November 23, 2007

The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution

In 1959, scientist and novelist C.P Snow argued that intellectual acitivities were increasingly becoming polarized into what he called the "two cultures". These two cultures represent breakdown of communication between the sciences and the humanities — leading to the stagnation of our imaginative powers when addressing the real challenges of existence and society.

In 1991, John Brockman published an essay, "The Emerging Third Culture" which inspired an ongoing series of one-on-one discussions (1991-1994) in which Brockman talked with many "third culture" scientists about their work. The result of these dialogues was the publication of the book The Third Culture: Beyond The Scientific Revolution (1995). The author describes the book as a "celebration of the ideas of third culture thinkers who are defining the interesting and important questions of our times".
Today, Brockman continues the cross-fertilization of ideas and approaches through The EDGE Foundation - a non-profit organization dedicatated to "promoting inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society".

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