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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Healthcare's Data Problem

October 1, 2009, 2:21 PM
Dna_intercalation.jpeg

Yesterday, Big Think went West to Mountain View, CA to sit down with Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of personal genetics company 23andMe, a Google-backed start-up that makes home genetics tests available to consumers for around $400. Wojcicki spoke about the "data problem" of modern health care that drives 23andMe's mission -- in short, we're trying to solve medicine's great challenges and mysteries using too little information from too few real-world patients. Because of their high costs, some clinical trials are conducted with as few as a few dozen patients, leaving a high margin for error and scientists to draw only vague conclusions, in many cases. Wojcicki envisions a future in which low cost genetic testing permits patient communities to contribute data that is magnitudes of order more comprehensive than the sample sets of today. That could mean more medical innovations over radically shortened discovery cycles.

Wojcicki also spoke about her unique vantage point as an entrepreneur -- Google was founded in her parent's garage by her now husband Sergey Brin and his partner Larry Page. She also addressed the controversies and ethical dilemmas surrounding her work, which were the subject of Big Think's Breakthroughs forum on genetics last summer. Stay tuned for Wojcicki's full interview to get a peak into how you might one day understand the finest inner workings of, well, YOU.

 

Healthcare's Data Problem

Newsletter: Share: