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

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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.

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Why DARE, Driver's Ed, and Sex Ed Don't Work

January 5, 2010, 2:48 AM

For years, adolescents have yawned their way through an ever-growing crop of programs designed to prevent them from engaging in “bad” or dangerous behavior. From DARE to Driver’s Ed to ‘Sex Ed’ courses that teach students to, well, not have sex, programs based on the assumption that shocking teens with the potential consequences of their actions will have a tangible effect on their behavior have uniformly failed. The problem, as Big Think’s newest guest, Laurence Steinberg, explains, has a neurological basis: adolescent minds process risk in a much different way than their adult teachers, making attempts to modify behavior through knowledge alone almost futile.

As Professor Steinberg notes, this misconception about the adolescent brain has also paved the way for a faulty and unnecessarily punitive juvenile justice system. The groundbreaking psychologist goes on to discuss the cognitive and cultural reasons behind why certain races tend to outperform others in education, as well as the unexpectedly beneficial effect that conflict has on maturity.


Why DARE, Driver's Ed, and ...

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