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

Buddhist Monks: Protectors Of Snow Leopards

September 9, 2013, 9:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists observing a population of snow leopards in China found an unexpected protection force: Buddhist monks. The part of Tibetan plateau that the leopards call home also contains well over a hundred monasteries, with most within a few miles of the animals' habitat. The monks both patrolled the territory and taught the local population that killing the leopards was against Buddhist doctrine. A survey of local families revealed that most abstained from killing wildlife as a result.

What's the Big Idea?

Most of the snow leopard population lives in China, where they are threatened by poachers, who seek their fur and internal organs, and sheep and goat herders. Numbers have dropped by a fifth in the last 20 years, but the scientists discovered that due to the monks' influence, a greater proportion were being protected in their natural habitat than in a specially-designed big cat nature reserve. In a paper recently published in Conservation Biology, biologist and co-author George Schaller noted "how science and the spiritual values of Tibetan Buddhism can combine their visions and wisdom to help protect China's natural heritage." 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at LiveScience


Buddhist Monks: Protectors ...

Newsletter: Share: