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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What's Being Done To Prevent Another Henrietta Lacks Case?

August 13, 2013, 2:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Last week, an agreement went into effect between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the family of Henrietta Lacks, a woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and whose cell line -- taken without consent and used without permission -- influenced cancer studies for 60 years. With it, a measure of privacy has been returned to her genetic descendants, but writer Taylor Beck questions whether enough is being done to ensure that others' genomes are similarly protected at a time when it's becoming easier than ever to hack them.

What's the Big Idea?

Beck writes, "In most states, it's legal for doctors to take blood or tissue samples for research, without consent, as long as they were taken for a medical reason and stripped of 'identifying information' like a name or social security number." However, technology will soon exist that could eventually allow a hacker to decode that identifying information and use it to impact a person's employment or insurability. In 2011, the US government released a proposed policy that addressed many of the privacy and consent questions involved in the Lacks case. Two years later, the proposal has not made much progress.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read at FastCompany/Co.Labs


What's Being Done To Preven...

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