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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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Age of Engagement Posts

Communication, culture, and public affairs

Age of Engagement

NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL BOARDS REJECT BUSH VETO DECISION: NY Times Argues that Senate Bill Didn't Go Far Enough in Funding TC Research; Seattle Times Says This is the One Issue Worth Voting for Dems

Missing
over 7 years ago

Below I provide an overview of the Editorials printed at the national and major regional newspapers. Without exception, the newspapers denounce Bush's decision. Most go with the "moral inconsistency" angle: why prevent research that could save lives when the left over embryos at IVF clinics ...

Age of Engagement

ON STEM CELL BILLS, BUSH & CO. WIN THE BATTLE OF THE VISUAL: SC Proponents Worked PR Wonders to Get This Far, But the Power of the Bully Pulpit Is Hard to Beat; Embryo Research is Transformed Visually Into Research on "Young Humans"

Missing
over 7 years ago

I'm sorting through all the news coverage this week, and will be having posts forthcoming summarizing the major frames and narratives that appeared in Editorials, Op-Eds, soundbites, and news coverage, but to start, the most stunning outcome from yesterday's veto was to witness the clear dominance ...

Age of Engagement

DOES SIZZLING SUMMER HEAT GENERATE NEWS ATTENTION TO GW? Some Evidence Says Yes; Hot Weather Provides Another Narrative Opportunity to Tell the Story of Climate Change

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Previously I posted that journalists and news organizations have a "limited carrying capacity," meaning that they can't pay attention to all issues all the time, so that when one issue or set of issues rise in attention, other issues are bumped from coverage. The relationship is relevant as the ...

Age of Engagement

AS THE US GOES, SO DOES AUSTRALIA: States Look to Bypass Australia's Federal Ban on Embyronic Stem Cell Research; Research Advocates Warn of "Brain Drain"

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The political debate over stem cell research in Australia is following a pattern similar to the controversy in the U.S. This week, after Australian PM John Howard announced that he would support a continued Federal ban on medical cloning, a decision at odds with the recommendations of a recent ...

Age of Engagement

TEN YEARS AFTER DOLLY: A Look Back at Framing at Scientific American and Der Spiegel; Understanding the Science Versus Cloning Hitler

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Last week was the ten year anniversary of the birth of the cloned sheep Dolly. Looking around for good examples of visual framing for a course I teach in Political Communication, I came across this classic comparison between the cover stories that ran at Scientific American and the German weekly ...

Age of Engagement

CROWDING OUT SCIENCE: "Perfect Storm" of Foreign Policy Crises Likely to Push Climate Change, Stem Cell Research, and Other Science/Enviro Topics Down Media-Policy-Public Agenda

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The media, policy, and public agenda can be said to have a "limited carrying capacity." Since neither news organizations,members of Congress, nor the public can devote equal amounts of resources and attention to all issues, the rise in attention to one issue on the news agenda, is likely to bump ...

Age of Engagement

BRODER ON SC RESEARCH AND THE WISC. GOVERNOR'S RACE: Research Proves to Be a Chink in GOP Armor; Especially When Framed Around Economic Development

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In yesterday's Washington Post, David Broder focused on the Wisc. Governor race, and the ability of Democratic incumbent Jim Doyle to re-define stem cell research around economic development in the state. The framing strategy is putting pressure on GOP candidate and U.S. Rep. Mark Green, who ...

Age of Engagement

TEN YEARS AFTER DOLLY: Less Than a Third of Americans Believe Cloning Animals is Morally Acceptable; Only a Third of Americans Are Clear About the Differences Between Therapeutic and Reproductive Cloning; Less Than a Majority Support Therapeutic Cloning

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Today marks the ten year anniversary of the birth of the cloned sheep Dolly, and the anniversary comes as Congress debates various bills impacting funding for embryonic stem cell research (NPR files two reports today, here and here.) Despite ten years of debate over therapeutic and reproductive ...