What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

The Most Important Thing We All Have in Common

May 7, 2013, 10:20 AM

Darwin wrote a book called The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872.  I just did a third edition of that book, published by Oxford Press in the United States in which I inserted over a hundred commentaries by myself and other scientists about what Darwin had to say.  Was he right or wrong?

Over 90 percent of them said at the time he didn’t have the evidence, but he was right.  He knew and understood expression.  Darwin says expression showed the basic humanity and it showed the basic unity of all human beings, that we all share the same emotions and the same expressions.  That’s what links us together.  That was very important to him, to counter the racists of his times who were claiming in the 19th century that Caucasians had descended from a more advanced progenitor than Africans.

This demolished that.  So it does show one of the most important things about us we all have. It’s not that the guy you’re dating, he never feels any of the emotions you have.  Now, he may have different attitudes about those emotions.  He may try to conceal them. But the very same sets are enormously important and in any transaction that matters whether it’s between lovers, between parent and child, between salesman and client, between doctor and patient, between suspect and interrogator, between adversaries at an election, emotion is what we’re looking for, emotion tells us what matters.

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock



The Most Important Thing We...

Newsletter: Share: