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
With rendition switcher


Question: What is your proudest achievement?

Harvey Mansfield: At a certain point in my career at Harvard I decided to raise a little hell, and to oppose the conformist political correctness that I think I saw and still see there … this place I love. And yet it deserves to be criticized, I think, through and through for its conformity to a foolish and unthoughtful liberalism. Affirmative action, grade inflation. The … the loss of interest in subjects having to do with the military, or with religion, or with the American founding. The unconcern for excellence. The loss of morale among the faculty, and to some extent even among the students. I don’t think that the faculty still believes that study is good for its own sake, and that the life of study is the best life to live. The belief in that has … has declined considerably since I’ve been at Harvard. You can just look at the recent reorganization of the core program for students … and a core curriculum. What is the purpose of the core? It’s to enable our students to adjust to society. And that I think is much too low an aim. We should give our students at least a vacation from society – a time to reflect, to think things over, to ask and even – perhaps for themselves – to answer the big questions.

Recorded on: 6/13/07





Academia Today

Newsletter: Share: