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

Orangutan Body Language

Missing
about 4 years ago

For the first time, researchers have cataloged forty distinct signals orangutans use to communicate with each other, including gestures for "I want to play" and "Give it to me". "British scientists who spent nine months observing the great apes in three European zoos identified 40 frequently used ...

IdeaFeed

Deeper Than Deepwater Horizon

Missing
about 4 years ago

Naomi Klein takes stock of the Gulf oil spill and finds a deeper meaning beneath mechanical failure on Deepwater Horizon: America's cultural hubris in thinking it can control Nature. "This Gulf coast crisis is about many things – corruption, deregulation, the addiction to fossil fuels. But ...

IdeaFeed

Could Oil Be Green Energy?

Missing
about 4 years ago

"As counterintuitive as it may be to say so, oil is a green fuel, while 'green' fuels aren't," says Jonah Goldberg, who makes a sobering and conservative assessment of America's need for black gold. "If you remove the argument over climate change from the equation, one thing becomes incandescently ...

IdeaFeed

The Military's Artificial Intelligence

Missing
about 4 years ago

Miller-McCune reports that, "Using artificial intelligence and the graphics techniques behind 'Avatar,' a USC institute creates 'virtual humans' and interactive immersions that train American soldiers...Most of the institute’s funding comes from the Army; in bureaucratese, it’s a university ...

IdeaFeed

Post-Minority Report

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Reality is already outpacing 'Minority Report,' the 2002 film that imagined technology in far-off 2054: Pre-crime systems, 3D video and gesture-based computing are already here," says The New York Times. "E-paper and computer-guided cars are not far behind," it adds. A recent article in The ...

IdeaFeed

Putting Einstein to the Test

Missing
about 4 years ago

Physicists have developed an experiment involving super cold matter and an empty elevator shaft that will test one concept crucial to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. The experiment may shed light onto the tension between quantum physics and Einstein's relativity. "Einstein's 'equivalence ...

IdeaFeed

For-Profit College Scandal

Missing
about 4 years ago

The Big Money shines light on for-profit colleges that take federal money but use far more revenue for recruitment and marketing than for educating their students—a higher education crisis? "As it stands now, for-profit schools are one of the economy’s embarrassments for believers in free markets ...

IdeaFeed

France, America and Social Security

Missing
about 4 years ago

"The causes of underfunded pensions are similar throughout the developed world," says the L.A. Times while commenting on France's recent move to increase the retirement age. "Populations are living longer and pension costs have soared, while in many countries low birthrates have meant fewer people ...

IdeaFeed

TV Outshining Cinema?

Missing
about 4 years ago

They’re both mass audience, visual narrative mediums with big budgets. But TV, long considered a ‘wasteland’, is enjoying a creative renaissance while movies are striking out. Joseph Childers says, "many of the problems revolve around the monopoly of the Big Six studios, and their chokehold on the ...

IdeaFeed

Clean Up College Sport

Missing
about 4 years ago

'Student athletes' are now quasi-mercenaries, performing to boost schools' bottom lines, argues James O’Toole, who calls for the top institutions to take the lead and "offer athletic scholarships only to true student athletes." "The old ideal of the serious student who also is a fine amateur athlete ...

IdeaFeed

The Firing Squad, Please

Missing
about 4 years ago

With the Ronnie Lee Gardner execution making news, Margot Sanger-Katz finds the (limited) research on death penalty methods suggesting that the firing squad is actually a pretty good way to go. "Shooting is simple and deadly." "According to a 1993 study of the relative pain associated with different ...

IdeaFeed

Risk in Icelandic Media Haven?

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Will Iceland get from bits what Switzerland gets from bank accounts?” the Economist's Babbage blog asks as Iceland moves closer to being a digital media haven. Its parliament has voted to support the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), which combines many of the world's most media-friendly ...

IdeaFeed

Victorian Dads Not All Demons

Missing
about 4 years ago

Research and a TV program are debunking the myth that fathers who enjoy a close bond with their children are a modern notion, reports Steve Humphries. “Many dads...don't conform to the cruel stereotype of the Victorian-style father. The minority of fathers who behaved like this were usually very ...

IdeaFeed

Arctic Scientists Sharing Guesses

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Some good may have come out of the astonishing ice loss (in 2007),...the Arctic science community came together to try a new approach to climate science,” writes Alexis Madrigal. One new way is the Sea Ice Outlook, in which scientists share methods and best guesses on sea ice melt. “With climate ...

IdeaFeed

Hidden Gain in Piracy “Losses”?

Missing
about 4 years ago

As more experts go public with claims that entertainment industry estimates of million dollar piracy losses are inflated, Ben Jones argues for complainers to put up or shut up. He agrees with Ohio State University law professor Daniel Chow that the affected industry members should present data to ...