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

Treading On Eggshell

March 11, 2010, 6:26 AM
Remarkably well preserved genetic information has been found in the fossilised eggshells of an extinct species of elephant bird from Madagascar, the biggest bird ever to walk this earth – or at least known to have existed. Resembling Big Bird from Sesame Street, the creature’s DNA was discovered by Mike Parker Pearson, professor of archaeology at the University of Sheffield in the UK. He made the discovery while on a dig in Madagascar. He says the 19,000-year-old eggs provide “an excellent source of DNA”. The technical name for the species is ‘Aepynornis’ and it is estimated to have weighted about half a ton and would have resembled an overgrown ostrich. “Parker Pearson found many of the bird’s nesting sites and some of the human settlements where the giant eggs were re-used as containers for liquids in the coastal dunes of southern Madagascar. The team radiocarbon dated the fossil eggshells and say their chemical composition can be used to shed light on past environments. This new study will enable a DNA profile to be produced, Parker Pearson says. Most of the birds appear to have died out before AD 1000, when a lost civilization emerged in the south of Madagascar, with long-distance trade contacts to Africa’s Swahili coast, the Persian Gulf and China.”

Treading On Eggshell

Newsletter: Share: