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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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Lisa Randall: Certainly science . . . I think that’s another important issue, which of course I should be focusing on more. I mean science has not been incorporated more in policy, even when it’s quite relevant. I mean scientific advice has been ignored for the last few years to a large extent. That’s crazy. I mean you know why not . . . You have the . . . you have the expertise there. Why not use it? So when . . . when it’s appropriate, of course science should be used. The scientific method should be used sometimes. Sometimes it’s just a question of really being logical about things, and . . . But sometimes it really is a question of scientific policy when, of course, scientists should be consulted. I think certainly math and science are important; but the problem is if you don’t have teachers who understand science, you’re never gonna do a good job of teaching science. So perhaps there should just be some way that it’s made a better career so that people who really understand science are more inclined to teach it. If you have the wrong people teaching science, it will probably do more harm than good. You really need the right people doing it. Recorded On: 11/2/08


Lisa Randall: Should scienc...

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