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

Are Vegetarians Smarter?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Only recently has vegetarianism become a diet that could survive natural selection, so could it be that vegetarians are smarter than the rest of us? Surprisingly strong evidence says yes. "Among the British respondents in the National Child Development Study, those who are vegetarian at age 42 have ...

IdeaFeed

China Avoids Conflict

Missing
about 4 years ago

Despite the fact that North Korea's aggressive behavior threatens China, the Chinese are so far reluctant to support international action against its neighbor. Is China a friendly giant? The Independent says that China is in a unique position to influence the behavior of its odd neighbor to the ...

IdeaFeed

Does Privacy Still Matter?

Missing
about 4 years ago

While Facebook's current privacy setting have created an outcry, history is filled with examples of social norms conforming to technological developments, writes The Wall Street Journal. "In 2006, Mr. Zuckerberg added a new feature, News Feed, which lets people check for updates by their friends in ...

IdeaFeed

The Hubris of Climate Change

Missing
about 4 years ago

Should humans harmonize with nature of seek to manipulate and master it? These two polar views of man's role on earth could determine whether we survive climate change, says Tikkun. Paul Wapner writes that, "Ethical action involves deliberation and the conscious choice to restrict acting on one's ...

IdeaFeed

When to Retire?

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Retirement, like other post-industrial inventions like electricity or television, has become a luxury we’ve come to expect and rely upon," says the Economist, but it hasn't always been this way. When Otto von Bismarck first introduced the idea in 19th-century Germany, the age at which one was due ...

IdeaFeed

Generation Confidence

Missing
about 4 years ago

Generation Y is often mocked for its narcissism and supreme self confidence, but Judith Warner writes that pumped-up egos may be just the thing for weathering our economic storm. "A consensus has emerged that, psychologically, they’re a generation of basket cases: profoundly narcissistic and ...

IdeaFeed

The New Abortion Debate

Missing
about 4 years ago

Nancy Cohen at the L.A. Times says the traditional terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" are too simplistic to have a constructive debate over abortion; she calls for more nuanced language. Cohen criticizes the anti-abortion camp for framing itself as "pro-life", a term she believes people naturally ...

IdeaFeed

Gulf Spill Is Minor

Missing
about 4 years ago

The British Petroleum rig spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico pales in comparison to amount of oil spilled annually in Nigeria, a reminder of the double standard when it comes to poor countries. "If this Gulf accident had happened in Nigeria, neither the government nor the company would have paid ...

IdeaFeed

Noise Pollution Hospital

Missing
about 4 years ago

"The things patients complain about, like excessive noise, may be more than a nuisance. They may actually be bad for their health," writes Drake Bennett on noise pollution in hospitals. "The fight to quiet the hospital is part of a growing appreciation of the ways that hospitals themselves can be ...

IdeaFeed

Addicted to Meth

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Can aquatic snails better remember lessons learned when they are hopped up on methamphetamine?" Scientific American says the answer could give insight into the nature of addiction. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, found that crystal meth greatly aided the retention of ...

IdeaFeed

Viagra for Women

Missing
about 4 years ago

A new pill which a German pharmaceutical company will soon present to the FDA for approval raises medical and safety concerns since it claims to boost women's libidos. Psychoanalyst Paul Joannides is sure that the drug, if approved, would be used commonly to spike women's drinks on college campus ...

IdeaFeed

Immigration Solution

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Stop focusing on trying to keep illegal immigrants out and start focusing on letting legal immigrants in," says Steve Chapman in response to hullabaloo over Arizona's immigration law. "Enforcement-only advocates often say they are not opposed to foreigners coming here as long as they follow the ...

IdeaFeed

Pakistan Drone Attacks

Missing
about 4 years ago

"Drone strikes may not be perfect, but they're likely the most humane option available," writes C. Fair who calls for greater transparency in the currently classified drone program over Pakistan. Because the drone missions are run by the Central Intelligence Agency, the program is classified and the ...

IdeaFeed

Who Was Charles Dickens?

Missing
about 4 years ago

"He was almost certainly the best-known man in England in the middle of the nineteenth century, and certainly the most loved," but was Charles Dicken's internal life as celebratory? "Dickens never really recovered from the searing despair he felt at the plunge from respectable lower-middle-class ...

IdeaFeed

Exercise and Sleep Well?

Missing
about 4 years ago

If you're after a good night's sleep, the belief that exercise helps you rest well is more important than exercise itself, says a new Swiss study published in the U.S. "The most practical advice that science can offer at the moment about exercise and sleep is not to fret too much about whether you ...