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What Is Your Dangerous Idea?: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkableby John Brockman
Synopses & Reviews
From Copernicus to Darwin, to current-day thinkers, scientists have always promoted theories and unveiled discoveries that challenge everything society holds dear; ideas with both positive and dire consequences. Many thoughts that resonate today are dangerous not because they are assumed to be false, but because they might turn out to be true.
What do the world's leading scientists and thinkers consider to be their most dangerous idea? Through the leading online forum Edge (www.edge.org), the call went out, and this compelling and easily digestible volume collects the answers. From using medication to permanently alter our personalities to contemplating a universe in which we are utterly alone, to the idea that the universe might be fundamentally inexplicable, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? takes an unflinching look at the daring, breathtaking, sometimes terrifying thoughts that could forever alter our world and the way we live in it.
Book News Annotation:
This provocative compilation includes responses to the annual question on the Edge Web site regarding ideas that might be considered dangerous. Contributors include the human genome's decoder, a physicist on reducing global climate change via engineering; a computer scientist arguing that mind is everywhere; and an artist on the unpredictable consequences of art. Richard Dawkins reminds us that: "Yesterday's dangerous idea is today's orthodoxy...." Please add suggested further reading next year. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The author of "What We Believe but Cannot Prove" returns with another iconoclastic collection in which some of the world's leading scientific thinkers discuss ideas that are perilous for their potential practical uses and philosophical implications.
The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious examples. Here, leading thinkers discuss ideas - whether they originally thought of them or not - that are dangerous not because they're false, but because they're potentially true. From using medication to change our personalities to contemplating a universe in which we are utterly alone to the idea that the world might be fundamentally inexplicable, WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA? takes an unflinching look at thoughts that could - very soon - change the world and the way we live in it.
About the Author
The publisher of the online science salon Edge.org, John Brockman is the editor of The Universe, This Explains Everything, This Will Make You Smarter, and other volumes. He is the founder of the literary agency Brockman, Inc., and lives in New York City.
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