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

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: How do you benefit from teaching science?

Sarah Schlesinger: I love teaching. I love being able to use my skills to communicate to somebody else what I am passionate about, what I think is important, and see that moment when it clicks, the ah ha moment when you explain something and like, oh, year. And I love that. I also feel, I guess, and as I said, I’m getting older, the sense of whatever I do is finite. I can work hard. I can get a lot done. I’m a busy person. But when you teach, you go forward. You help others to go forward to do work that’s important. And that’s really a wonderful feeling.

And one of the things that I’ve learned from my mentor, and this is actually a great story about Ralph. Ralph is very demanding, very demanding, wonderful, kind, but demanding, most demanding of himself. And when I was working at the RAIR [ph?], at some point, usually he would send you something and it would get. You would send him something and you’d get it back in less than a day, and he would be bothering me because I would be slow because somebody had gotten sick and was vomiting at home, or I had some other responsibilities. And so where is the manuscript? Where is the data? Whatever. But for some reason at this point I wanted something back from him. Perhaps I was, I don’t know, preparing it for publication. And I wrote to him.

I said, you know, could you get me back whatever. And he writes back to me. He said, “Don’t you understand I am advising 200 scientists around the world.” He said, “I’m working as fast as I can. I’ll get it to you tomorrow.” And I wrote back, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to rush you.” But it was sort of epiphany for me that not only was it his huge accomplishment in this discovery, but it’s his ability to mentor and help teach. I mean just teach is the best word, all of these people and keep them moving forward in some sort of coordinated or sometimes not so coordinated way. So when you teach somebody, it’s like pennies in heaven. It’s going forward. So that part’s cool.

 

Recorded on: June 10, 2008

 

 

Seeing and Teaching Science

Newsletter: Share: