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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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think Edge

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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

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 ...

IdeaFeed

Organics and Ethics

Missing
over 4 years ago

University of Toronto researchers Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong have found that exposure to organic and environmentally friendly products leads people to act more altruistically. The study also showed, however, that "people act less altruistically and are more likely to cheat and steal after ...

IdeaFeed

Darwin a Historian?

Missing
over 4 years ago

"If ever there was a scientific theory that is fundamentally historical, that purports to explain change over time, it is evolution through natural selection and its corollary, humankind’s dual inheritance." writes Donald Worster. "Yet I have to admit that my fellow historians, teaching in history ...

What's New at Big Think

A Big, Wasteful Human Lightbulb

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over 4 years ago

Not that you spend too much time wondering what life would be like if you were a light bulb…but, in case you’re curious, your body’s existence is equivalent to a 100-watt light bulb, left on 24 hours a day. Now, add in the amount of energy it takes to create the material goods necessary to fuel your ...

Brave Green World

What’s In A Name: Organic By The Numbers

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over 4 years ago

If you’ve spent time with an environmentalist in the past few years, you’ve probably had a conversation that went something like this: You: I’ve switched to organic peanut butter! After two months, it tastes normal to me. I feel like I’m protecting my health and saving the world! Crunchy: The ...