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

Protecting Children In China's Polluted Urban Areas

April 24, 2013, 8:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

With air pollution levels in Beijing and other major Chinese cities at record highs in the last few months, parents and others are finding themselves consumed with anxiety over the health of their children. Some are choosing schools based on the level of built-in environmental safety measures, such as air filtration systems. In response, administrators are canceling field trips and outdoor physical education classes on bad days, or -- in the case of two elite schools -- building synthetic domes over their athletic fields so students can exercise regardless of the weather or the air quality. And face masks "are now part of the urban dress code."

What's the Big Idea?

Despite plenty of research linking air quality to health outcomes for children and fetuses, the Chinese government doesn't seem to be doing enough to rectify the problem. In fact, analysts predict that coal and gas emissions will increase in the next decade. This has only stoked the fires of fury and distrust among urban residents, and has caused some Chinese and non-Chinese expatriates to leave the country entirely. Even people who were thinking of coming to China for work at the US State Department are reconsidering, and a salary "hardship bonus" of between 10 and 30 percent isn't swaying them.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The New York Times


Protecting Children In Chin...

Newsletter: Share: