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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Extreme Biology

The new rules for living longer and healthier

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Extreme Biology

5 Bio Books and Blogs for Summer

12 months ago

Spring. It's one of the nature's greatest shows, and a prime time for observing natural science. This spring has been a chilly one, and scientists, farmers and all sorts of outdoors enthusiasts are wondering if nature is out of sync, especially in the midwestern United States. "Spring has gone ...

Extreme Biology

A New Way To Share How You Feel

12 months ago

Abstract Expressionism is now over half a century old, and in all those years nobody has bothered to improve upon the antiquated techniques of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. If you want to express your emotions, the expectation is that you spill or spread colorful pigments onto a swathe of canvas ...

Extreme Biology

Today's Big Idea: Medical Ecology

12 months ago

The study of the human microbiome is a fast emerging field of scientific endeavor, driven by the idea that we need to rethink our relationship to the 100 trillion microbes that reside in the human body. While we have been blasting these bacteria with antibiotics for many years, closer investigation ...

Extreme Biology

Darwin Saw a Shared Humanity

12 months ago

Many people think about Darwin strictly in terms of, if you will, gladiatorial combat.  Person A is in conflict with person B because they both desire some object in their environment or whatever it might be.   But when you read the later Darwin, The Descent of Man, it’s very clear.  He ...

Extreme Biology

Meet Flipperbot, the Amphibious Robot

12 months ago

Flipperbot, the robot in the video below, was designed to test how sea turtles and other real-life organisms move outside the water. Flipperbot walks and crawls on complex surfaces to give researchers a better understanding of how a baby sea turtle can navigate tracks of beach sand. As it turns out ...

Extreme Biology

The Pleasure of Utterly Arbitrary Things

12 months ago

For humans and monkeys mere information can be pleasurable, even if that information is not useful in any way, or doesn’t have any adaptive value in and of itself.   So for example, you could set up an experiment where a monkey has a light flash and then the monkey can have a choice of either ...

Extreme Biology

The Dark Side of Antioxidants

12 months ago

The story of the dark side of antioxidant research isn't well known outside of medical circles. It's an unseemly story, profoundly unsettling; a story that refuses to be made pretty or happy or uplifting no matter how hard you try to duct-tape a silver lining around it. It doesn't fit the ...