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

Mapping the Seas

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have developed two new broadband acoustic systems that could represent a major improvement in how fish and other marine life are counted and classified. "If single frequency sensors provide an image of the ocean that is like looking at a black ...

IdeaFeed

Mommy Tracking

Missing
over 4 years ago

Twenty-one years ago, the term "mommy track" was born in a Harvard Business Review article by Felice N. Schwartz, who warned that inflexible working conditions at companies were causing them to lose many talented women. She suggested companies divide employees into two groups -- one which is focused ...

IdeaFeed

Hipsters in Winter

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite the publication of a new book by Williamsburg comedian Joe Mande making fun of the culture of "white 20-somethings dressed in skinny jeans and lumberjack shirts, and wearing thick-rimmed glasses," the age of the hipster seems to be winding down. Thomas Rogers talks to Mande about his book ...

IdeaFeed

Tilting at Windmills

Missing
over 4 years ago

Edith Grossman found trying to translate Miguel de Cervantes' 400-year old masterpiece "Don Quixote" into modern English somewhat... Quixotic: "The doubts and paradoxical questions that pursue translators must also arise for authors: Is their text an inevitable betrayal of the imagination and the ...

IdeaFeed

Smart Don't Smoke

Missing
over 4 years ago

A Tel Aviv University researcher has found that young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their non-smoking peers. His study, which was conducted on young men in the Israeli army, found that the average IQ for a non-smoker was about seven points higher than that of a smoker. Young men ...

IdeaFeed

Dorothy Parker's Poems

Missing
over 4 years ago

Dorothy Parker's popularity may have been part of the reason that academia was slow to take up her poetry, writes R. S. Gwynn. But now even feminists have taken her into the literary canon. Gwynn looks at two recent editions of Parker's verse that have been released, and at why Parker may have given ...

IdeaFeed

The Jesus Paradox

Missing
over 4 years ago

Two new books offer modern responses to the Christian paradox that Jesus is thought of as both mortal and divine. Paul Johnson, a Roman Catholic journalist, focuses his biography on the earthly life of Jesus, assuming most of the stories of the bible to be true. Atheist novelist Philip Pullman takes ...

Dr. Kaku's Universe

The Glory Days of NASA Are Over

Whatnow
over 4 years ago

Many people were left gasping when President Obama unveiled his new plan for outer space, including his proposal to cancel NASA's Constellation program. It turns out that the great recession of 2008 and 2009 has claimed yet another victim, and this time it's the manned exploration of the Universe ...

Politeia

Drilling for Votes

800px-oil_platform_p-51__brazil_
over 4 years ago

President Obama announced Wednesday that he will open up huge new coastal areas to offshore drilling. The plan would make new areas off the coasts of Virginia and Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico available for drilling for oil and natural gas, and would end a longstanding moratorium on oil ...

IdeaFeed

Smoky Wine

Missing
over 4 years ago

The taste of many 2008 pinot noirs from California's Anderson Valley was tainted by the severe forest fires during the growing season that year. Because of the exposure of the grapes, the wines were affected with "smoke taint," and, in response, growers have had to resort to many additives like ...