The Edge World Question: Meet the New Boys’ Club, Same as the Old Boys’ Club
Every year an organization called Edge Foundation, which is not at all pretentious, publishes a World Question and asks "some of the most interesting minds in the world" to reflect on it. Edge is dedicated to promoting "the Third Culture", which it modestly describes this way:
Throughout history, intellectual life has been marked by the fact that only a small number of people have done the serious thinking for everybody else. What we are witnessing is a passing of the torch from one group of thinkers, the traditional literary intellectuals, to a new group, the intellectuals of the emerging third culture.
That new group, in case you are wondering, would be the interesting minds invited by Edge.
Edge and its forerunner The Reality Club are single-minded in their search for these "interesting minds". It has "a simple criterion for choosing speakers. We look for people whose creative work has expanded our notion of who and what we are." Founder John Brockman describes it this way:
I see it as the constant shifting of metaphors, the advancement of ideas, the agreement on, and the invention of, reality. Intellectual life is The Reality Club.
So here is a simple non-intellectual question. Of the 160 or so "world-class scientists, artists, and creative thinkers" that Edge invited to answer its "World Question", how many do you think are women?
The answer is right after the break, and says everything that needs to be said about this self-described "intellectual" organization. Meet the new boys' club, same as the old boys' club.