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

IdeaFeed

Behind the Veil

Missing
over 4 years ago

With Belgium set to join France in banning women from wearing the burqa or niqab in public, Yassin Musharbash writes that getting rid of the garment won't solve the underlying problems of Muslim immigration and integration that plague Western societies. "Europe stands for the idea of a lively, open ...

IdeaFeed

Ice Age Tree Rings

Missing
over 4 years ago

A team of researchers are hoping to find 30,000 years of climate records in the rings of preserved kauri trees in the peat bogs of New Zealand. Led by Exeter University, the scientists have been awarded a grant to do carbon dating and analysis of the trees, which can provide a very precise picture ...

IdeaFeed

Oh, the Humanities

Missing
over 4 years ago

With tenure-track positions dwindling at universities, Peter Conn writes that humanities faculties need to "articulate our contribution if we hope to find increasing levels of support for the work we do." He says a generation of "dithering," "wishful thinking," and "institutional inertia" is behind ...

IdeaFeed

95-Million-Year-Old Bugs

Missing
over 4 years ago

An 95-million-year-old amber deposit found in Ethiopia includes the fossilized remains of ants, spiders, wasps, and bacteria, and is providing new information about how those species lived in the Cretaceous era -- the time following the age of dinosaurs, when mammals were first beginning to develop ...

IdeaFeed

The New Paternalism

Missing
over 4 years ago

New paternalism came from behavioral economics, which studies how humans deviate from their rational interest, and devises ways to intervene and help them make better choices -- such as a hefty cigarette tax to curb smoking. Glen Whitman writes that while people are certainly susceptible to ...

IdeaFeed

Concentration Nation

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Restlessness, impatience, impulsivity, procrastination, chronic lateness, and difficulty getting organized, focusing and finishing tasks." About 4.4% of American adults are believed to have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and more and more of them are being diagnosed and treated with ...

IdeaFeed

Wean Not

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new study in the journal Pediatrics says that the lives of 900 babies in the U.S. (as well as $13 billion) could be saved each year if their mothers simply continued to breastfeed them through their first six months of life. The study found that a variety of deaths and illnesses among children ...

Strange Maps

454 - Michigan, the Hands-On State

Missing
over 4 years ago

. . Mitte is German for middle or mid, as in Midwest, the geographical designation for 12 US states (1), one of which is Michigan. The Great Lakes State’s Lower (i.e. southern) Peninsula is often called the Mitten, not because of any German connection, but for its similarity to the ...

Daylight Atheism

Fear and Trembling in Mississippi

Dabanner
over 4 years ago

You've probably heard of Constance McMillen, a lesbian student at a Mississippi high school who wanted to bring her girlfriend as her date to her senior prom this year. The school officials, not even attempting to disguise their bigotry, refused to grant permission - and then canceled the entire ...

IdeaFeed

Default Positions

Missing
over 4 years ago

Like the crises in Greece and Ireland, a state-government default would have all sorts of unpleasant consequences in the U.S., writes James Surowiecki. But unlike the struggling European countries, U.S. states can count on help from the federal government, which can generally be counted on to step ...