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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Blog Posts

As I Please

Europe: David Cameron's Achilles Heel

Davidcameron_glob_inst
over 4 years ago

The second week of Britain’s General Election campaign ended with many commentators – and even more voters – yawning and complaining that this is fast becoming the most boring General Election in memory. Earlier in the week, I slipped quietly into the back of meeting in my home town of Buckingham ...

IdeaFeed

Waking Life

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Understanding waking consciousness, sleep and dreams depends on how the lines are drawn among them," writes author Siri Hustvedt. "Ernest Hartman at Tufts University School of Medicine proposes a waking-to-dreaming continuum, a range of states that move from highly self-conscious, logical, category ...

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Memories Move Us

Missing
over 4 years ago

New research finds that the movements of our bodies "influence the recollection of emotional memories, as well as the speed with which they are recalled." Scientists investigating "embodied cognition"—the affect of the body on mental activity—have already found ways in which our thoughts are ...

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A Role to Play

Missing
over 4 years ago

In a new book, anthropologist and neuroscientist Melvin Konner explores the biological evolution of human behavior and specifically the behavior of children, looking at how "play" affects our development. Konner found that the smartest mammals are also the most playful, indicating that the traits ...

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Discriminating Women

Missing
over 4 years ago

Evolutionary psychologists have long thought that women are choosier than men when it comes to dating because in prehistoric times "dating" was much riskier for women—men could shrug off a one-night-stand, while women who chose an unfit mate could end up with years of motherhood without the help of ...

IdeaFeed

Heirloom Hybrids

Missing
over 4 years ago

A number of plant breeders are offering hybrid heirloom tomatoes this year that they claim "have the distinct flavors and funky looks of heirlooms but are more disease-resistant and abundantly productive." Tomato purists may cringe, but some of the new varieties "are bred to better withstand ...

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Drunk Tank

Missing
over 4 years ago

A taxpayer-funded bar in the German city of Kiel caters to a very particular clientele: unemployed alcoholics. "The Sofa is Germany's first drinking room, a sort of crash smoking room for alcoholics. Most of the people who frequent the place are serious alcoholics and are allowed to bring their own ...