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The New Humanists: Science at the Edge
de John Brockman (Editor)
When John Brockman’s essay, “The New Humanists” appeared on his popular cutting-edge science website, EDGE (www.edge.org), he received a record number of responses from the intellectuals of the EDGE community. In his essay, Brockman noted that the American intellectual had become proudly or defiantly ignorant of major scientific accomplishments. According to Brockman, intellectual thought was becoming trapped in a “swelling spiral of commentary,” and often ignored the real world. Citing C.P. Snow’s theory of two cultures: the literary intellectual and the scientist, Brockman predicted an “emerging third culture” where scientists and other empirical thinkers, through their work and writing, would redefine who and what we are. In The New Humanists: Science At the Edge, Brockman has assembled some of the top scientists of today: Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Marvin Minsky, Lee Smolin, and others, and has them discuss the unique contributions each of them is making to the development of modern thought. Some of these thinkers are in sync, others in dissent, but what emerges in The New Humanists is a dialogue that serves as a support to Brockman’s theory and an introduction to some of the best scientific minds of the 21st century.
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