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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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The Big Idea for Sunday, June 09, 2013

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers coined the term "zoobiquity" in their wonderful book on pan-species medicine Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal HealthNatterson-Horowitz and Bowers explore just how much the animal kingdom has to teach us about what it is to be human.

Kevin Strange, professor and director of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) in Maine, lives this idea and works through it every day. Strange writes in today's lesson that the interrelatedness of all life "has important implications for how we understand the inner workings of our biology and for how we develop therapies to treat the thousands of diseases that plague our species."

That means we need interdisciplinary research to see the bigger picture, not specialization. "It is not an option, but a societal obligation to remove the silos, reemphasize evolutionary science and broaden biological and biomedical thinking," Strange writes. "Only in this manner can we hope to solve the myriad of human health problems in the most rapid, economical and innovative ways."  


  1. 1 Humans are Related to All Life on Earth: Why This is Important for our Health
    Kevin Strange The Scientific Ideas of Our Time
  2. 2 The Future of 21st Century Science: Tearing Down Knowledge Silos
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  3. 3 Joi Ito's Deep Dive
    Joi Ito
  4. 4 5 Bio Books and Blogs for Summer
    Big Think Editors What to Read


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