The Third Culture

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The Third Culture is a book by John Brockman which discusses the work of several well-known scientists who are directly communicating their new, sometimes provocative, ideas to the general public. John Brockman has continued the themes of 'The Third Culture' in the website of the Edge Foundation, where leading scientists and thinkers contribute their thoughts in plain English.

The title of the book refers to Charles Percy Snow's 1959 work The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, which described the conflict between the cultures of the humanities and science.

Twenty-three people were included in the book:

The book influenced the reception of popular scientific literature in parts of the world beyond the United States. In Germany, the book inspired several newspapers to integrate scientific reports into their "Feuilleton" or "culture" sections (such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). At the same time, the assertions of the book were discussed as a source of controversy, especially the implicit assertion that "third culture thinking" is mainly an American development. Critics acknowledge that, whereas in the Anglo-Saxon cultures there is a large tradition of scientists writing popular books, such tradition was absent for a long period in the German and French languages, with journalists often filling the gap. However, some decades ago there were also scientists, like the physicists Heisenberg and Schrödinger and the psychologist Piaget, who fulfill the criteria Brockman named for "third culture." The German author Gabor Paal suggested that the idea of the "third culture" is a rather modern version of what Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel called Realphilosophie (philosophy of the real).

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