Edge Foundation, Inc.

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Type of site
Group blog
Created by John Brockman
Slogan(s) 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.
Website edge.org
Alexa rank 70,350 (worldwide); 25,162 (USA) as of February 2013[1]

The Edge Foundation, Inc. is an association of science and technology intellectuals created in 1988 as an outgrowth of The Reality Club. Currently, its main activity is contributing to the edge.org website, edited by publisher and businessman John Brockman. The site is an online magazine exploring scientific and intellectual ideas.

The Third Culture[edit]

The Third Culture is the growing movement towards (re)integration of literary and scientific thinking and is a nod toward British scientist C. P. Snow's concept of the two cultures of science and the humanities. John Brockman published a book of the same name whose themes are continued at the Edge website. Here, scientists and others are invited to contribute their thoughts in a manner readily accessible to non-specialist readers. In doing so, leading thinkers are able to communicate directly with each other and the public without the intervention of middlemen such as journalists and journal editors.[2]

Many areas of academic work are incorporated, including genetics, physics, mathematics, psychology, evolutionary biology, philosophy and computing technology.

Annual questions[edit]

In recent years Edge has posed its members an annual question:

  • 2005: "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"[3] The responses generated were published as a book under the title What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty with an introduction by the novelist Ian McEwan.[4]
  • 2006: "What is your dangerous idea"?[5] The responses formed the book What Is Your Dangerous Idea?, which was published with an introduction by Steven Pinker and an afterword by Richard Dawkins.[6]
  • 2007: "What are you optimistic about? Why?"[7] which resulted in a companion publication.[8]
  • 2008: "What have you changed your mind about?"[9] The corresponding book came out shortly thereafter.[10]
  • 2009: "What Will Change Everything? What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"[11] and a book version has also appeared.[12]
  • 2010: "How has the Internet changed the way you think?"[13]
  • 2011: "What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody's Cognitive Toolkit?"[14]
  • 2012: "What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?"[15]
  • 2013: "What should we be worried about?"[16]
  • 2014: "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?"[17]
  • 2015: "What Do You Think About Machines that Think" [18]
  • 2016: "What Do You Think the Most Interesting Recent [Scientific] News? What makes it Important?"[19]
  • 2017 : "What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?"[20]

Contributing authors[edit]

As of 2011,[14] contributors included Anthony Aguirre, Stephon Alexander, John Allen Paulos, Adam Alter, Alun Anderson, Ross Anderson, Samuel Arbesman, Scott Atran, Mahzarin Banaji, Samuel Barondes, Thomas Bass, Sue Blackmore, Paul Bloom, Giulio Boccaletti, Stefano Boeri, Nick Bostrom, Stewart Brand, David Buss, William Calvin, Nicholas Carr, Sean M. Carroll, Joan Chiao, Nicholas Christakis, George M. Church, Andy Clark, Gregory Cochran, Alana Conner, James Croak, Fiery Cushman, Scott D. Sampson, W. Daniel Hillis, Satyajit Das, Richard Dawkins, Aubrey De Grey, Daniel Dennett, Emanuel Derman, Keith Devlin, Rolf Dobelli, George Dyson, David Eagleman, Brian Eno, Juan Enriquez, Dylan Evans, Christine Finn, Stuart Firestein, Helen Fisher, Susan Fiske, Tecumseh Fitch, Richard Foreman, Howard Gardner, Amanda Gefter, David Gelernter, Neil Gershenfeld, Gerd Gigerenzer, Marcelo Gleiser, Joel Gold, Nigel Goldenfeld, Rebecca Goldstein, Daniel Goleman, Beatrice Golomb, Alison Gopnik, Joshua Greene, Jonathan Haidt, Diane Halpern, Kevin Hand, Haim Harari, Sam Harris, Marti Hearst, Roger Highfield, Donald D. Hoffman, Gerald Holton, Bruce Hood, Nicholas Humphrey, Marco Iacoboni, Jennifer Jacquet, Xeni Jardin, Daniel Kahneman, Paul Kedrosky, Kevin Kelly, Douglas Kenrick, Christian Keysers, Vinod Khosla, Marcel Kinsbourne, Jon Kleinberg, Brian Knutson, Bart Kosko, Kai Krause, Lawrence Krauss, Andrian Kreye, Rob Kurzban, George Lakoff, Jaron Lanier, Jonah Lehrer, Garrett Lisi, Seth Lloyd, Tania Lombrozo, Stephen M. Kosslyn, Gary Marcus, Hazel Rose Markus, John McWhorter, Thomas Metzinger, Geoffrey Miller, Evgeny Morozov, P.Z. Myers, David Myers, Richard Nisbett, Tor Norretranders, Gloria Origgi, Neri Oxman, Carl Page, Mark Pagel, Greg Paul, Irene Pepperberg, Clifford Pickover, Steven Pinker, David Pizarro, Ernst Pöppel, Robert Provine, V.S. Ramachandran, Lisa Randall, Martin Rees, Andrew Revkin, Matt Ridley, Matthew Ritchie, Jay Rosen, Carlo Rovelli, David Rowan, Rudy Rucker, Douglas Rushkoff, Paul Saffo, Eduardo Salcedo-Albaran, Robert Sapolsky, Dimitar Sasselov, Richard Saul Wurman, Roger Schank, Kathryn Schulz, Gino Segre, Charles Seife, Terrence Sejnowski, Martin Seligman, Michael Shermer, Clay Shirky, Gerald Smallberg, Laurence C. Smith, Lee Smolin, Dan Sperber, Tom Standage, Victoria Stodden, Linda Stone, Nassim Taleb, Don Tapscott, Max Tegmark, Richard Thaler, John Tooby, Eric Topol, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, J. Craig Venter, Eric Weinstein, Frank Wilczek, Dave Winer, Milford Wolpoff, Carl Zimmer, and Jason Zweig.


  1. ^ edge.org at Alexa. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  2. ^ John Brockman (1995). The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82344-6. 
  3. ^ "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?". edge.org. 2005. 
  4. ^ What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty. Free Press, UK. 2005. ISBN 9781416522614. 
  5. ^ "What is your dangerous idea?". edge.org. 2006. 
  6. ^ What Is Your Dangerous Idea?: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable. Harper Perennial. 2007. ISBN 0-06-121495-7. 
  7. ^ "What are you optimistic about? Why?". edge.org. 2007. 
  8. ^ John Brockman (ed.). What Are You Optimistic About?: Today's Leading Thinkers on Why Things Are Good and Getting Better. ISBN 0-06-143693-3. 
  9. ^ "What have you changed your mind about?". edge.org. 2008. 
  10. ^ John Brockman (ed.). What Have You Changed Your Mind About?: Today's Leading Minds Rethink Everything. ISBN 0-06-168654-9. 
  11. ^ "What Will Change Everything? What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?". edge.org. 2009. 
  12. ^ John Brockman (ed.). This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape The Future. ISBN 0-06-189967-4. 
  13. ^ "How has the Internet changed the way you think?". edge.org. 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody's Cognitive Toolkit?". edge.org. 2011. 
  15. ^ "What is your favorite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?". edge.org. 2012. 
  16. ^ "What should we be worried about?". edge.org. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  17. ^ "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?". edge.org. 2014. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  18. ^ "What Do You Think About Machines that Think?". edge.org. 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-19. 
  20. ^ . edge.org. 2017 concept-ought-to-be-more-widely-known http://edge.org/annual-question/what-scientific-term-or concept-ought-to-be-more-widely-known. Retrieved 2017-04-02.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]