John Brockman

John Brockman
John Brockman
Editor,; Chairman of Brockman, Inc.; Author, By the Late John Brockman, The Third Culture

“If the creation of contemporary culture had a global hero, 
his name would coincide with that of John Brockman.”

John Brockman, Andy Warhol, and Bob Dylan at the Factory, 1966  
(click to expand)

Photo: Nat Finkelstein. Copyright © Nat Finkelstein

JOHN BROCKMAN is a cultural impresario whose career has encompassed the avant-garde art world, science, books, software, and the Internet. In the 1960s he coined the word "intermedia" and pioneered "intermedia kinetic environments" in art, theatre, and commerce, while also consulting for clients such as General Electric, Columbia Pictures, Scott Paper, The Pentagon, and the White House.

In 1973 he formed Brockman, Inc., the international literary and software agency specializing in serious nonfiction. He is founder and publisher of the online salon, the highly acclaimed website devoted to discussions of cutting-edge science by many of the world's brilliant thinkers, the leaders of what he has termed "the third culture."

In 1985 he hosted the first “Millionaires’ Dinner” (so named by The Wall Street Journal front page), which, in 1999, was rebranded by the WSJ as “The Billionaires’ Dinner,” an event that regularly brings together the founders of the major internet companies.  

He is the only person to be profiled on the cover page of the Sunday New York Times “Arts & Leisure” section ("So What Happens After Happenings," 1966); and The New York Times “Science Times” ("Nimble Deal-Maker For Stars of Science," 1997); and one of the few people to be profiled twice in The Guardian ("The Hustler," 2005"The Man Who Runs The World's Smartest Website," 2012). Over the past 54 years he has been profiled in dozens of the most important publications throughout the world.

His numerous books include (as author) The Third Culture and By the Late John Brockman, and as editor, the Edge Question book series, which includes This Idea is Brilliant, Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes. He lives in New York City.

John Brockman's Personal Website:

"One of the great intellectual enzymes of our time. (An enzyme is a biological catalyst — an adroit enabler of otherwise impossible things.)"

—Stewart Brand


La Repubblica [March 11, 2018] ° Neue Zürcher Zeitung [March 11, 2017] ° Surface Magazine [November 6, 2016] 

“If the creation of contemporary culture had a global hero, his name would coincide with that of John Brockman.”


 (Cover Story, Sunday magazine of La Repubblica, Domenica 11 Marzo 2018)


"Science is not an answer, but a method, which, being based on falsifiability, is an endless process."


Don't Fear Digital: Use It
Interview by Gianluigi Ricuperati 3.11.2018

If the creation of contemporary culture had a global hero, his name would coincide with that of John Brockman, the seventy-seven-year-old driver of the site, a community of scientists and humanists among whom are the most relevant figures of today’s culture. Brockman's other job, as agent, allowed him to earn the confidence of Nobel laureates, while writing essays such as “The Third Culture.” It is Brockman, who has collected the brilliant ideas that we are publishing in these pages.

The Portrait Magazine: 2017 "Global 30"
Interview | Yang Lu

(Primary criteria for selection to the 2017 “Global 30” is the influence on Chinese society. Political figures are not included in the selection.)

约翰·布罗克曼 John Brockman: Awkwardness, confusion, and contradiction are my three best friends


First printed in Chinese by Portrait Magazine, January 2018.

Agent Provocateur 
By Bettina Korek | Portrait By Ogata 11.10.2016 

"I have three friends: confusion, contradiction, and awkwardness," Brockman says. "That’s how I try to meander through life. Make it strange."
Master of Ceremonies in the Cyber Salon 
By Andrea Köhler 11.3.2017

For more than half a century John Brockman has been inspiring artists and scientists to ask innovative questions. His website has established itself as a forum for forward-looking ideas. 

By Georg Diez 11.17.2014 

As a New York agent, John Brockman manages the star authors of science, as a visionary behind the scenes, he creates a new image of man for the 21st century.

"He is a key figure of the late 20th and early 21st century, the éminence grise and major source of inspiration for the globally dominant culture, which he himself named as the 'third culture.'"

John Brockman: A Portrait
The World Mind That Came In From The Counterculture 
By Jordan Mejias 1.10.2014

Be imaginative, exciting, compelling, inspiring: That’s what John Brockman expects of himself and others. Arguably, the planet’s most important literary agent, Brockman brings its cyber elite together in his Internet salon „Edge.“ We paid a visit to the man from the Third Culture.

For decades he has been a leading light behind the scenes in the city's intellectual life.


"Go deeper than the news. Tell me something I don't know. You are writing for your fellow Edgies, a sophisticated bunch, and not the general public. Stick to ideas, theories, systems of thought, disciplines, not people. Come up with something new, be exciting, inspiring, compelling. Tell us a great story. Amaze, delight, surprise us!"

 "A bizarre, brilliant, bulldozer of a thinker who has done as much as anyone, anywhere, to shape today's intellectual landscape." — David Gelernter

2010 - 2015

° Blogweekly [November 25, 2014] ° Der Spiegel [November 17, 2014] ° Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [January 10, 2014] ° [May 5, 2013] ° Korean Joong Ang Daily [April 13, 2013] ° La Stampa [July 22, 2012] ° Dazed [January 9, 2012] ° The Observer (UK) [January 8, 2012] ° WiredUK [February 3, 2011] ° Süddeutsche Zeitung [February 16, 2011]    

The Wise Guy 
By Jacqueline Marcus, January 2012

Since the mid-60s, whether promoting pop culture happenings, Dada revolutionaries or the leading science writers of the day, John Brockman has been in the vanguard of intellectual fashion. Here he looks back over a life restlessly lived.

The man who runs the world's smartest website 
By John Naughton 1.8.2012 

Since the mid-1960s, John Brockman has been at the cutting edge of ideas. Here, John Naughton introduces a passionate advocate of both science and the arts, whose website, Edge, is a salon for the world's finest minds. On the facing page they discuss Marshall McLuhan, elitism and the future of the internet.

The Roots of Digital Thinking
By Andrian Kreye 2.16.2011

Brockman's seeds of a new intellectualism have bloomed in the culture of ideas that has become so popular in the past years in the pages of magazines such as Atlantic and New Yorker, in numerous nonfiction bestsellers or in the various incarnations of the TED conference

Matchmaking with science and art  
By Duncan Graham-Rowe 2.3.2011

Cultural impresario and literary and software agent John Brockman has spent the last half century merging art and science to create what he calls the Third Culture. In 1988, the now 69-year-old Panama-hat-wearing New Yorker, who represents the literary works of big thinkers such as Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins, created the Edge Foundation, which publishes original writing of prominent thinkers in fields from evolutionary biology to mathematics. Wired asked him what it's like to live life on the edge.



2005 - 2010

° The Focus; Nieman Reports; La Republica [January 14, 2010] ° I l Giornale [January 20, 2010] °La Stampa [January 20, 2010] ° Internazionale; Il Sole [January 21, 2010] ° La Nacion [March 30, 2008] ° The Observer [July 01, 2007] ° The New York Times Magazine [January 21, 2007] ° Telegraph [January 02, 2007] ° La Stampa [November 22, 2006] ° eFollett Reader's Choice Newsletter [Summer, 2006] ° La Vanguardia [January 9, 2006]

"A kind of thinker that does not exist in Europe" — La Stampa








2000 - 2005

° La Vanguardia [December 5, 2005] ° La Vanguardia [September 14, 2005] ° The Sunday Times [August 28, 2005] ° El Pais [May 12, 2005] ° The Guardian [April 30, 2005] ° Quark [February 7, 2005] ° Il Sole 24 Ore [January 16, 2005] ° American Scientist [March - April, 2002] ° La Weekly [October 31, 2001] ° Focus [October 8, 2001] ° The New York Times [August 7, 2001] ° Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [August 1, 2001] ° Inside Magazine [March 20, 2001] ° Aventis Future [February, 2001] ° The New York Times [January 9, 2001] ° Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [January 9, 2001] ° Die Woche [December 8, 2000] ° Die Welt [November 21, 2000] ° Berliner Zeitung [September 10, 2000] ° Prospect Magazine [August/September 2000] ° Time Out New York [April 8, 2000] ° The Independent [March 25, 2000] ° New York Magazine [March, 13 2000] ° The Wall Street Journal [February 28, 2000] ° Der Spiegel [February 21, 2000] ° Asahi Shimbun [February 3, 2000] ° Silicon Alley Reporter [January 2000] ° Bill Gates Syndiacated Column [January 27, 2000] ° Newsweek [January 11, 2000] ° The Wall Street Journal [January 4, 2000] ° The Daily Telegraph [January 4, 2000] ° Silicon Alley Reporter [2000]

Das Netz 
A Film by Lutz Dammbeck

Why did artists and scientists, in constructing their machines, use apparently similar patterns and concepts? Was there a secret basic pattern and system? My research led me to a publisher in New York: John Brockman. In the 1960s, he is part of the New York multimedia scene centered around John Cage, Jonas Mekas, and Andy Warhol. He becomes rich and famous in the 80s, when multimedia art and new technologies turn into big business. Brockman becomes an agent for books by physicists, genetic researchers and computer scientists. He markets them like pop stars.












° Wired [September, 1999] ° Art Orbit [February, 1999] ° Upside [May, 1998] ° Wired [April, 1998] ° Science [February 13, 1998] ° New Scientist [February 7, 1998] ° Atlantic [January 8, 1998] ° The Independent [December 31, 1997] ° The New York Times [December 30, 1997] ° The Web Magazine [October, 1997] ° Smithsonian Magazine [October, 1997] ° The New York Times [October 14, 1997] ° Focus [October 14, 1996] ° The Daily Telegraph [September 30, 1995] ° Philadelphia Inquirer [September 6, 1995] ° La Repubblica [September 13, 1995] ° Wired [August, 1995] ° L'Espresso [July 28, 1995] ° The New York Times [June 19, 1995] ° New Scientist [March 6, 1995] ° The Sunday Times [October 2, 1994] ° Publishing News [April 30, 1993] ° The Sunday Times [December 13, 1992] ° Berlingske Tiden [November 26, 1992] ° New Statesman [September 25, 1992] ° Information [September 7, 1992] ° Insight [January 6, 1992] ° The Los Angeles Times [November 28, 1991]












° The Jamais Vu Papers [April, 1989] ° Whole Earth Review [Summer, 1987] ° Forbes [November, 1985] ° Manhattan, Inc. [October, 1985] ° Inc. [April, 1985] ° The Computer Entrepreneurs [November, 1984] ° Newsweek Access [Fall, 1984] ° Venture [July, 1984] ° United [August, 1983]





° Poetry Center [February, 1969] ° MoMA [June 3, 1969] ° Cavalier [February, 1969] ° Arts Magazine [February, 1969] ° The New Yorker [November 23, 1968] ° New York Times [November 5, 1968] ° Newsweek [March 18, 1968] ° The New York Times [February 4, 1968] ° Women's Wear Daily [1967] ° The Herald Tribune [1967] ° The New York Times [September 16, 1967] ° Vogue [August 1, 1967] ° The New Yorker [May 6, 1967] ° The New York Times [September 4, 1966] ° Life [May 27, 1966] ° The Nation [December 25, 1965]

"Head" Movie Trailer, 1968




Also availble from HarperCollins in the UK at and in Germany (in translation as Nachworte) from S. Fischer Verlag at