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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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.

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IdeaFeed Posts

Big ideas in the news from around the web

IdeaFeed

Coffin Aisle

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, now plans to hold on to customers even after they die - by selling coffins. Prices range from a ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad Remembered’ steel coffin for $895, to a bronze model at $2,899. The retailer is allowing customers to plan ahead by paying for the caskets over 12 ...

IdeaFeed

Bloody Minded

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Jumping spiders apparently use blood as a perfume to attract the opposite sex,” writes newglobalwarmingeffects.com. “The jumping spider Evarcha culicivora, which dwells near Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, hungers after mosquitoes engorged with blood. Scientists have even found this 5 ...

IdeaFeed

Radioactive Monkeys

Missing
over 4 years ago

NASA will expose between 18 and 28 squirrel monkeys to low dosages of radiation in an attempt to mimic the radioactive levels experienced by astronauts and monitor the physical effects of such exposure. The scientists are particularly interested in the affect it will have on the animals’ nervous ...

IdeaFeed

Empty Food Fetish

Missing
over 4 years ago

For the bulk of American environmentalists, 'natural' food is synonymous with sustainability. Yet, writes Seed Magazine's Maywa Montenegro, this science-shirking faith in natural solutions may be a significant barrier to our ability to adequately respond to the challenges of responsible food ...

IdeaFeed

Public Gutting

Missing
over 4 years ago

“In her infamous first sentence of ‘The Journalist and the Murderer’, Janet Malcolm swings for the fences and proclaims that ‘every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.’ She means that journalists use ...

IdeaFeed

Man of 112 Weds Teen

Missing
over 4 years ago

A man who claims to be 112-years-old has married a 17-year-old girl. Hundreds of people attended their wedding in Galguduud, central Somalia. The man, Ahmed Muhamed Dore, who already has 18 children by five wives, told the BBC that he would like to have further children with his newest wife. "Today ...

IdeaFeed

Light Migration

Missing
over 4 years ago

“A cell in the eye may be worth two in the beak, at least when it comes to a migratory bird’s magnetic compass. In European robins, a visual center in the brain and light-sensing cells in the eye — not magnetic sensing cells in the beak — allow the songbirds to sense which direction is north and ...

IdeaFeed

Down the Farm

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Farming, which many city folk once associated primarily with children's books and distinctive if not entirely flattering tan lines, is suddenly in vogue,” writes the LA Times. “Never mind that most of the food we eat comes not from cozy acreages reminiscent of the setting of ‘Charlotte's Web’ but ...

IdeaFeed

Sidelining Parents

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Human Sperm and eggs have been grown in the laboratory in a breakthrough process that could change parenthood forever. Infertile men and women could have children that are biologically their own,” writes babychums.com. The website remarks on the moral and ethical concerns of such a break through ...

IdeaFeed

Peeing on Jesus

Missing
over 4 years ago

“Comedian Larry David is under attack from critics who say he pushed the mocking of religion and Christian belief in miracles over the edge in the latest episode of his HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which the cable network defended as ‘playful.’ On the show's most recent instalment, which aired ...

IdeaFeed

Google Music

Missing
over 4 years ago

From today Google will integrate song preview and purchase links in its search index so that users who enter music queries will be provided with a list of relevant songs from its partner companies MySpace and LaLa. Users can then play songs in preview and decide whether or not to buy and download ...

IdeaFeed

Osama Close Up?

Missing
over 4 years ago

In a new video of a sermon by Abu Yahya al Libi released by Al Qaeda’s media unit on Tuesday night a shadowy figure can be seen in the blurred footage which some Italian media are suggesting is Osama Bin Laden. “The screen grabs that were taken from the video are frustratingly blurry, but the figure ...

IdeaFeed

Sliding Drug Scale

Missing
over 4 years ago

The British government’s chief drugs adviser has sparked controversy by claiming that ecstasy, LSD and cannabis are less harmful than cigarettes and alcohol. The claims were made by chairman of the advisory council Professor David Nutt as he attacked the government’s decision to upgrade cannabis to ...

IdeaFeed

Cosmic Dark Age

Missing
over 4 years ago

“The most distant object ever observed in space has provided scientists with an unprecedented insight into the ‘cosmic dark ages’ following the birth of the Universe some 13.7 billion years ago,” reports The Independent. “A gigantic explosion on the edge of the known Universe has been confirmed as ...

IdeaFeed

Cartoon Terror Plot

Missing
over 4 years ago

An American and a Canadian have been arrested in Chicago charged with preparing terrorist attacks against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper – the paper which was condemned worldwide for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed – and other Danish targets. “Those charged are reported to be David ...