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

Live Longer And Prosper (After Life in the NFL)

September 15, 2009, 11:21 AM

If you enjoyed watching the thunderous hits and tackles of the NFL's opening weekend, remember this: playing pro football isn't exactly the route to a long, full life. Thanks to the wear and tear of bone rattling collisions, and carrying more weight that a human frame is supposed to, America's favorite weekend warriors have a life expectancy that's more than two decades shorter than the average person's. Can we make life after football better for players?

Yesterday the AP reported that a few players took the problem into their own hand in a rather grisly manner. NFL players Matt Birk, Lofa Tatupu, and Sean Morey announced that they would donate their brains after death to science—specifically, the Boston University med school program that studies traumatic brain injuries. More than 150 former athletes have signed up, hoping the center's studies could help future players recover better from damaging hits to the head.

In Denver, they're looking at the heart. Cardiologist Jeffery Boone, as a part of an organization funded by former athletes called Health Force Partners, conducts heart screenings for them. Many former players experience palpitations and other heart problems and seriously high risks for heart attack or stroke, which Boone tries to catch early and treat to diminish the likelihood of a major incident.

And there's the weight problem, documented back in 2006 by the St. Petersburg Times. By the standard body mass index measures, 97 percent of NFL players were overweight and 56 percent classified as obese. It's tough enough on a young body to carry that weight, and then players must try to drop pounds in a hurry when they retire—not easy when you're used to eating multiple dinners.

Pro athletes always say that they know what they're getting into, that it's worth the health risk to follow their love of the game (or the money). Hopefully, though, science can help us take better care of players once their playing days are over.


Live Longer And Prosper (Af...

Newsletter: Share: