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

Differential Pay

The Big Idea for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our 21st century economy is filled with skills gaps. We tend to perceive these gaps in the STEM fields more than anywhere else, perhaps because those gaps are a particularly glaring example of America's declining competitive advantage in the global economy. 

In a free market economy, not all workers are paid equally, because everyone possesses different skills. Some skills are more scarce, and directly connected to economic growth, and therefore are much more highly valued. We have a disconnect, however, when rewards are misaligned with the value of high-skilled labor. Hence the concept of differential pay, which is a controversial idea in a range of areas, specifically education.

In today's lesson, physicist and author Lawrence Krauss argues that we ought to consider a differential pay system in education, in order to add more highly trained teachers in the STEM fields. 


  1. 1 She Who Can, Teaches Science. Now Show Her the Money!
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Jagdish Bhagwati: The Free Market and Morality
    Jagdish Bhagwati
  3. 3 It’s the Prices, Stupid
    George Halvorson
  4. 4 School superintendent to Governor: Please make my school a prison
    Scott McLeod Education Recoded

Differential Pay

Newsletter: Share: