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292 John Brockman: Know This

John Brockman compiles 200 contributions from leading scientists and thinkers, providing insights on the most interesting and important scientific ideas.

John Brockman: Know This


"Know This" is a collection of essays written by leading scientists and thinkers that provide insights on today's most important scientific ideas and discoveries. With 200 contributions, the book covers a wide range of topics, including artificial intelligence, climate change, genetics, neuroscience, and much more. The essays are accessible, engaging, and informative, making the book an excellent resource for anyone interested in staying up-to-date with the latest scientific developments.


Title: Know This: Today's Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments

Author: John Brockman

Publishing year: 2017

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Length in hours: 14 hours and 39 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The book covers a wide range of scientific topics, including genetics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and climate change.
  2. The essays are written by leading scientists and thinkers from a variety of fields, providing unique insights and perspectives.
  3. The essays are accessible, engaging, and informative, making the book an excellent resource for anyone interested in science.
  4. The book provides an overview of the most important scientific ideas and discoveries of our time.
  5. "Know This" encourages readers to think critically and engage with the latest scientific developments, helping to foster a greater appreciation for science and its impact on our world.
John Brockman: Know This

5 funny quotes

  1. "There is no truth to the rumor that we only use 10% of our brains. We use all of it, just not all at the same time."
  2. "Science is not a collection of facts. It's a way of thinking about the world."
  3. "Genetics is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, but you don't have a picture on the box and you don't know how many pieces there are."
  4. "Neuroscience has taught us that we are not rational beings, but rationalizing beings."
  5. "There is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free lecture."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "We have to take seriously the possibility that we will be outsmarted by our machines."
  2. "Our understanding of life is undergoing a fundamental shift."
  3. "The universe is filled with dark matter and dark energy, the most mysterious and fundamental of all mysteries."
  4. "Our decisions today will shape the trajectory of human civilization for centuries to come."
  5. "We are not only changing the climate, but the very chemistry of the ocean."

5 dilemmas

  1. How do we balance the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence?
  2. How do we address the challenge of climate change before it's too late?
  3. How do we navigate the ethical and moral implications of gene editing?
  4. How do we ensure that advances in neuroscience are used for the greater good?
  5. How do we prepare for the possibility of contact with intelligent life from other planets?

5 examples

  1. Elon Musk's SpaceX and Tesla are mentioned in an essay about the future of space exploration.
  2. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is referenced in an essay about gene editing.
  3. Stephen Hawking is mentioned in an essay about the possibility of intelligent life in the universe.
  4. The World Health Organization is discussed in an essay about infectious diseases.
  5. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is referenced in an essay about climate change.

Referenced books

  1. "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins
  2. "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman
  3. "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  4. "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari
  5. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas S. Kuhn

Share a quote

"Science doesn't always have the answers, but it asks the right questions."

John Brockman: Know This
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