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Summer Reading from the Archive

CHILDREN DON'T DO THINGS HALF WAYA Conversation with Judith Rich Harris[June 1999] I'm prone to making statements like this one: how the parents rear the child has no long-term effects on the child's personality, intelligence, or mental health. I guess you could call that an extreme statement. But I prefer to think of myself as a defender of the...

My Mystical Moment

Frank Wilczek[5.18.21] It came to me, viscerally, that the intricate calculations I’d done using pen and paper (and wastebasket) might somehow describe this entirely different realm of existence—namely, a physical world of particles, tracks, and electronic signals, created by the kind of machinery I was looking at. There was no need to choose, as...

Hands On

Patricia S. Churchland[4.28.21] During my first neuroanatomy lecture, the patient presented to us was a former dean of the medical school who had suffered a small brainstem stroke. As he started to identify the stroke location, the former dean suddenly began to sob piteously. Deeply concerned, we waited in utter stillness a long minute until, abruptly,...

Mary Catherine Bateson: Systems Thinker

Mary Catherine Bateson[1.18.21]Mary Catherine Bateson 1939–2021  Introductionby John Brockman From the early days of Edge, Catherine Bateson was the gift that kept giving. Beginning in 1998, with her response to “What Questions Are You Asking Yourself?” through “The Last Question” in 2018, she exemplified the role of the Third Culture intellectual:...

HERD IMMUNITY

  Happy New Year from Edge  [ Click for Slideshow ]

Shame Can Lead to Real Change Right Now

Interview withJennifer Jacquet[1.13.21]  © Hannah McKay / Reuters Jennifer Jacquet: "Shame can lead to real change right now" Many Americans publicly express their shame about the events at the Capitol. Researcher Jennifer Jacquet explains why this feeling can advance the country. Interview: Carla Baum JANUARY 13, 2021 After the storm on the...

A Very Bumpy Ride

Life in the Time of COVID, Part 2A Conversation withLarry Brilliant, MD[12.7.20] [EDITOR'S NOTE: At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, I called on Larry Brilliant, a leading epidemiologist and pandemic expert with unique experience and expertise, to ask him to talk about how we could begin to think about COVID-19 and what was in store for us....

The Shifting Terrain of Scientific Inquiry

A Conversation withDavid Kaiser[7.13.20] Most historians of science, certainly these days, consider themselves historians. That means we use historical methods of research. We comb through the published literature, investigate unpublished things—correspondence, notes, notebooks, grant proposals. For more recent periods, we interview people. (There's...

Interrogating and Shaping the World Through Science

A Conversation withAinissa Ramirez[6.25.20] What I noticed over the years is that people were starting to see science as entertainment and not as a tool or a lens to understand the world. The thing that scientists do is ask great questions. We need people who can interrogate and probe the world so they can develop their muscle of being critical thinkers....

Computation All the Way Down

A Conversation withStephen Wolfram[6.19.20] We're now in this situation where people just assume that science can compute everything, that if we have all the right input data and we have the right models, science will figure it out. If we learn that our universe is fundamentally computational, that throws us right into the idea that computation is...

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