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

Rubik's Cube at 30

Missing
over 4 years ago

The Rubik's Cube will turn 30 years old next month, notes Stefany Anne Golberg, who looks at the appeal of the 3x3x3 puzzle's initial impossibility, and the obsessive need to master it. "If the Rubik’s Cube is like life (a metaphor Rubik himself made) then a good life is like a good puzzle," she ...

IdeaFeed

The Future of Reading

Missing
over 4 years ago

What does the emergence of e-readers mean for writers, for storytelling, for the place of fiction in the cultural landscape? Author Paul Theroux says that e-books seem "magical" to him, but that something is lost when we give up the "physicality" of a book–and how one makes a book their own by ...

IdeaFeed

Age of Justice

Missing
over 4 years ago

President Obama's job in picking a new Supreme Court justice is made tougher by the thin bench left to him after eight years of Republican rule. In fact, too many of the Democrats' best-credentialed judges "would be too old to carve out a meaningful legacy if picked to succeed [Justice John Paul ...

IdeaFeed

Laugh Line

Missing
over 4 years ago

"Hyenas, particularly the African spotted hyena, with its massive jaws, hulking shoulders, and startling laugh, have been terribly misunderstood," writes Constance Casey. "The creatures may not be beautiful, but they don't deserve contempt." She admits that among furred creatures, the hyena is vying ...

IdeaFeed

Other Earths?

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists now believe that the trace metal contaminants around ancient sun-like stars are "remnants of rocky, potentially water-bearing bodies that crashed into their mother stars." This finding increases the likelihood that other Earth-like planets exist in other solar systems, and dismisses the ...

IdeaFeed

Climate and Critters

Missing
over 4 years ago

A new study suggests that birds, bats, and lizards may play an important part in preserving the Earth's climate by eating insects that forage on plant life. “The presence, abundance and diversity of birds, bats and lizards, the top predators in the insect world, has impacts on the growth of plants ...

IdeaFeed

Herb Hating

Missing
over 4 years ago

Despite the fact that cilantro is happily consumed by millions of people around the world, it inspires "a primal revulsion among an outspoken minority of eaters" who say it tastes like soap. Studies have suggested that some people are genetically predisposed to dislike the herb, and flavor chemists ...

IdeaFeed

Stress Cases

Missing
over 4 years ago

The hormones associated with chronic stress may indirectly promote the spread of cancer in the body by hurting the immune system's anti-tumor mechanisms and encouraging new blood vessels to form. Researcher Anil Sood says he now hopes to find ways to interfere with these tumor-feeding stress ...

IdeaFeed

Adopting and Adapting

Missing
over 4 years ago

The recent case of a Tennessee woman who sent her 7-year-old adopted Russian child back to Moscow is becoming a test for the international adoption vetting process, writes Daniel Wood. It indicates that prospective parents need to be properly scrutinized and must have a better understanding of the ...

What's New at Big Think

Tales of a Fossil Hunter

Lucy2
over 4 years ago

If looking for ancient bones to dig up sounds like hard work, that's because it is. According to anthropologist Donald Johanson, even modern tools such as GPS don't save scientists from having to "look and look and look and look" for fossils. Yet as the discoverer of the famous "Lucy" skeleton knows ...

Strange Maps

457 - Bienvenue à Shakespeareville

Leshakespeare
over 4 years ago

English? Shmenglish. Not longer than 250 years ago, France basked in the glory of its uncontested cultural superiority. French was the sole language of civilised and courtly discourse throughout Europe. French art, philosophy and literature shone like beacons of haute culture, showing the way for ...