Edge has received notice from the publisher that acquired PRC Chinese language rights to What Is Your Dangerous Idea?: Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable that the book “can’t be published in China because some content is not accordant to Chinese regulations, for example, some content about religious, soul.” [sic]
The book, based on an edited selection from The 2006 Edge Question, was published last year in the US (HarperCollins) and the UK (Free Press) as well as a number of foreign-language markets.
“There is a profound issue lurking here,” writes Pinker. “Everyone says that China will be the next scientific and economic power. Is this compatible with their ongoing rejection of open debate and exploration of ideas? Is a technologically advanced society compatible with anti-intellectualism and suppression of debate? It’s hard to see how China will ever compete with the West as a source of scientific and technological innovation if ideas cannot be discussed and evaluated. Or will the Internet — which can never be completely censored — and a stream of PhDs returning from the West eventually pressure them to open up?”