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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Blog Posts

IdeaFeed

Hermaphrochickens

Missing
about 4 years ago

“Chicken sex doesn’t work like ours. No, not that sex — but the process by which an embryo becomes a recognizably male or female animal. Unlike mammals, it’s not hormones that dictate a chicken’s sex. It’s a fundamental property of the cells themselves. But this only became apparent when biologists ...

IdeaFeed

Treading On Eggshell

Missing
about 4 years ago

Remarkably well preserved genetic information has been found in the fossilised eggshells of an extinct species of elephant bird from Madagascar, the biggest bird ever to walk this earth – or at least known to have existed. Resembling Big Bird from Sesame Street, the creature’s DNA was discovered by ...

IdeaFeed

Mouse ADHD Clue

Missing
about 4 years ago

A new study using mice has revealed that the root of psychiatric disorder attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might be found in an overactive protein which is responsible for regulating the dopaminergic pathways. Although ADHD is typically seen as a condition affecting teenagers, it also ...

IdeaFeed

Ungrateful Dead?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Two new exhibitions about band the Grateful Dead have just opened at the New York Historical Society and the University of California, proving the dead live on. The New York Times reports: “’The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society,’ which continues through July 4, includes ...

IdeaFeed

Gender Gap

Missing
about 4 years ago

A century after International Women’s Day was founded to promote gender equality a stark gender gap still exists in the workplace in countries across the world. “A new report by the World Economic Forum finds that even though more women are employed around the world than ever before, and now make up ...

IdeaFeed

Democracy Mockery

Missing
about 4 years ago

Worldwide indignation has met new election laws announced by Burma’s military rulers, in what US government spokesperson Philip Crowley has said is a “democratic mockery.” The BBC reports: “Burma has prohibited political prisoners - including the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi - from ...

IdeaFeed

Jobs vs. Climate

Missing
about 4 years ago

Should American lawmakers roll back a few environmental protection laws, including the landmark bill to reduce greenhouse emissions, in favor of boosting the US job market? That is the question residents of Las Angeles are considering after Republican lawmakers proposed the roll back as a way to ...

IdeaFeed

Condoms for Kids?

Missing
about 4 years ago

Do specially made “extra small” condoms for children sound like a good idea, asks Marlon Abrahams, in response to a new safe sex campaign targeting 12-year-olds in Switzerland? Comically titled the “Hotshot”, the new kind of condom has been developed by the Swiss government after a survey showed ...

IdeaFeed

Right To Privacy

Missing
about 4 years ago

Privacy laws being invoked by opponents of same-sex marriage, giving them the right to be unseen and anonymous in court, is like a “drive-by assault” to gay rights activists. Despite gay marriage being made legal in the District of Columbia yesterday, elsewhere US lawmakers are still wrangling with ...

IdeaFeed

Bubble Trouble

Missing
about 4 years ago

Those enthusiasts about China’s perky economy should heed the warnings of Premier Wen Jiabao on the dangers of overinvestment producing another economic bubble, writes The Washington Post’s David Ignatius. China watchers need to look more closely as its biggest problem is that its growth is unstable ...

Politeia

How We Subsidize Obesity

Pyramid
about 4 years ago

Bloggers are talking today about a striking chart comparing the foods we should be eating with the foods the government subsidizes. The chart, originally published in 2007 by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), shows two side-by-side food pyramids. On the right is a version of ...

Trend World

How Much Does God Make Our Decisions For Us?

Church
about 4 years ago

The prevailing wisdom among millions of people on this planet is that God governs everything that happens. That idea about God has been a source of debate for some time now, but if we can’t agree on which god does what on this planet, we are starting to learn that, even if God doesn’t control the ...

Focal Point

Stupak Smoke Signals

Myth_buster_blackberry_hcr
about 4 years ago

Rep. Bart Stupak is being coy. On Monday, the anti-choice Democrat told a town hall meeting that there was "no such thing as compromise" on abortion funding under health care reform. Yet, in the next breath, he said he was "more optimistic than [he] was a week ago" that some kind of deal could be ...

IdeaFeed

Loosening Pelosi

Missing
about 4 years ago

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grip on power appears to be loosening as in recent weeks she has faced a series of subtle but significant challenges to her authority, Politico reports. Unaccustomed to hearing the word “no,” Pelosi has had to deal with vocal opposition from Democrats on the Ways and ...