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

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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.

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Big Think TV Posts

Videos from Big Think experts

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Big Think TV

ThriveOn Hacks Mental Health Care

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6 months 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

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6 months 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?

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6 months 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

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6 months 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

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6 months 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

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6 months 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

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6 months 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 ...

Big Think TV

How High Can We Build?

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6 months ago

The Eiffel Tower once shocked the world for being the tallest building in the world. Of course, it was surpassed by other structures. But how high can we build? Our friends at VSauce explore this question and give a history of the "tallest structure built by man" competition:        Image ...

Big Think TV

The Science of Pain

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6 months ago

Why is it that athletes have a higher tolerance for pain than the average person? Does their training better prepare them to handle pain or are they born that way?  AsapSCIENCE takes us through the science of pain and why athletes seem to be programmed to believe "No pain, no gain ...