"To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves."
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Flow: Positive Human Behavior
MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI (1934-2021) (pronounced "chick-SENT-me high") was a Hungarian-born polymath who recognized and named the psychological concept of "flow," a highly focused mental state conducive to productivity. He was Distinguished Professor of Management at Claremont Graduate University and the former head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College.
His research and theories in the psychology of optimal experience have revolutionized psychology and have been adopted in practice by national leaders such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as well as top members of the global executive elite who run the world's major corporations. Csikszentmihalyi is the author of several popular books about his theories, including the bestselling Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; The Evolving Self: A Psychology for The Third Millennium; Creativity; and Finding Flow. The Wall Street Journal has listed Flow among the six books "every well-stocked business library should have." The Conversation: https://www.edge.org/conversation/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi-flow
Larry Brilliant - A Very Bumpy Ride
Epidemiologist and pandemic expert LARRY BRILLIANT, MD, is on the Advisory Board for Ending Pandemics. He is also on the board of the Skoll Foundation and was the founding executive director of Google's non-profit organization. Dr. Brilliant lived in India for more than a decade while working as a United Nations medical officer, where, in 1971, he helped run the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia. He also worked for the WHO polio eradication effort and Chaired the National Bio-Surveillance Advisory Subcommittee, created by President George W. Bush. He has won the TED Prize, TIME 100, and many honorary doctorates and is the author of Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventures of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History. The Conversation: https://www.edge.org/conversation/larry_brilliant-bumpy-ride
David Kaiser - The Shifting Terrain of Scientific Inquiry
DAVID KAISER is the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and professor of physics at MIT. He is the author, most recently, of Quantum Legacies. The Conversation: https://www.edge.org/conversation/david_kaiser-the-shifting-terrain-of-scientific-inquiry
Ainissa Ramirez - Interrogating and Shaping the World Through Science
AINISSA RAMIREZ is a materials scientist and science communicator. She is the author, most recently, of The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another. The Conversation: https://www.edge.org/conversation/ainissa_ramirez-interrogating-and-shaping-the-world-through-science
Stephen Wolfram - Computation All the Way Down
STEPHEN WOLFRAM is a scientist, inventor, and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. He is the creator of the symbolic computation program Mathematica and its programming language, Wolfram Language, as well as the knowledge engine Wolfram|Alpha. His most recent endeavor is The Wolfram Physics Project. He is also the author, most recently, of A Project to Find the Fundamental Theory of Physics. The Conversation: https://www.edge.org/conversation/stephen_wolfram-computation-all-the-way-down
Laurence C. Smith - How Humans Make the Earth Their Home
LAURENCE C. SMITH is the John Atwater and Diana Nelson University Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Brown University. He is the author, most recently, of Rivers of Power. The Conversation: https://www.edge.org/conversation/laurence_c_smith-how-humans-make-the-earth-their-home