Tasty reads from the newsstand

[ Sat. Dec. 17. 2005 ]

SEED December/January Science factions: The flood of "year in review" round-ups about to wash over us could do worse than take a cue from this penetrating recap, which has the smarts to set its individual ideas within the context of one Big Idea, in this case, the "Third Culture."

John Brockman, editor of the fascinating website edge.org, explains it like this: "The third culture consists 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."

Circling around that intersection of science and philosophy are ideas as disparate as star athletes on drugs, Africa as an incipient centre for scientific research, race-based medicine, and the death throes of the oil economy. Amen.