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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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Taxing Wall Street

Missing
over 4 years ago

As the rich get richer in New York public services are meanwhile bracing themselves for “draconian” cuts. To save New York, tax Wall Street, writes The Guardian’s Sadhbh Walshe. “Life in New York is about to get very interesting. Like so many other states, New York is in the red, facing a budget ...

IdeaFeed

Unknown Ancestor

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have been stunned by DNA analysis of a bone fragment discovered in a Russian cave which appears to reveal the existence of a hitherto unknown ancestor: Woman X. The fossilized bone fragment is the little finger of a child who lived about 40,000 years ago in the Altai Mountains of southern ...

IdeaFeed

Baffling Complaint?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Of all the conservative complaints about health care reform, the one I find most baffling is the notion that the financing is phoney because it fails to account for physician pay increases. The complaint is 100% phoney. And yet it continues to be repeated over and over in the conservative media ...

IdeaFeed

Kiddie Depression

Missing
over 4 years ago

Are children in America are being over-diagnosed and over medicated by doctors, parents and schools more concerned to make them better behaved than for their wellbeing? This question is asked by Judith Warner, author of new book “We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication”. She ...

IdeaFeed

Suspended Animation

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Usually when I mention suspended animation people will flash me the Vulcan sign and laugh," remarks scientist Mark Roth. But he’s not referring to Star Trek. He’s completely serious about putting some organisms into suspended animation to help people survive medical trauma. Speaking at the TED2010 ...

IdeaFeed

Climate Response

Missing
over 4 years ago

“This week, 200 scientists will gather in an attempt to determine how research into the possibilities of geoengineering the planet to combat climate change should proceed. They say it’s necessary because of the riskiness and scale of the experiments that could be undertaken — and the moral ...

IdeaFeed

Israel’s View

Missing
over 4 years ago

“For decades, mainstream Israeli politicians have taken pride in their fingertip feel for the subtleties of American life and politics. Israeli diplomats know the meeting halls of the Midwest almost as well as they do the breakfast room at the Regency Hotel. So it has been disturbing to see, during ...

IdeaFeed

Dirty Diaper Motor

Missing
over 4 years ago

Australian car manufacturer Holden is hoping to develop a car fuelled by household waste such as food scraps and dirty diapers within the next two years. The company has formed a consortium with Caltex, the Victorian Government and three other technology companies to investigate whether an ethanol ...

IdeaFeed

Spice Of Life

Missing
over 4 years ago

A key component in a popular Indian spice could delay liver damage and cirrhosis, according to a new study published in the research journal “Gut.” Curcumin, which gives turmeric its bright yellow hue, has traditionally been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat varying gastrointestinal ...

IdeaFeed

Insecure Medical Records?

Missing
over 4 years ago

“I learned about the lack of health privacy when I hung out my shingle as a psychiatrist. Patients asked if I could keep their records private if they paid for care themselves. They had lost jobs or reputations because what they said in the doctor's office didn't always stay in the doctor's office ...

IdeaFeed

Bigger Last Supper

Missing
over 4 years ago

Portion sizes in paintings of Jesus’ Last Supper have grown exponentially in the last 1,000 years in a strange parallel of changing eating habits, showing that art imitates life. Scientists have found that in various renditions of Christ’s last meal, the size of the plates being eaten off by the ...

IdeaFeed

The Vote Getter

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Before we all finish with healthcare reform once and for all, the Washington Post has one of those long, breathless ‘tick-tock’ features rounding up the behind-the-scenes details on the battle for healthcare reform, as its reporters channel Bob Woodward, complete with blind quotes and ability to ...

IdeaFeed

Secret Meeting

Missing
over 4 years ago

In a break with diplomatic custom, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netinyahu held closed-door talks at the White House yesterday in an attempt to smooth US-Israeli relations. Unusually for a state visit, reporters were not invited to see the pair shake hands and begin their talks ...

IdeaFeed

Ghost Ranch

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West would be the perfect illustrations to a Cormac McCarthy book,” writes NPR. “They have a surreal beauty and poetic emptiness that border on the fictional. It's as if this isn't the real West, but the West of tall tales and American dreams. It's ...

IdeaFeed

The Perfect Marriage

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Marriage in America is in disarray, or so they say. Americans, among the marryingest people in the world, are also the divorcingest. Even during the downturn, business is up at eHarmony, which has taken credit for one out of every fifty weddings in the United States, but ‘The State of Our Unions ...