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.

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Big Think TV Posts

Videos from Big Think experts

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Big Think TV

Evolution vs Natural Selection

about 1 month ago

When we think of the word "evolution," we often think of "survival of the fittest" or "natural selection." Evolution simply means change over time. And it can be applied to not only humans but the cosmos (where there is no survival of the fittest) and social trends. MinutePhysics breaks-down the ...

Big Think TV

What If You Stopped Sleeping?

about 1 month ago

It's the weekend, and time to catch-up on sleep. What if you refused to sleep-in late and decided to forgo sleep all together? You may be more productive--at first. But what would stopping sleep do to your brain and your body?  Would you eventually hallucinate? AsapScience explains what would ...

Big Think TV

The Poetry of Carl Sagan Set to Music

about 1 month ago

If there was ever any dispute that Carl Sagan wasn't "only" an astronomer, astrophysicist, and cosmologist but a poet, this video solves it. Sagan receives the "auto-tunes" treatment in this rhythmic compilation of his own words. The result? Pure poetry. Brush up on your scientific knowledge ...

Big Think TV

ThriveOn Hacks Mental Health Care

about 1 month ago

Mental health isn't a popular topic in America--a country that invented "the Hollywood ending." In our bigger, faster, stronger culture, admitting that you have the mental-equivalent of a broken arm can make one feel vulnerable to being stigmatized as "weak" or "lazy." We over-share all the great ...

Big Think TV

ALMA's Astonishing Discoveries

about 1 month ago

On Sunday, 60 Minutes featured a fascinating segment on ALMA, a $13 billion radio telescope in the Antofagasta Region of Chile that allows scientists to study the origins of our universe. Nineteen different countries are represented in this Herculean enterprise--the most ambitious astronomical ...

Big Think TV

Is the Universe an Accident?

about 1 month ago

Alan Lightman:  For centuries scientists and especially physicists have believed that we would be able to show why our universe is as it is as a necessary consequence of certain fundamental principles and laws.  Like finding – having a crossword puzzle with only one solution, the given certain very ...

Big Think TV

Scaling Down the US Military

about 1 month ago

    John Horgan: The United States is an extremely militaristic culture right now and we are armed to the teeth and we are very aggressive in pursuing our interests violently around the world.  Until recently we were in two major armed conflicts.  We just withdrew our troops from Iraq ...

Big Think TV

War Technology Shifts

about 1 month ago

Peter Singer:  There’s been an enormous amount of changing forces on warfare in the twenty-first century.  And they range from new actors in war like private contractors, the black waters of the world to the growth of warlord and child soldier groups to technologic shifts.  The introduction of ...

Big Think TV

Don't Have Scissors? Use a Piranha

about 1 month ago

This holiday season, when it comes to wrapping gifts, make sure you have your piranha scissors handy. Of course, they require feeding and a clean tank. This incredible demonstration of a live piranha being used like a pair of high-powered scissors will make you glad that you're watching it from ...

Big Think TV

Autism and Genetics

about 1 month ago

Michael Schatz: So in autism, I collaborate with some folks at Cold Spring Harbor Lab where we’re participating in a project that’s been sponsored by the Simons Foundation.  And the idea there is over the last several decades different hospitals around the U.S. have been identifying families where ...