard University; Co-author, SuperCooperators


What is the purpose of it?



nick_enfield's picture
Professor and Chair, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney; Author, How We Talk


Is the cumulation of shared knowledge forever constrained by the limits of human language?



tom_griffiths's picture
Henry R. Luce Professor of Information Technology, Consciousness and Culture, Director of the Computational Cognitive Science Lab, Princeton University; Co-author (with Brian Christian), Algorithms to Live By


What new cognitive abilities will we need to live in a world of intelligent machines?



jason_wilkes's picture
Graduate student in Psychology, UC Santa Barbara; Author, Burn Math Class


Why are the errors that our best machine-learning algorithms make so different from the errors we humans make?



david_c_queller's picture
Evolutionary Biologist, Washington University in St. Louis


Must we suffer and die?



priyamvada_natarajan's picture
Professor in Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, focusing on exotica in the universe—dark matter, dark energy, and black holes; Author, Mapping the Heavens


Are there limits to what we can know about the universe?



simon_baron_cohen's picture
Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge; Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge; Author, The Pattern Seekers


Can we re-design our education system based on the principle of neurodiversity?



tim_maudlin's picture
Professor of Philosophy, NYU


Why are people so seldom persuaded by clear evidence and rational argument?



s_abbas_raza's picture
Founding Editor, 3QuarksDaily.com


Why is sleep so necessary?



eduardo_salcedo_albaran's picture
Philosopher; Director, Scientific Vortex, Inc.


Why do some people act inside the law, others outside, and others create the law?



michael_hochberg's picture
Evolutionist, CNRS, Santa Fe Institute, Institute for Advanced Study Toulouse


Will humanity eventually exhaust the unknown?



seirian_sumner's picture
Reader, Behavioral Ecology, University College London


Will our AI future forms need the natural world?



karl_sabbagh's picture
Producer; Founder, Managing Director, Skyscraper Productions; Author, The Antisemitism Wars: How the British Media Failed Their Public


How will humanity change in light of the increasing use of non-sexual methods of reproduction?



jimena_canales's picture
Writer and faculty at the Graduate College, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign; Author, The Physicist and the Philosopher


When will we accept that the most accurate clocks will have to advance regularly sometimes, irregularly most of the time, and at times run counterclockwise?



dimitar_d_sasselov's picture
Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University; Director, Harvard Origins of Life Initiative; Author, The Life of Super-Earths


What is the cosmic perspective to the future of life?



timothy_taylor's picture
Jan Eisner Professor of Archaeology, Comenius University in Bratislava; Author, The Artificial Ape


Why is Homo sapiens the sole non-extinct species of hominin?



roger_highfield's picture
Director, External Affairs, Science Museum Group; Co-author (with Martin Nowak), SuperCooperators


Will a baby grown from an embryo constructed from human stem cells eventually become a person?



ross_anderson's picture
Professor of Security Engineering at Cambridge University


How will we build the tools to maintain the software in long-lived online devices that can kill us?



jaan_tallinn's picture
Co-Founder, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Future of Life Institute; Founding Engineer, Skype, Kazaa


Will the behavior of a superintelligent AI be mostly determined by the results of its reasoning about the other superintelligent AIs?



brian_christian's picture
Author, The Most Human Human; Co-author (with Tom Griffiths), The Alignment Problem


Is the unipolar future of a "singleton" the inevitable destiny of intelligent life?



koo_jong-a's picture


i = we ?



eric_topol's picture
Professor of Genomics, The Scripps Translational Science Institute; Author, The Patient Will See You Now


Can behavioral science crack the ultimate challenge of getting people to durably adopt much healthier lifestyles?



alun_anderson's picture
Senior Consultant (and former Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director), New Scientist; Author, After the Ice


Are people who cheat vital to driving progress in human societies?



michael_i_norton's picture
Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, Director of Research, Harvard Business School; Co-author (with Elizabeth Dunn), Happy Money


Why do humans behave as though what can be known is finite?



ian_bogost's picture
Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology; Founding Partner, Persuasive Games LLC; Contributing Editor, The Atlantic


Is there a way for humans to directly experience what it’s like to be another entity?



joscha_bach's picture
Cognitive Scientist, MIT Media Lab, Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics


What is the optimal algorithm for discovering truth?



jaeweon_cho's picture
Professor of Environmental Engineering, UNIST; Director, Science Walden Center


Can we design a modern society without money which is at least as effective economically and politically as our current system?



nina_jablonski's picture
Biological Anthropologist and Paleobiologist; Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University


When will race disappear?



jennifer_richeson's picture
Professor of Psychology, Yale University


What does justice feel like?



thalia_wheatley's picture
Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College


How will the advent of direct brain-to-brain communication change the way we think?



victoria_stodden's picture
Associate Professor of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


How do I know the right level of abstraction at which to explain a phenomenon?



molly_crockett's picture
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yale University; Distinguished Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics


Is technology changing the nature of moral emotions?



seth_lloyd's picture
Professor of Quantum Mechanical Engineering, MIT; Author, Programming the Universe


How did our complex universe arise out of simple physical laws?



phil_rosenzweig's picture
Professor of Strategy and International Business at IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland; Author, Left Brain, Right Stuff


How can aims of individual liberty and economic efficiency be reconciled with aims of social justice and environmental sustainability?



siobhan_roberts's picture
Director’s Visitor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Author, Genius at Play and King of Infinite Space


Can a user-friendly computer proof assistant satisfy the mathematician’s desire for certainty without killing the pleasure?



james_geary's picture
Deputy Curator, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard; Author, Wit's End


Why is the phenomenon too familiar to investigate the hardest thing to completely understand?



abigail_marsh's picture
Associate Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University


When in the evolution of animal life did the capacity to experience love for another being first emerge?



jon_kleinberg's picture
Tisch University Professor of Computer Science, Cornell University


Can we create technologies that help equitably reduce the amount of conflict in the world?



hans_halvorson's picture
Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University


Is scientific knowledge the most valuable possession of humanity?



kurt_gray's picture
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Co-author (with Daniel Wegner), The Mind Club


What will happen to human love when we can design the perfect robot lover?



coco_krumme's picture
Applied Mathematician, UC Berkeley; Founder, Leeward Co.


Why do we care so much about how well we're approximated by algorithms?



joshua_bongard's picture
Cyril G. Veinott Green and Gold Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Vermont Author, How the Body Shapes the Way We Think


Will a machine ever be able to feel what an organism feels?



paul_kedrosky's picture
Editor, Infectious Greed; General Partner, SK Ventures


Why don't naked mole rats age or get cancer?



joel_gold's picture
Psychiatrist; Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine; Coauthor (with Ian Gold), Suspicious Minds


Can we acquire complete access to our unconscious minds?



max_tegmark's picture
Physicist, MIT; Researcher, Precision Cosmology; Scientific Director, Foundational Questions Institute; President, Future of Life Institute; Author, Life 3.0


What will be the literally last question that will preoccupy future superintelligent cosmic life for as long as the laws of physics permit?



tim_oreilly's picture
Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media, Inc.; Author, WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us


How can AI and other digital technologies help us create global institutions that we can trust?



john_naughton's picture
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge; Director, Wolfson College Press Fellowship Programme; Columnist, the Observer; Author, From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg


Why do humans who possess or acquire unaccountable power over others invariably abuse it?



david_m_buss's picture
Professor of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin; Author, When Men Behave Badly


Will scientific advances about the causes of sexual conflict help to end the "battle of the sexes"?



helena_cronin's picture
Co-director of LSE's Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science; Author, The Ant and the Peacock: Altruism and Sexual Selection from Darwin to Today


Can natural selection's legacy of sex differences in values be reconciled with the universal values of the Enlightenment?



antony_garrett_lisi's picture
Theoretical physicist


What is the fundamental geometric structure underlying reality?



daniel_goleman's picture
Psychologist; Author (with Richard Davidson), Altered Traits


Is there a subtle form of consciousness that operates independent of brain function?



chris_anderson's picture
CEO, 3D Robotics; Founder, DIY Drones


How can we put rational prices on human lives without becoming inhuman?



david_dalrymple's picture
Research affiliate, MIT Media Lab


Could the thermodynamic prophecy of an increasingly entropic universe be fulfilled by the cosmic flourishing of intelligent life?



eliezer_s_yudkowsky's picture
Research Fellow; Co-founder, Machine Intelligence Research Institute


What is the fastest way to reliably align a powerful AGI around the safe performance of some limited task that is potent enough to save the world from unaligned AGI?



randolph_nesse's picture
Research Professor of Life Sciences, Director (2014-2019), Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University; Author, Good Reasons for Bad Feelings


In what situations does the capacity for low mood give a selective advantage?



nigel_goldenfeld's picture
Physicist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Is it possible to control a system capable of evolving?



sabine_hossenfelder's picture
Theoretical Physicist; Research Fellow, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies; Author, Existential Physics


How can we separate the assessment of scientific evidence from value judgments?



read_montague's picture
Neuroscientist; Director, Human Neuroimaging Lab and Computational Psychiatry Unit, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; Author, Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions


Are feelings computable?



adam_waytz's picture
Psychologist; Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; Author, The Power of Human


Are moral beliefs more like facts or more like preferences?



stephen_m_kosslyn's picture
Founding Dean, Minerva Schools at the Keck Graduate Institute


Can brain implants make us better human beings?



dan_sperber's picture
Social and Cognitive Scientist; CEU Budapest and CNRS Paris; Co-author (with Deirdre Wilson), Meaning and Relevance; and (with Hugo Mercier), The Enigma of Reason


Does romantic love have a biological function?



giulio_boccaletti's picture
Chief Strategy Officer of The Nature Conservancy; Author, Water: A Biography


How much biodiversity do we need?



anthony_aguirre's picture
Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz; Author, Cosmological Koans


Are complex biological neural systems fundamentally unpredictable? 



scott_atran's picture
Anthropologist; Emeritus Research Director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut Jean Nicod, Paris; Co-Founder, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, University of Oxford; Author, Talking to the Enemy


How can science best leverage unreason to overcome the heroic passion for war?



lisa_feldman_barrett's picture
University Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Northeastern University; Research Neuroscientist, Massachusetts General Hospital; Lecturer in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Author, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain


How does a single human brain architecture create many kinds of human minds?



robert_plomin's picture
Professor of Behavioral Genetics, King's College London; Author, Blueprint


How far will we go in predicting human behavior from DNA?



andrian_kreye's picture
Editor-at-large of the German Daily Newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Munich


Do we need checks and balances for virtual worlds?



monica_l_smith's picture
Professor of Anthropology, UCLA; Author, Cities


Why is human communication embedded in the silence of material objects?



brian_knutson's picture
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience; Stanford University


How can we achieve closed-loop neural control of human hedonics?



ren_scheu's picture
Editor-in-chief, Feuilleton of Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Is a human brain capable of understanding a human brain?



a_c_grayling's picture
Master of the New College of the Humanities; Supernumerary Fellow, St Anne's College, Oxford; Author, War: An Enquiry


What ethical responsibilities will humans owe to AGI systems?



thomas_a_bass's picture
Professor of English and Journalism, State University of New York, Albany; Author of The Eudaemonic Pie and The Spy Who Loved US


What libraries will we have to build when cloning becomes infinitely expandable?



tor_n_rretranders's picture
Writer; Speaker; Thinker, Copenhagen, Denmark


What is the flow of information through human beings?



steve_omohundro's picture
Scientist, Self-Aware Systems; Co-founder, Center for Complex Systems Research


How did our sense of mathematical beauty arise?



lee_smolin's picture
Physicist, Perimeter Institute; Author, Einstein's Unfinished Revolution


Why is the acceleration of the expansion of the universe roughly equal to a typical acceleration of a star in a circular orbit in a disk galaxy?



marti_hearst's picture
Computer Scientist, UC Berkeley, School of Information; Author, Search User Interfaces


Will reading and writing survive given the seduction of video and audio?



jonathan_b_losos's picture
Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University; Curator in Herpetology, Museum of Comparative Zoology; Author, Improbable Destinies


How will evolution shape the biological world one hundred years from now, or one hundred thousand?



rodney_a_brooks's picture
Panasonic Professor of Robotics (emeritus); Former Director, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (1997-2007); Founder, CTO, Robust.AI; Author, Flesh and Machines


Can consciousness exist in an entity without a self-contained physical body?



bart_kosko's picture
Information Scientist and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Law, University of Southern California; Author, Noise, Fuzzy Thinking


What is the bumpiest and highest-dimensional cost surface that our best computers will be able to search and still find the deepest cost well?



daniel_hook's picture
CEO, Digital Science


Does every mathematical symmetry have a manifestation in the physical world?



victoria_wyatt's picture
Associate Professor of History in Art, University of Victoria


How do contemporary developments in technology affect human cultural diversity?



anton_zeilinger's picture
Nobel laureate (2022 - Physics); Physicist, University of Vienna; Scientific Director, Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information; President, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Author, Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation


Will the individual quantum event forever remain random?



stanislas_dehaene's picture
Neuroscientist; Collège de France, Paris; Author, How We Learn


Is our brain fundamentally limited in its ability to understand the external world?



june_gruber's picture
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder


What is the upper limit for how malleable the human mind and our emotions can actually be?



chris_dibona's picture
Open Source and Public Sector, Google


Will a computer ever really understand and experience human kindness?



toby_ord's picture
Philosopher, Oxford University; Senior Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute; Author, The Precipice


What can humanity do right now that will make the biggest difference over the next billion years?



noga_arikha's picture
Associate Fellow, Warburg Insitute (London); Research Associate, Institut Jean Nicod of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris); Author, The Ceiling Outside


Will it ever be possible for us to transcend our limited experience of time as linear?



marcel_kinsbourne's picture
Neurologist and Cognitive Neuroscientist, The New School; Co-author, Children's Learning and Attention Problems


Are dreams brief glimpses of the narrative of a subconscious alternative reality?



gloria_origgi's picture
Philosopher and Researcher, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris; Author, Reputation: What it is and Why it Matters


Why do even the most educated people today feel that their grip on what they can truly know is weaker than ever before?



tim_white's picture
Paleoanthropologist; Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley


How much would surrendering our god(s) strengthen the odds of our survival?



kai_krause's picture
Software Pioneer; Philosopher; Author, A Realtime Literature Explorer


What will happen to religion on earth when the first alien life form is found?​



gary_marcus's picture
Professor of Psychology, Director NYU Center for Language and Music; Author, Guitar Zero


Why are humans still so much more flexible in their thinking and everyday reasoning than machines?



gerd_gigerenzer's picture
Psychologist; Director, Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Max Planck Institute for Human Development; Author, How to Stay Smart in a Smart World


Can human intuition ever be reduced to an algorithm?



syed_tasnim_raza's picture
Medical Director, Cardiac Surgery Step-Down Unit at Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital


Will it be possible to do surgical operations in the future without making incisions?



albert_wenger's picture
Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures


How do we create and maintain backup options for humanity to quickly rebuild an advanced civilization after a catastrophic human extinction event?



milford_h_wolpoff's picture
Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan; Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Museum of Anthropology


Can the pace of human evolution stop accelerating?



buddhini_samarasinghe's picture
Molecular Biologist


Can technology tame evolution?



gary_klein's picture
Senior Scientist, MacroCognition LLC; Author, Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights


How can we build machines that make us smarter?



steve_fuller's picture
Philosopher; Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, University of Warwick; Author, The Proactionary Imperative: A Foundation for Transhumanism


Can we design a common test to assess machine, animal and human intelligence?



brian_g_keating's picture
Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego; Author, Losing the Nobel Prize


Is there any observational evidence that could shake your faith, or lack thereof?



andrew_barron's picture
Neuroethologist, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University


What would a diagram that gave a complete understanding of imagination need to be?



jared_diamond's picture
Professor of Geography, University of California Los Angeles; Author, Upheaval


Why is there such widespread public opposition to science and scientific reasoning in the United States, the world leader in every major branch of science?



michael_vassar's picture
Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, MetaMed Research


How can coalitions of scholars who wish to update the content of explicit common knowledge in order to use that knowledge collaboratively detect and circumvent coalitions which are applying narrative control strategies to preserve arbitrage opportunities implicit in disparities between official narratives and reality?



maria_spiropulu's picture
Shang-Yi Ch’en Professor of Physics, California Institute of Technology; Founder, AQT/INQNET


Could superintelligence be the purpose of the universe?



dorsa_amir's picture
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Boston College


Are the simplest bits of information in the brain stored at the level of the neuron?



laura_betzig's picture
Anthropologist; Historian


Will we ever live together in a hive?



roger_schank's picture
CEO, Socratic Arts Inc.; John Evans Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Psychology and Education, Northwestern University; Author, Make School Meaningful-And Fun!


Why is it so difficult to influence people’s belief systems for deeply held beliefs and so easy to manipulate belief systems when little is known about the subject?



maximilian_schich's picture
Associate Professor in Arts and Technology, The University of Texas at Dallas


What are the beautiful curiosities that artificial curiosities can't comprehend?



matthew_o_jackson's picture
Professor of Economics, Stanford University, Santa Fe Institute, CIFAR


Will humanity end up with one culture?



ziyad_marar's picture
President of Global Publishing, SAGE; Author, Judged: The Value of Being Misunderstood


How will people focus more on forming the right question, before rushing headlong towards the answer?



matthew_putman's picture
Applied Physicist; Chairman of the Board, Pioneer Works; CEO, Nanotronics


Will questioning be replaced by answering without questions?



jennifer_jacquet's picture
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU; Author, Is Shame Necessary?


What systems could be put in place to prevent widespread denial of science-based knowledge?



michael_mccullough's picture
Professor of Psychology, Director, Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory, University of Miami; Author, The Kindness of Strangers


Are humans ever really capable of regarding others as ends in themselves?



irene_pepperberg's picture
Research Associate & Lecturer, Harvard; Author, Alex & Me


What is the most important thing that can be done to restore the general public’s faith and trust in science?



judith_rich_harris's picture
Independent Investigator and Theoretician; Author, The Nurture Assumption; No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality


How could one last question possibly be enough?



richard_saul_wurman's picture
Founder, TED Conference; EG Conference; TEDMED Conferences; Architect, Cartographer; Author, Information Architects


Clarify the differences between understanding, knowledge and wisdom that could be communicated to a literate twelve-year-old and recommunicated to their parents.



bruce_parker's picture
Visiting Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology; Author, The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters


Is the assertion "Nothingness is impossible" the most fundamental statement we can make about our existence?



dan_ariely_1's picture
James B. Duke ProfessorProfessor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University; Founding Member, Center for Advanced Hindsight; Author, Predictably Irrational


How would changes in the marginal tax rate affect our efforts and motivation?



john_markoff's picture
Pulitzer Prize-winning Reporter, The New York Times; Author, Whole Earth


How will the world be changed when battery storage technology improves at the same exponential rate seen in computer chips in recent decades?



diana_reiss's picture
Professor, Department of Psychology Hunter College; Author, The Dolphin in the Mirror


How smart does another animal have to be for us to decide not to eat it?



simone_schnall's picture
Director, Cambridge Embodied Cognition and Emotion Laboratory; Reader in Experimental Social Psychology and Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge


Is immortality desirable?



bruno_giussani's picture
European Director and Global Curator, TED


How much time will pass between the last minute before artificial superintelligence and the first minute after it?



athena_vouloumanos's picture
Associate Professor of Psychology, Director, NYU Infant Cognition and Communication Lab, New York University


Will we ever understand how human communication is built from genes to cells to circuits to behavior?




When will we develop a robust theory of Ontological Intelligence (OI)?



andr_s_roemer's picture
Co-creator, Ideas City; Author, Move UP: Why Some Cultures Advance While Others Don't


Can you prove it?



samuel_arbesman's picture
Complexity Scientist; Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital; Author, Overcomplicated


How do we best build a civilization that is galvanized by long-term thinking?



cristine_h_legare's picture
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin; Director, Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab


Will human psychology keep pace with the exponential growth of technological innovation associated with cultural evolution?



richard_wrangham's picture
Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Curator of Primate Behavioral Biology at Harvard University; Author, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human


In which century or millennium can all humanity be expected to speak the same primary language?



robert_kurzban's picture
Psychologist, UPenn; Director, Penn Laboratory for Experimental Evolutionary Psychology (PLEEP); Author, Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite


How will predictive models in the social sciences achieve the accuracy and precision of those in the natural sciences?



terrence_j_sejnowski's picture
Computational Neuroscientist; Francis Crick Professor, the Salk Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Co-author (with Patricia Churchland), The Computational Brain


How diverse is life in the universe?



jordan_pollack's picture
Professor and Chairman of Computer Science, Brandeis University


Will blockchain return us to the golden age of ownership of information licenses that can be resold like books and records?



william_poundstone's picture
Journalist; Author, How Do You Fight a Horse-Sized Duck?: Secrets to Succeeding at Interview Mind Games and Getting the Job You Want; Nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize


Does the infinite multiverse of cosmologists, in which all that is physically possible occurs, contain realizations of our unruly paradoxes of infinity (Hilbert’s Hotel, Thomson Lamp, 1+2+3+4… = -1/12; etc.)?



hugo_mercier's picture
Cognitive Scientist, French National Center for Scientific Research; Author, Not Born Yesterday


Can major historical events, from the advent of moral religions to the industrial revolution, be explained by changes in life history strategies?



stuart_firestein's picture
Professor and Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University; Fellow, AAAS


How many incommensurable ideas can we hold in our mind simultaneously?



marco_iacoboni's picture
Neuroscientist; Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA; Author, Mirroring People


How does a thought become a feeling?



peter_schwartz's picture
Futurist; Senior Vice President for Global Government Relations and Strategic Planning, Salesforce.com; Author, Inevitable Surprises


Is the universe relatively simple and comprehensible by the human brain, or is it so complex, higher dimensional and multiversal that it remains forever elusive to humans?



david_m_eagleman's picture
Neuroscientist, Stanford University; Author, Incognito, Sum, The Brain


Can we create new senses for humans—not just touch, taste, vision, hearing, smell, but totally novel qualia for which we don't yet have words?



lawrence_m_krauss's picture
Theoretical Physicist; Foundation Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department, ASU; Author, The Greatest Story Ever Told . . . So Far


Is the universe like an onion that will require science to keep peeling back new layers of reality and asking questions forever?



leo_m_chalupa's picture
Neurobiologist; Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, George Washington University


What new methodology will be required to explain the neural basis of consciousness?



greg_lynn's picture
Owner, Greg Lynn FORM office; Ordentlicher University Professor of Architecture, University of Applied Arts Vienna; Studio Professor, UCLA School of Arts and Architecture


Can we train machines to design and construct a humane and vibrant built environment for us?



elaine_pagels's picture
Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University; Author, Why Religion?


Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century?



emanuel_derman's picture
Professor, Financial Engineering, Columbia University; Author, Models.Behaving.Badly


Are accurate mathematical theories of individual human behavior possible?



helen_fisher's picture
Biological Anthropologist, Rutgers University; Author, Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love


What will courtship, mate selection, length of marriages, and family composition and networks be like when we are all living over 150 years?



ed_regis's picture
Science writer; Author, Monsters


Why are reason, science, and evidence so impotent against superstition, religion, and dogma?



sheizaf_rafaeli's picture
Professor, Director, The Center for Internet Research, University of Haifa, Israel


Will weaving networks that blend humans and machines yield network effects?



keith_devlin's picture
Mathematician; Executive Director, H-STAR Institute, Stanford; Author, Finding Fibonacci


Can we develop a procedure that, in principle, would tell us whether or not our universe is a simulation (analogous to the way the now proven Poincaré Conjecture can tell us the universe’s shape)?



christopher_stringer's picture
Paleoanthropologist; Author, Lone Survivors


Can we ever wean humans off their addiction to religion?



julia_clarke's picture
John A. Wilson Professor and HHMI Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin


What would comprise the most precise and complete sonic representation of the history of life?



sherry_turkle's picture
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, MIT; Internet Culture Researcher; Author, The Empathy Diaries


What will time with artifacts that simulate the emotional experience of being with another person do to our human capacity to handle the surely rougher, more frictional, and demanding human intimacies on offer?



barbara_tversky's picture
Professor Emerita of Psychology, Stanford University; Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia Teachers College; Author, Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought


How do the limits of the mind limit our understanding?



ashvin_chhabra's picture
Investor, Physicist, Author: The Aspirational Investor


Is there a fundamental difference between the biological world and the physical world?



jerry_a_coyne's picture
Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago; Author, Why Evolution is True; Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible.


If science does in fact confirm that we lack free will, what are the implications for our notions of blame, punishment, reward, and moral responsibility?



carolyn_porco's picture
Planetary Scientist; Cassini Imaging Team Leader; Director, CICLOPS, Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado


What will it take for us to be fully confident that we have found life elsewhere in the cosmos?



stuart_a_kauffman's picture
Professor of Biological Sciences, Physics, Astronomy, University of Calgary; Author, Reinventing the Sacred


What is consciousness?



nicholas_humphrey's picture
Emeritus Professor of Psychology, London School of Economics; Visiting Professor of Philosophy, New College of the Humanities; Senior Member, Darwin College, Cambridge; Author, Soul Dust


Why is the world so beautiful?




How does the past give rise to the future?



dan_zahavi's picture
Professor of Philosophy; Director, Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen; Author, Self and Other: Exploring Subjectivity, Empathy, and Shame


What is the world without the mind?



bruce_sterling's picture
Science Fiction Author, Mirrorshades


Do the laws of physics change with the passage of time?



william_h_press's picture
Warren J. and Viola M. Raymer Chair in Computer Sciences and Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin


What quirk of evolution caused us to develop the ability to do pure mathematics?



clifford_pickover's picture
Author, The Math Book, The Physics Book, and The Medical Book trilogy


Will humans ever prove the Riemann Hypothesis in mathematics?



josef_penninger's picture
Director, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Vienna; Genetics Professor, University of Vienna


Can we engineer a human being?



mark_pagel's picture
Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Reading University, UK; Fellow, Royal Society; Author, Wired for Culture


Is a single world language and culture inevitable?



david_g_myers's picture
Professor of Psychology, Hope College; Co-author, Psychology, 11th Edition


Does religious engagement promote or impede morality, altruism, and human flourishing?



lisa_mosconi's picture
Director, Women's Brain Initiative; Associate Director, Alzhiemer's Prevention Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College; Author, The XX Brain


Is there an evolutionary advantage to building societies that favor entertaining over understanding?



thomas_metzinger's picture
Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz; Adjunct Fellow, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Study; Author, The Ego Tunnel


What is the most intelligent and efficient way to minimize the overall amount of conscious suffering in the universe?



ryan_mckay's picture
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of London


Will we be one of the last generations in human history that dies?



john_c_mather's picture
Nobel Prize in Physics; Senior Astrophysicist, Observational Cosmology Laboratory, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; Coauthor (with John Boslough), The Very First Light


What is the master principle governing the growth and evolution of complex systems?



barnaby_marsh's picture
Evolutionary dynamics scholar; Program in Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University; Visitor, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton


How much of what we call "reality" is ultimately grounded and instantiated in convincing communication and storytelling?



lorraine_justice's picture
Dean Emerita, Professor of Industrial Design, Rochester Institute of Technology


What might the last fully biological human's statement be at their last supper?



gordon_kane's picture
Theoretical Particle Physicist and Cosmologist; Victor Weisskopf Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan; Author, Supersymmetry and Beyond


Are the laws of physics unique and inevitable?



john_horgan's picture
Director, Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology


What will it take to end war once and for all?



bruce_hood's picture
Chair of Developmental Psychology in Society, University of Bristol; Author, The Self-Illusion, Founder of Speakezee


What would the mind of a child raised in total isolation of other animals be like?



c_sar_hidalgo's picture
Associate Professor, MIT Media Lab; Author, Why Information Grows


When will we replace governments with algorithms?



sam_harris's picture
Neuroscientist; Philosopher; Author, Making Sense


Is the actual all that is possible?



jonathan_haidt's picture
Social Psychologist; Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University Stern School of Business; Author, The Righteous Mind


Why is it so hard to find the truth?



steve_giddings's picture
Theoretical Physicist; Professor, Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara


Is there a single theory of all physics (TOP), and what is it?



asif_a_ghazanfar's picture
Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University


What behaviors are we attributing only to brain mechanisms that may be better explained by considering biomechanics?



christine_finn's picture
Archaeologist; Journalist; Author, Artifacts, Past Poetic


Is there a place for our past in our future?



daniel_l_everett's picture
Linguistic Researcher; Dean of Arts and Sciences, Bentley University; Author, How Language Began


Will humans ever embrace their own diversity?



dylan_evans's picture
Founder and CEO of Projection Point; Author, The Utopia Experiment


Will civilization collapse before I die?



rolf_dobelli's picture
Founder, Zurich Minds; Journalist; Author, The Art of Thinking Clearly


Does this question exist in a parallel universe?



kate_darling's picture
Research Specialist, MIT Media Lab; Fellow, Harvard Berkman Center; Author, The New Breed


What future progressive norms would most forward-thinking people today dismiss as too transgressive?



james_croak's picture


Why do we experience feelings of meaning in a universe without purpose?



andy_clark's picture
Professor of Cognitive Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK; Author, Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind


Will we soon cease to care whether we are experiencing normal, augmented, or virtual reality?



christopher_chabris's picture
Senior Investigator, Geisinger Health System; Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Toulouse, France; Co-author, The Invisible Gorilla


How complex must be the initial design of the simplest machine that can learn from experience to achieve, at a minimum, the intelligence and abilities of a typical human being?



nick_bostrom's picture
Professor, Oxford University; Director, Future of Humanity Institute; Author, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies


Which questions should we not ask and not try to answer?



susan_blackmore's picture
Psychologist; Visiting Professor, University of Plymouth; Author, Consciousness: An Introduction


What kinds of minds could solve the mind-body problem?



mahzarin_banaji's picture
Department Chair; Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University; Co-author (with Anthony Greenwald), Blind Spot


Will the appearance of new species of talented computational intelligence result in improving the moral behavior of persons and societies?



laurence_c_smith's picture
Professor of Environmental Studies, Brown University; Author, Rivers of Power


Is civilization's demand for water a dividing or unifying force?



douglas_rushkoff's picture
Media Analyst; Documentary Writer; Author, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus


Was agriculture a wrong turn for civilization?



william_grassie's picture
Interdisciplinary Scholar; Author, The New Sciences of Religion


What knowledge and know-how are our descendants at risk of forgetting as our species passes through future evolutionary bottlenecks?



james_j_odonnell's picture
Classics Scholar, University Librarian, ASU; Author, Pagans


When will "human being" cease to be a meaningful category to speak of?



scott_aaronson's picture
David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin; Author, Quantum Computing Since Democritus


Can we program a computer to find a 10,000-bit string that encodes more actionable wisdom than any human has ever expressed? 



alexander_wissner_gross's picture
Scientist; Inventor; Entrepreneur; Investor


Can general-purpose computers be constructed out of pure gravity?



evan_williams's picture
CEO, Medium


What will be obvious to us in a generation that we have an inkling of today?



da_wallach's picture
Recording Artist; Songwriter; Artist in Residence, Spotify


Are there any phenomena for which it will never be possible to develop parsimonious theories?



frank_tipler's picture
Professor of Mathematical Physics, Tulane University; Coauthor (with John Barrow), The Anthropic Cosmological Principle


Can rational beings such as Bayesian robots, humans, super-intelligent AIs ever reach agreement?



bruce_schneier's picture
Fellow and Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School; Author, Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World


Can an increasingly powerful species survive (and overcome) the actions of its most extreme individuals?



todd_c_sacktor's picture
Distinguished Professor of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Neurology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center


Will there ever be a mechanistic scientific question that can be asked about the lone individuality of mental life, with its particular beginning, middle, and end?



dave_morin's picture
Internet Entrepreneur; Angel Investor


Is the brain a computer or an antenna?



annalena_mcafee's picture
Journalist; Founding Editor of The Guardian's literary supplement, the Guardian Review; Author, Hame


Is love really all you need?



mario_livio's picture
Astrophysicist; Author, Why?: What Makes Us Curious


Will it ever be possible to download the information stored in the human brain?



dale_w_jamieson's picture
Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, NYU


Will the "hard problem" of consciousness dissolve (rather than be solved) as we learn more about the natural world?



donald_d_hoffman's picture
Cognitive Scientist, UC, Irvine; Author, The Case Against Reality


Why is it that the maximum information we can pack into a region of space does not depend on the volume of the region, but only on the area that bounds it?



john_gottman's picture
Psychologist; Co-founder, The Gottman Relationship Institute; Author, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work


Will a comprehensive mathematics of human behavior ever be created?



david_c_geary's picture
Curators’ Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia


Is there a single, evolved biological mechanism that can be tweaked to improve overall health, cognitive abilities, and slow aging?



p_murali_doraiswamy's picture
Professor of Psychiatry, Translational Neuroscience Division, Duke University Health System


How will we know if we achieve universal happiness?



paul_bloom's picture
Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Yale University; Author, Against Empathy


Why are we so often kind to strangers when nobody is watching and we have nothing to gain?




alan_s_blinder's picture
Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University; Author, Advice and Dissent


Will AI make the Luddites (mostly) right?



j_craig_venter's picture
A leading scientist of the 21st century for Genomic Sciences; Co-Founder, Chairman, Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; Founder, J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded


Will the creation of a super-human class from a combination of genome editing and direct biological-machine interfaces lead to the collapse of civilization?



chiara_marletto's picture
Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Materials Department, University of Oxford; Author, The Science of Can and Can't


Is the number of interesting questions finite or not?



martin_rees's picture
Former President, The Royal Society; Emeritus Professor of Cosmology & Astrophysics, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Trinity College; Author, From Here to Infinity


Will post-humans be organic or electronic?



laurie_r_santos's picture
Professor of Psychology, Director, Comparative Cognition Laboratory and the Canine Cognition Center, Yale University


What cognitive capacities make humans so damn weird relative to all the other animals on the planet?



leonard_susskind's picture
Felix Bloch Professor in Theoretical Physics, Stanford; Author, The Theoretical Minimum series


Is there a design to the laws of physics, or are they the result of chance and the laws of large numbers?



michael_shermer's picture
Publisher, Skeptic magazine; Monthly Columnist, Scientific American; Presidential Fellow, Chapman University; Author, Heavens on Earth


Would you like to live 1,000 years?



david_pizarro's picture
Associate Professor of Psychology, Cornell University


Are we smart enough to know when we’ve reached the limits of our ability to understand the universe?



david_haig's picture
George Putnam Professor of Biology, Harvard University; Author, From Darwin to Derrida


What will be the use of 99% of humanity for the 1%?



richard_nisbett's picture
Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan; Author, Thinking: A Memoir


What does the conscious mind do that is impossible for the unconscious mind?



amanda_gefter's picture
Science writer; Author, Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn


Is intersubjectivity possible in a quantum mechanical universe?



richard_h_thaler's picture
Father of Behavioral Economics; Recipient, 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science; Director, Center for Decision Research, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; Author, Misbehaving


How will we cope when we are capable of keeping humans alive longer than our optimal life expectancy?



joseph_ledoux's picture
Professor of Neural Science, Psychology, Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU; Director Emotional Brain Institute; Author, Anxious


Has consciousness done more good or bad for humanity?



robert_provine's picture
Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Author, Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond


Can a single underlying process explain the emergence of structure at the physical, biological, cognitive, and machine levels?



howard_gardner's picture
Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Author, A Synthesizing Mind


Will the "third culture" be followed by a fourth culture, a fifth culture, and, ominously, a Final Culture?



george_church's picture
Professor, Harvard University; Director, Personal Genome Project; Co-author (with Ed Regis), Regenesis


What will we do as an encore once we manage to develop technological solutions to infection, aging, poverty, asteroids, and heat death of the universe?



david_chalmers's picture
Professor, Philosophy & Neural Science; Co-Director, Center for Mind, Brain, & Consciousness, NYU; Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National U.; Author, Reality+


How can we design a machine that can correctly answer every question, including this one?



philip_campbell's picture
Editor-in-Chief of Nature since 1995; Beginning summer 2018, he will become Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature’s portfolio of journals, books and magazines


How do I describe the achievements, meanings, and power of Beethoven's piano sonata “Appassionata”?



lisa_randall's picture
Physicist, Harvard University; Author, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs


How far can we extend beyond our human limitations to more fully grasp the nature of the world?



neil_gershenfeld's picture
Physicist, Director, MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms; Co-author, Designing Reality


Is there a Turing test for living rather than thinking that can distinguish animate from automata?



juan_enriquez's picture
Managing Director, Excel Venture Management; Co-author (with Steve Gullans), Evolving Ourselves


So, before The Singularity...?



andrei_linde's picture
Theoretical Physicist, Stanford; Father of Eternal Chaotic Inflation; Inaugural Recipient, Fundamental Physics Prize


Where were the laws of physics written before the universe was born?



daniel_c_dennett's picture
Philosopher; Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Co-Director, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University; Author, From Bacteria to Bach and Back


How can an aggregation of trillions of selfish, myopic cells discover the unwitting teamwork that turns that dynamic clump into a person who can love, notice, wonder, and keep a promise?



freeman_dyson's picture
Physicist, Institute of Advanced Study; Author, Disturbing the Universe; Maker of Patterns


Is it ultimately possible for life to bend the shape of the universe to fit life's purposes, as we are now bending the shape of our environment here on earth?



luca_de_biase's picture
Journalist; Editor, Nova 24, of Il Sole 24 Ore


If we want to make a real and effective science-based policy, should we change politics or science?



geoffrey_west's picture
Theoretical Physcicist; Shannan Distinguished Professor and Past President, Santa Fe Institute; Author, Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies


How and when will it end or will it persist indefinitely?



david_deutsch's picture
Physicist, University of Oxford; Author, The Beginning of Infinity; Recipient, Edge Computation Science Prize


Are the ways qualia relate to computation, creativity to free will, risk to probability, morality to epistemology, all the same question?



margaret_levi's picture
Sara Miller McCune Director, Center For Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, professor, Stanford University; Jere L. Bacharach Professor Emerita of International Studies, University of Washington


Are humans capable of building a moral economy?



w_daniel_hillis's picture
Physicist, Computer Scientist, Co-Founder, Applied Invention.; Author, The Pattern on the Stone


What is the principle that causes complex adaptive systems (life, organisms, minds, societies) to spontaneously emerge from the interaction of simpler elements (chemicals, cells, neurons, individual humans)?



kevin_kelly's picture
Senior Maverick, Wired; Author, What Technology Wants and The Inevitable


How can the process of science be improved?



carlo_rovelli's picture
Theoretical Physicist; Aix-Marseille University, in the Centre de Physique Théorique, Marseille, France; Author, Helgoland; There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness


Is there an ultimate reality?



stewart_brand's picture
Founder, the Whole Earth Catalog; Co-founder, The Well; Co-Founder, The Long Now Foundation, and Revive & Restore; Author, Whole Earth Discipline


Can wild animals that are large and dangerous be made averse to threatening humans?



george_dyson's picture
Science Historian; Author, Analogia


Why are there no trees in the ocean?



david_christian's picture
Director, Big History Institute and Distinguished Professor in History, Macquarie University, Sydney; Author, Origin Story


Will we pass our audition as planetary managers?



ian_mcewan's picture
Novelist; Recipient, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction; Author, Sweet Tooth; Solar; On Chesil Beach; Nutshell; Machines Like Me; The Cockroach


If the sum of all significant knowledge is finite, what proportion of it can humans, aided by intelligent machines, eventually attain?



rebecca_newberger_goldstein's picture
Philosopher, Novelist; Recipient, 2014 National Humanities Medal; Author, Plato at the Googleplex; 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction


If we're not the agents of ourselves (and it's hard to see how we can be), how can we make sense of moral accountability (and how can we live coherently without it)?



janna_levin's picture
Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College of Columbia University; Author, Black Hole Survival Guide; Director of Sciences, Pioneer Works


Is gravity a fundamental law of nature, or does gravity—and thereby spacetime—emerge as a consequence of the underlying quantum nature of reality?



alison_gopnik's picture
Psychologist, UC, Berkeley; Author, The Gardener and the Carpenter


How can the few pounds of grey goo between our ears let us make utterly surprising, completely unprecedented, and remarkably true discoveries about the world around us, in every domain and at every scale, from quarks to quasars?



frank_wilczek's picture
Physicist, MIT; Recipient, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics; Author, Fundamentals





brian_eno's picture
Artist; Composer; Recording Producer: U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads, Paul Simon; Recording Artist


Have we left the Age of Reason, never to return?



steven_pinker's picture
Johnstone Family Professor, Department of Psychology; Harvard University; Author, Rationality


How can we empower the better angels of our nature?



robert_sapolsky's picture
Neuroscientist, Stanford University; Author, Behave


Given the nature of life, the purposeless indifference of the universe, and our complete lack of free will, how is it that most people avoid ever being clinically depressed?



hans_ulrich_obrist's picture
Curator, Serpentine Gallery, London; Editor: A Brief History of Curating; Formulas for Now; Co-author (with Rem Koolhas), Project Japan: Metabolism Talks


Does the future belong to non-human entities?