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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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

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Finding Your Six-Month-Old's Inner Mathematician

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences follows up on a 2010 study in which Duke University researcher Elizabeth Brannon and colleagues tested the innate number sense of a group of six-month-olds. In that study, the infants were shown ...


You Can Thank Junk DNA For That Face Of Yours

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created three-dimensional digital models of mouse embryos in order to examine how genes express themselves in different parts of the developing body. They noticed that short sequences of noncoding DNA, also ...


Watch Out For Those Wide-Faced Men

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Brock University researchers asked a group of undergraduates -- about two-thirds of them men -- to complete a personality survey designed to measure certain psychopathic traits, including "cold-heartedness" and "self-centered impulsivity." They were then invited to ...


If You Can't Make It To Japan, Send Your Teddy Bear

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? For three years, Tokyo-based Unagi Travel has catered to a very specific type of clientele: For as little as US$35 (not including the cost of the trip to Japan) a person can send their favorite stuffed animal on a specially-designed tour, where it will join other ...


This Classroom Door Lock Could Save Lives

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? A team of students at Washington's Benjamin Banneker Academic High School has created what they say could be a potential lifesaving device for schools that, like theirs, have doors that don't lock due to fire safety regulations. The Dead Stop "consists of a PVC ...


Is There A Link Between PE Class And Better Grades?

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? A study of 5,000 UK students done by researchers at the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee found a correlation between the number of minutes spent on physical exercise and the students' academic performance. The team saw improvement for every extra 17 minutes ...


Why Not A Build-Your-Own Mobile Phone?

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? After a manufacturer recommended that he replace his entire camera rather than purchase a simple replacement part, Dutch designer Dave Hakkens began thinking about better, more user-friendly ways to create durable yet sustainable electronics. His answer: Phonebloks ...


This Newly Discovered Galaxy Is Very, Very Far Away

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Newly published in Nature is a study announcing the discovery of a galaxy that, at a distance of 30 billion light-years away, is the furthest ever confirmed by astronomers. It was found by the Hubble Space Telescope and verified by Hawaii's Keck Observatory, and ...


The Amazon Rain Forest Is Getting Drier

6 months ago

What's the Latest Development? A team of University of Texas-Austin scientists examined rainfall patterns across the southern Amazon rain forest over the past three decades and used data simulations from several different climate models. Their results, published this week in Proceedings of the ...