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

The Risk Perception Gap

The Big Idea for Saturday, February 08, 2014

Individuals make bad decisions based on a faulty assessment of risks all the time. Policy makers are human beings too, and subject to the same irrational fears that make them overreact to certain risks that aren't that serious, and under-react to other risks that require serious attention.

The problem is that when politicians make poor decisions based on their faulty assessment of risks, the consequences are all the more profound and potentially damaging to all of us.

In today's lesson, Ethan Nadelmann looks at drug policy as a case in point.

Nadelmann describes the War on Drugs as an example of the risk perception gap becoming a risk in and of itself. Policy has been driven by irrational fears, Nadelmann argues, not by an objective assessment of the real dangers inherent with certain drugs. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 The Drug Risk Perception Gap
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 Understanding Risk Perception to Avoid Its Risks.
    David Ropeik Risk: Reason and Reality
  3. 3 How Medical Research Can Harm Us All
    Tauriq Moosa Against the New Taboo
  4. 4 How Faulty Risk Perception and Politics Put Us All At Risk
    David Ropeik Risk: Reason and Reality
 

The Risk Perception Gap

Newsletter: Share: