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

Should the US Return to Firing Squads?

May 18, 2014, 11:00 AM

What's the Latest?

Some states are discussing returning to firing squads to execute prisoners after the lethal injection of an Oklahoma inmate went wrong last month due to the use of an untested chemical cocktail. The cause of the incident is widely thought to be the European Union's ban on certain chemical exports which it restricts because of its opposition to capital punishment. "This has caused a shortage of the drugs previously used in executions. States have turned to less-precise compounding pharmacies to create new drug cocktails, the details about which are closely guarded secrets in some states."

What's the Big Idea?

Observers of the execution process say talk of firing squads is more political theatre than earnest policy proposal. Because states are increasingly given to using untested chemicals to carry out executions, some legislatures have passed secrecy laws that shield the chemical providers from public scrutiny. And because the image of firing squads is unpalatable--"there would be smoke and blood and smells and people would be sick watching it," said Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center--states believe the public will inevitably prefer lethal injections.

Read more at the BBC


Should the US Return to Fir...

Newsletter: Share: