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John Brockman (born February 16, 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a literary agent and author specializing in scientific literature. He founded the Edge Foundation, an organization aimed to bring together people working at the edge of a broad range of scientific and technical fields.

John Brockman
John Brockman at DLD.jpg
John Brockman in 2009
Born (1941-02-16) February 16, 1941 (age 78)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupationliterary agent

Referencing C.P. Snow's "two cultures", he introduced the "third culture"[1] consisting of "those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

He led a scientific salon for 20 years, asking a question to a host of renowned scientists every year and publishing their answers in book form,[2] which he decided to symbolically close down in 2018.[3]

He is an editor of[4][5]



  • "Traditional American intellectuals are, in a sense, increasingly reactionary, and quite often proudly (and perversely) ignorant of many of the truly significant intellectual accomplishments of our time." [1]
  • "Throughout history, only a small number of people have done the serious thinking for everybody." [2]



  1. ^ John, Warren St (1999-09-01). "Agent Provocateur". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  2. ^ Marcus, Gary (2013-01-15). "What We Should Fear". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  3. ^ The Last John Brockman Edge Question, Wired article.
  4. ^ Popova, Maria (2011-09-14). "15 Years of Cutting-Edge Thinking on Understanding the Mind". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  5. ^ Naughton, John (2012-01-08). "John Brockman: the man who runs the world's smartest website". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2019-03-25.

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