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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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.

Find out more

Recent eruptions on Venus (no April Fools this time)

April 8, 2010, 12:24 PM

Idunn Mons on Venus with recent emissivity data from the Venus Express overlaid on the topography, suggesting recent lava flows.

NASA released images today that suggest that the surface of Venus has experienced some relatively recent volcanic events (geologically speaking). By examining the surface in infrared, the Venus Express, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) has found that three spots on the surface exhibit signs of recent volcanism. The long-and-short of the research lead by Dr. Sue Smrekar of JPL is that a number of Venutian lava flows (shown above on Idunn Mons) show less evidence of weathering at the surface of Venus, based on their composition - suggesting that these flows may be geologically young. In the press release, the estimate for the age of the flows is as "recent as 2,500,000 years", which to many people seems old, but geologically, those are young flows, especially on a planet where the current level of geologic activity is unclear. However, the JPL team goes on to suggest that these flows could be even younger than 2.5 million years and might suggest current activity on the second planet. The surface of Venus is almost entirely relatively free of impact crater, which suggests to some that the surface must be young, but as of yet, we have no direct evidence of current evidence of eruptions. All the activity on Venus would appear to be basaltic based on data collected by Russian Venera landers, although some features look like rhyolite domes as well (their origin is unknown). However, there has been some tantalizing hints of a potentially active neighbor.


Recent eruptions on Venus (...

Newsletter: Share: