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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.

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

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Future Power

The development of non-fossil fuel energy to reach grid parity

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Earth and Beyond

Bringing Sunlight To Windowless Rooms

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5 months ago

What's the Latest Development? University of Cincinnati researchers Jason Heikenfeld and Anton Harfmann have designed a system, SmartLight, that captures sunlight and channels it to make less-well-lit rooms much brighter. It works by manipulating the surface tension of fluid embedded in tiny ...

Earth and Beyond

These Solar Cells Literally Rock Out

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6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Researchers at two London universities covered zinc oxide nanorods with a polymer in order to create a working solar cell. They then experimented with the piezoelectric effect -- a material's ability to produce voltage under certain types of pressure or strain ...

Inventing the Future

Can We Make Biofuel From Tobacco?

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6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? For her PhD, NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre agricultural engineer Ruth Sanz-Barrio focused on two specific types of thioredoxins, small proteins that exist in most living organisms, including tobacco plants. By modifying some of the genes in these proteins ...

Earth and Beyond

One Small Step For Nuclear Fusion...

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6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Last month at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), scientists conducting experiments in nuclear fusion witnessed, for the first time ever, a reaction in which more energy was produced than consumed. The experiments involve training 192 laser beams into a structure ...

Going Mental

Energy Savings, Big Brother Style

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8 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a study in which Carnegie Mellon researchers attempted to influence some customers' electricity usage using a very simple tactic: They sent postcards informing them only that their ...