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Summary

The latest volume in the best-selling series from Edge.org - dubbed "the world's smartest website" by The Guardian - brings together 206 of the world's most innovative thinkers to discuss the scientific concepts that everyone should know.

As science informs public policy, decision making, and so many aspects of our everyday lives, a scientifically literate society is crucial. In that spirit, Edge.org publisher and author of Know This, John Brockman, asks 206 of the world's most brilliant minds the 2017 Edge Question: What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?

Contributors include: author of The God Delusion Richard Dawkins on using animals' "Genetic Book of the Dead" to reconstruct ecological history; MacArthur Fellow Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on "scientific realism", the idea that scientific theories explain phenomena beyond what we can see and touch; author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Carlo Rovelli on "relative information", which governs the physical world around us; theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss on the hidden blessings of "uncertainty"; cognitive scientist and author of The Language Instinct Steven Pinker on "The Second Law of Thermodynamics"; biogerontologist Aubrey De Grey on why "maladaptive traits" have been conserved evolutionarily; musician Brian Eno on "confirmation bias" in the Internet age; Man Booker-winning author of Atonement Ian Mcewan on the "Navier-Stokes Equations", which govern everything from weather prediction to aircraft design and blood flow; plus pieces from Richard Thaler, Jared Diamond, Nicholas Carr, Janna Levin, Lisa Randall, Kevin Kelly, Daniel Coleman, Frank Wilczek, Rory Sutherland, Nina Jablonski, Martin Rees, Alison Gopnik, and many, many others.

©2018 Edge Foundation, Inc. (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Andrew
  • 15-02-18

Condensed Brilliance in Digestable Chunks

This Idea is Brilliant blew me away with the depth, creativity, and pure intelligence behind many of the ideas presented. I am a binge listener but the concepts and implications were just so thought provoking I found myself constantly having to pause just to process the ~5 minutes of the last essay. As a scientist, I am often disappointed with science and technology books being "pop science" or written by non-experts making exaggerated claims an honest scientist would not, that was rare in this book.

This audiobook, as the description explains, is a collection of essays grouped generally by a topic or theme. This allows for the clarification of overlapping concepts and sometimes a new perspective. The manuscripts for all these essays are freely available on the Edge website but I still strongly recommend the audio format. The over 206 essays from every type of science cover a wide variety of topics so there will be at least a few world-changing concepts for you even if you have a narrow scientific interest.

Absolutely fantastic, one of the my best spent credits in a long time!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Bradley Sheridan
  • 31-07-18

Better to read this book.

The production quality is sub-par. There are changes in tone, levels, voice quaility between chapters/sections. Additionally there seems to be 'corrections' or something of that sort peppered throughout the recording. The narration is stiff at some points and overly ennunciated, hard to listen to at times.

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  • PsyMBA
  • 24-07-18

Wonderful Compilation of Current Science

A buffet of theory, method, and controversy in current science. No section will completely satisfy. But many of the numerous contributors will answer some questions that you didn’t think to ask and will have you filling informational gaps that you didn’t know existed.

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  • MEB
  • 15-05-18

Great idea for a book

Some very interesting essays from a wide variety of fields. I enjoyed the whole book, but only flagged about 10% for re-review, your mileage may vary.