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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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Age of Engagement Posts

Communication, culture, and public affairs

Age of Engagement

WHEN NEGOTIATING THE NEWS BACKFIRES: Clinton Gets Angry When Fox News Sunday Violates the Agreed Upon Ground Rules; Gotcha Moment Disrupts Attempt to Engage Moderate GOP on Global Warming

Missing
almost 8 years ago

News outlets and the blogosphere are abuzz over Bill Clinton's appearance on Fox News Sunday. The whole episode is a classic example of how the negotiation of news between journalists and powerful sources can sometimes go wrong, especially when the two parties might ultimately have competing ...

Age of Engagement

FRAMING SCIENCE GOES INTERACTIVE: Streaming Video of AIBS Lecture from May; Upcoming Oct. 11 Presentation at AAAS on the Communication Battles Over Science Policy

Missing
almost 8 years ago

For readers who are interested in learning more about the communication battles over science policy, I gave the following talk to the American Institute of Biological Sciences back in May, and now AIBS has posted a video of the lecture, complete with an interactive version of the powerpoint slides ...

Age of Engagement

SURVEY OF ENVIRO REPORTING ACROSS FOUR REGIONS: Pacific NW Most Likely to Feature Enviro Beat; Few Cover Area Full-Time; Compared to Public & All Journalists, Enviro Reporters More Likely to Be Political Independents; Local Agencies, Groups Top Sources

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In the latest issue of the journal Science Communication, David Sachsman, James Simon, and JoAnn Valenti report on their findings from a census survey of environmental reporters across the Pacific Northwest, New England, the South, and Rocky Mountain regions. Here are some key findings from the ...

Age of Engagement

POLL REVIEW ON HURRICANE-GLOBAL WARMING LINK: Roughly 65% of Public Believes Global Warming is Either a Minor or Major Cause of Severe Hurricanes

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Since last fall, poll questions across surveys have tapped public belief in the link between hurricanes and global warming. In this post, I provide a round up of poll findings in chronological order starting last year just after Katrina hit. The impacts of Katrina and Rita received saturation ...

Age of Engagement

GORE FAVORABLE RATINGS REMAIN UNCHANGED SINCE 2002: Evidence Argues Against Speculation That 'Truth' Has Reinvented the VP in the Public's Mind; Supports Hypothesis that 'Truth' Draws A Strongly Like-Minded Audience

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Gallup has released a poll report detailing trends in Gore's favorability ratings, indicating that despite the speculation that Inconvenient Truth has morphed the image of the VP in the public's mind, there has been little change in public evaluations. (Go here and watch an ad, to access the ...

Age of Engagement

WARM WORDS AND CLIMATE PORN: Labour-Leaning British Think Tank Conducts Discourse Analysis of UK Climate Change News Coverage; Criticizes Media for Over-Dramatizing to Capture Audience Attention While Offering Few Meaningful Policy Options

Missing
almost 8 years ago

A study released this week by the Institute for Public Policy Research, a left-leaning British think tank, criticizes the UK media for engaging in a dominant "alarmist" interpretation of global warming. This alarmist interpretation is characterized by an inflated sense of urgency and "cinematic ...

Age of Engagement

THE NEXT BIG STORM: Article Examines News Coverage of the Hurricane-Global Warming Debate; Suggests Ways Scientists and Journalists Can Work Together to Improve Coverage

Missing
almost 8 years ago

With Chris Mooney, over at Skeptical Inquirer Online , we have a lengthy article evaluating coverage of the hurricane-global warming debate. We interviewed the major science writers, columnists, and political reporters who have written about the topic, we also interviewed several of the major ...

Age of Engagement

RESURRECTING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST: Mel Gibson's Recent Remarks About Jews Renew Attention to The Passion's Possible Audience Effects

Missing
almost 8 years ago

With Mel Gibson's DWI arrest and associated comments about Jews, re-newed attention has been focused on the content and possible effects of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The film depicts the high priest Caiaphas as leading an angry, bloodthirsty Jewish mob demanding the death of Jesus, and ...

Age of Engagement

CLIMATE SCIENTISTS CREATE NEWS PEG ABOUT THE RELEVANCE OF COASTAL DEVELOPMENT: Example of How Scientists Can Make Input on Policy Newsworthy; NY Times Covers Statement; But Other Media So Far Are Silent

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Ten climate scientists who disagree about the linkages between global warming and more intense hurricanes have released a joint statement warning that regardless of the resolution of the scientific debate, hurricanes remain a serious threat, and that policymakers need to rethink coastal ...

Age of Engagement

SLIGHT MAJORITY OF PUBLIC DISAPPROVES OF BUSH STEM CELL VETO: 58% Disapproval Parallels Level of Support for ESC Research In Independent Polls; Reaction to Veto in 2006 Contrasts with Majority Support for 2001 Bush Compromise Announcement

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Gallup has released poll findings indicating that 58% of the public disagrees with the Bush veto decision. This finding is not surprising, since it closely parallels the level of public support measured in independent polls for ESC research using left over embryos. It is interesting to compare ...

Age of Engagement

JON STEWART ON THE BUSH STEM CELL POLICY: Daily Show Compares Administration's Position on Embryo Life to Civilian Lives in Iraq; Study Shows Negative Effects for Regular Daily Show Viewing...But This Clip is Damn Funny

Missing
almost 8 years ago

I run against the tastes of my generation in that I have never been much of a fan of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. As a recent study finds, I have always believed that the show serves a damaging displacement function, with many viewers relying on Stewart as their only source of political news ...

Age of Engagement

THE TWO FACES OF MERKEL ON SCIENCE: German Leader Joins Bush in Opposing Public Funding for ESC; Adding to the Complexity of the Debate, Many Opponents of ESC Are "Pro-Science"

Missing
about 8 years ago

The Bush administration isn't the only government opposing the expansion of publicly-funded ESC research. This week, Germany joined with Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia in opposing a EU proposal to allow public funding for ESC research on embryos left over from in vitro ...