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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Neuroscience

The growing influence of neuroscience on society, from neurofinance to neuroeconomics to neuroesthetics to neuroethics and neurolaw

Going Mental

Why Build Self-Control?

Cake%20with%20sprinkles
about 2 years ago

The discovery was one of those fortunate accidents. Walter Mischel, a psychologist at Stanford, was interested in the stability of personality traits. In the late 1960s, he decided to study individual differences in young children’s ability to delay gratification. His own daughters were ...

Going Mental

There is No Such Thing as a Divorce Gene.

Divorce_bigthink
about 2 years ago

Let me state this upfront: There is no such thing as a “divorce” gene. Not that it stopped many media outlets from reporting that such a gene had been discovered a few weeks ago after Hasse Walum, a scientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues published a paper in the journal ...

Going Mental

Dirty Minds: The Neurobiology of Love

Neurobiology%20of%20love
about 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? There’s a revolution going on in neuroscience, says science writer Kayt Sukel, and it’s happening on two fronts. One way the science is changing: researchers are finally beginning to include both male and female subjects in their studies. Another is epigenetics, a new way of ...

Going Mental

Brains Are Automatic, But People Are Free

Mindpull
about 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? Michael Gazzaniga, one of the world's leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience, describes the mystery of free will: “If you think about it this way, if you are a Martian coming by earth and looking at all these humans and then looking at how they work you wouldn’t—it ...

Going Mental

This Is Your Brain On Sports

Athlete%20brain
about 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? On June 12, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD: “The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t,” he noted. Five years later, he was traded to the Yankees. Fourteen years later ...

Going Mental

Your Storytelling Brain

Storytelling_brain
over 2 years ago

Cognitive Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga, a pioneer in the study of hemispheric (left vs. right brain) specialization describes "the Interpreter" - a left hemisphere function that organizes our memories into plausible stories. Less romantic, perhaps, than Gone With the Wind, the Interpreter ...

Going Mental

The End of Free Will?

Brainwithnumbers
over 2 years ago

What's the Big Idea? The field of neuroscience evolved so rapidly in the past twenty years that it will pose unprecedented challenges to the legal system in the decades to come, changing the way we understand crime and punishment, says neuro-pioneer Joy Hirsch, director of the Functional ...

Going Mental

Will Neuroscience Kill the Novel?

Brainbook
over 2 years ago

Virginia Woolf once wrote that “human character changed on or around December, 1910.” It’s a deliberately cryptic remark, but she was referring broadly to the wave of cultural modernism that blasted the complacent world of late nineteenth-century Europe into the fractured cosmos of Freud, Einstein ...