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

Explore Nanotechnology

March 6, 2014, 12:22 AM

We already have nanotechnology, says Ray Kurzweil, renowned futurist and director of engineering at Google. "In fact, chips today, the key features are 50 or 60 nanometers so that is already nanotechnology."

In the latest installment of Big Think's Edge, Kurzweil takes us into the exciting promising world of nanotechnology.

Molecular Level Devices

"The true promise of nanotechnology is that ultimately we’ll be able to create devices that are manufactured at the molecular level by putting together, molecular fragments in new combinations so, I can send you an information file and a desktop nanofactory will assemble molecules according to the definition in the file and create a physical object," he explains. One day we'll be able to e-mail clothes and houses just like we can email entire music albums instead of having to ship them.

Improved Medicine & Performance 

Nanotechnology can not only improve our health care, it may also make us superhuman. "Another promise is to be able to create devices that are the size of blood cells, and by the way biology is an example of nanotechnology. The key features of biology are at the molecular level," Kurzweil says. "One scientist designed a robotic red blood cell that's a thousand times more powerful than the biological version. So, if you were to replace a portion of your biological red blood cells with this respirocytes the robotic versions, you could do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath or sit at the bottom of your pool for four hours."

The Next 25 Years

Due to the exponential progression of technology, says Kurzweil, nanotechnology will be a billion times more powerful in 25 years. It will create more durable and powerful materials across industries in addition to transforming the potential of the human body. 

To learn more about nanotechnology, watch Big Think's latest installment of Edge.

Image credit: null0/Flickr


Explore Nanotechnology

Newsletter: Share: