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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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.

Find out more
Close

IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Parents Are Cool?

Missing
almost 4 years ago

"For decades, TV has depicted teens as angst-ridden and rebellious, and parents as out-of-touch and unhip. Then network executives realized that popular shows that tapped into the defiant-youth subculture were losing viewers. ... This less-defiant generation is influencing plots, changing what types ...

IdeaFeed

The Real Ant Farms

Missing
almost 4 years ago

"Approximately 50 million years ago, some Amazonian ant species discovered that raising fungi could provide a more stable food source than just foraging on the rainforest floor. Thus, they became farmers. Now, more than 200 species of New World ants cultivate crops, fastidiously fertilizing ...

IdeaFeed

The Right to Work

Missing
almost 4 years ago

"Of all classic capitalist problems—income inequality, imperialism, the class character of the state, and so on—mass unemployment has probably been the one to trouble living Americans least," writes Benjamin Kunkel. But "the American approximation to 'full employment' has now collapsed," and will ...

IdeaFeed

Online Paradise Lost

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Evgeny Morozov writes that the Internet hasn't lived up to its promise "as the ultimate tool to foster tolerance, destroy nationalism, and transform the planet into one great wired global village." Certainly the Internet has transformed many things about the world, but it is unlikely to bring the ...

IdeaFeed

Morphine Makers

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Researchers have discovered that mammals may have the biochemical machinery to produce their own morphine. Scientists found traces of morphine in the urine of mice after injecting chemical precursors of the drug. Mammals have specialized receptors in the brain that respond to morphine, and ...

IdeaFeed

Sharing Genes

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Genetic scientists are discovering hundreds of genes involved in human disorders by looking at the DNA of distantly-related species. "In our distant, amoeba-like ancestors, clusters of genes were already forming to work together on building cell walls and on other very basic tasks essential to life ...

IdeaFeed

Chimps and Death

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Two new studies suggest that chimpanzees face death in human-like ways, from holding deathbed vigils to comforting the dying. The studies indicate that their awareness of death is likely more developed than previously thought. As such, the researchers assert that "it might be more humane to allow ...

IdeaFeed

Bad Banks

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Eliot Spitzer wonders whether investment banks do anything that helps America anymore—and, as such, whether they deserved the government bailouts they received. He gives a list of questions that the Senate and the SEC should consider, writing that "we need to get a real measure of the social value ...

IdeaFeed

A Legal "Crush"

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Stanley Fish writes that the recent Supreme Court decision striking down a statute criminalizing the production and sale of videos depicting animal cruelty in a manner intended to satisfy a particular “sexual fetish” is no surprise. Previous cases found speech to be a value in and of itself, no ...

IdeaFeed

The Driven Mind

Missing
almost 4 years ago

People who are driven by rewards tend to be the ones who win at games—even when the reward has been removed. Neuroscientists at Washington University tested 31 randomly selected subjects with word games, some of which had monetary rewards of either 25 or 75 cents per correct answer, others of which ...

IdeaFeed

Unnatural Selection

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini argue that new genetic discoveries—namely that major differences between species may be less about the evolution of new genes than about the same genes being regulated and expressed in new ways—reveal the wrongness of Darwinism. But reviewer Kenan Malik ...

IdeaFeed

Simple Simon

Missing
almost 4 years ago

"No playwright in Broadway’s long and raucous history has so dominated the boulevard as the softly astringent [Neil] Simon," writes John Lahr. "For almost half a century, his comedies have offered light at the end of whatever dark tunnel America has found itself in. ... He does not think against ...

IdeaFeed

Warming the Vines

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Winemakers are beginning to worry about how climate change will affect the taste of their product—and the survival of their business—in the near future. Wine grapes are extraordinarily temperature-sensitive, so as global warming intensifies, areas that now produce great wines will likely yield lower ...

IdeaFeed

Military Nose

Missing
almost 4 years ago

The Pentagon has been looking for technologies to use people's scents to detect, track, and identify them from a distance. The most start-of-the-art technology so far has only been able to distinguish between two different people and needs armpit scent—but now the Army is seeking proposals for a ...

IdeaFeed

Stirring in the Deep

Missing
almost 4 years ago

Researchers have discovered that a deep-ocean current is carrying frigid water rapidly northward from Antarctica along the edge of a giant underwater plateau. The current is very fast, moving at speeds greater than 700 metres per hour, and "carrying volumes as high as 30 million cubic metres per ...