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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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Laws and Drones

Missing
over 4 years ago

The moral and legal debate over the use of military drone aircraft has sparked up again, raising questions about how adequately the current laws of war have been adapted to the age of terrorism. "To negate the tactical advantages abusive civilians have and to minimize our casualties, we must attack ...

IdeaFeed

Quake Sense

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have found that toads may be able to predict earthquakes. The behavior of a group of common toads showed a dramatic change five days before an earthquake struck L’Aquila, Italy last April, according to Rachel Grant of the Open University in Milton Keynes, U.K. Grant said the toads ...

IdeaFeed

Israel's Friendships

Missing
over 4 years ago

Princeton professor Gary Bass looks at how Israel lost its formerly robust alliance with France in 1967, and what that precedent might indicate for the current chilling of the country's relations with the Obama Administration. "In the same way that many French officials tried to balance France’s ...

IdeaFeed

Grease Insulation

Missing
over 4 years ago

A group of scientists is hoping to transform fast food waste oil into a high-tech polymer and create a "smart roof coating system" which will help to insulate homes. The coating reacts to the environment by undergoing a "phase change" at a certain temperature, switching from heat-absorbing to heat ...

IdeaFeed

The Missing Ice Age

Missing
over 4 years ago

Scientists have discovered the reason why the earth wasn't covered with a layer of ice four billion years ago, when the Sun's radiation was much less than it is today. The question of this "missing ice age" had haunted scientists for over 40 years. Professor Minik Rosing says: "What prevented an ice ...

IdeaFeed

Hunt for a Genetic Killer

Missing
over 4 years ago

Researchers had hoped to find so-called "copy-number variations" -- extra or missing genetic sequences -- in the human genome that might be linked to diseases like breast cancer and diabetes, but have come up empty. CNVs have been linked to some rare diseases, and scientists had hoped to find that ...

IdeaFeed

App Fancy

Missing
over 4 years ago

Some journalists believe that Apple's forthcoming iPad tablet computer could save their industry by providing a context for paid content. Derek Thompson admits that the device could prove revolutionary for popular computing and entertainment, but he thinks that publishers are being overly-optimistic ...