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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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Science Unbound

The Big Idea for Thursday, March 08, 2012

For too long, science has had a bad rap, at least in a American public schools. Perhaps it was all those grave Sputnik-era public service announcements. Perhaps it was the unsettling feeling that came from knowing that it was scientists who created the atomic bomb. Somewhere along the line, the field came to be associated less with inspiration or perspiration, and more with cold, humorless men toiling away in white lab coats. (Yes, we use the word "men" purposefully -- as neuroscientist Joy Hirsch points out, both academia and the lab are still very male-dominated.)

Today we hope to put that stereotype to rest. Jason Gots examines the strangely persistent perception that reason and imagination are intrinsically opposed. Aren't the insights of Newton and Einstein as creative as the works of Blake?, he asks. Scientists certainly have the passion of any poet or composer. And they can be funny, too. Bill Nye explains how science education is like humor, arguing for a radical rethinking of the way science is taught--and perceived--in classrooms everywhere.

Perspectives

  1. 1 No, Seriously. Science Can Be Funny.
    Megan Erickson Re-Envision
  2. 2 Why Can't Reason and Imagination Just Be Friends?
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  3. 3 Why Americans Should Put More Scientists in the White House
    An Phung Think Tank
  4. 4 Where Are All the Women Scientists?
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
 

Science Unbound

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