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: Is genetically modified food safe?

Spencer Wells: Well, you know, I’m not an expert on genetic modification, it’s certainly not the sort of genetics I do, it is possible to do some very interesting and perhaps depending on your perspective, scary things to genomes these days including inserting genes that were never before, you know, the standards I think should be relatively tight for allowing these things to get out into the food supply. The problem is, you know, often that the tests don’t go on perhaps as long as they should, so how long is long enough, we don’t know, that’s one of the big questions. I mean is two years long enough, is five years long enough, is 20 years long enough, you know, I think that again is part of the social debate that we need to be having and I think, you know, citizens, people who should be able to vote on these possibilities, these topics, should be part of the debate, need to understand the pros and cons, you know, by inserting genes into plants, maybe we can up the protein content and that, you know, saves another hundred million people a year living in Sub Sahara in Africa. On the other hand, you know, is it possible that we’re inserting the wrong genes or that they might do something that, you know, we can’t anticipate at the outset, it’s a possibility, we need to know, you know, what those possibilities are, how this stuff really works, you know, the underlying mechanism I think that is part of being a scientifically literate citizen today.


Recorded on: 5/22/08


Is genetically modified foo...

Newsletter: Share: