All Re-Envision Articles

An examination of economics, innovation, the environment and social responsibility

  • George Dyson: How Turing's Cathedral Was Built

    Very often, the most creative things happen in the most implausible places, such as the creation of the first electronic digital computer at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. 

  • Science or Spam?

    How do we develop the aptitude to separate spam from knowledge? James Lawrence Powell tells Big Think you need to be "your own spam filter." 

  • No, Seriously. Science Can Be Funny.

    Lighten up, says Bill Nye aka The Science Guy. The idea is to get people to embrace science, not force it.

  • Asteroid 2012 DA14 Won't Kill Us (Yet), But Ought to Scare Us Into Action

    The near earth asteroid 2012 DA14 discovered last year is not going to hit Earth next year, scientists say. Phew. And yet, it will still be coming in way too close for comfort, raising the question of how prepared...

  • Bill Nye: Scientist on Wheels

    Bill Nye has always mixed science and comedy, dating back to his early career when he balanced his day job as an engineer at Boeing with his nighttime routine as a stand-up comic. Later Nye was able to combine...

  • The Electronic Brain? Your Mind Vs. a Computer

    What's the Big Idea? In a 2011 interview, physicist Stephen Hawking declared, "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail." Of course, the brain is not a computer in the...

  • Duckweed: The Next Bio Fuel Revolution?

    There has been growing interest in finding 'second generation' alternatives to food crops that "don’t grow on arable land and instead can be used specifically for bio-fuels." 

  • Why Are Sea Otters Becoming Shark Bait?

    There's been an alarming spike in lethal shark attacks on sea otters by sharks off California's Central Coast, and no one seems to know why. While attacks by sharks -- mostly Great Whites -- accounted for...

  • The End of War

    In a new book, John Horgan argues that humans didn’t begin to fight with each other until 10-12,000 years ago. Horgan seeks a scientific explanation for how humans became lethal through culture, not biology, and...

  • DNA In the Cloud

    Michael Schatz, a researcher at Cold Spring Laboratory, wants to use Google's algorithms to understand genomic data. 

  • How Do You Talk to an Alien?

    With SETI's search for extraterrestrial life running on all cylinders again, two questions must be raised: How do we make contact? And how do we make meaningful contact? Big Think asked Bill Nye, aka, 'The Science...

  • Reinventing the University

    What's the Big Idea? On average, students pay $35,000 a year for the privilege of being educated at a private nonprofit American college. In December of 2011, indebtedness among college graduates reached an...

  • DIY Physics: It's Not Brain Surgery

    What's the Big Idea? "Your Gravity Theory Sucks!" Margaret Wertheim was surprised to find this comment on an order form for a self-published book called The Other Theory of Physics, written by James Carter, a...

  • Is the U.S. Still the "Land of the Free?"

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."Immigration is an integral part of the story Americans tell themselves about who they are. So why is it so difficult to immigrate...

  • The Technology of Trust

    Skype programmer Jaan Tallinn isn’t so sure we’ll ever be able to build networks that can replicate– even in a business context – the communicative power of meeting in person. Instead, he believes, we’ll continue...

  • The Solution to Global Poverty is You

    What's the Big Idea? The solution to global poverty, according to Jeffrey Sachs Director of The Earth Institute and professor at Columbia University, is a mix of government and the private and voluntary...

  • Creating the Right Incentives for Sustainability

    Archeologist and entrepreneur Larry Coben describes how he was able to spend very little money, enhance preservation and create an enormous community benefit in a Bolivian village.  

  • The Singularity and Its Discontents

    Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe questions the basic premise of the Singularity concept, arguing that it “misunderstands the complex nature of biological and physical life.” 

  • The Curious Case of Richard Muller, Former Climate Change Skeptic

    Climate change deniers lost an important ally in 2011, as Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller recently switched sides. James Lawrence Powell dissects the curious case of this former climate skeptic. 

  • Corporate Ethics: Not an Oxymoron

    Amid widely-publicized corporate scandals, global environmental threats, and powerful advances in biotechnology, says ethicist Paul Root Wolpe, big companies find themselves tromping through an ethical minefield,...