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

Learning from the Past

The Big Idea for Monday, April 29, 2013

Particularly in economics, there are plenty of old ideas that need to be put to bed. And yet, these ideas keep showing up, in the punditocracy, or in the blogosphere. They're everywhere you look. 

In today's lesson, Big Think Chief Economist Daniel Altman points out that "it's getting harder and harder to cut through what's just talk and what's actually supported by empirical evidence." 

Fortunately, Altman also points us to a remedy: rigorous review. This idea itself, is not new. In fact, it's a method of evaluation that goes back to ancient Greece. It needs to be reclaimed.

Furthermore, Altman points out, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has created a forum where experts vet ideas. So if you're looking to see through the smoke and mirrors, there is a place to go. 



  1. 1 How to See Past the Economic Smoke and Mirrors
    Daniel Altman Econ201
  2. 2 Your Guide on How to Immunize Yourself Against Misinformation in 2013
    Neurobonkers Neurobonkers
  3. 3 A Software Toolkit for Your Information Diet
    Clay Johnson
  4. 4 The Pseudoscience of Bjørn Lomborg, Global Warming Denier
    James Lawrence Powell In Their Own Words

Learning from the Past

Newsletter: Share: