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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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Seth Berkley:  I’ll start off by saying first we should fix the healthcare system in the United States and second, that if we’re going to have people and ask them to go out and serve, whether it be in poor communities, whether it be to go into research, we’re going to have to make sure that they’re not burdened with so much debt that it’s not plausible that they do that. So those are solutions that are beyond my scope of solving but need to be solved and they are a great crisis. Not only is that a crisis, the number of young people in America that are going into the sciences, that are getting serious and trying to research careers but at the same time, we’ve had a double whammy because of homeland security and issues concerned with visas and all that, we’ve had less influx of people coming to study in America and that’s been the gravy train that has kept the labs humming and all the research being done. So I have grave concerns about our competitiveness in the future if we don’t focus on better math and science education, allowing people to take these careers and making them viable and making sure that the best minds in the rest of the world are continuing to come here to work. Without that, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to keep up. There’s a lot of other countries that would like to be the leaders in that and are working hard at it.

 

Seth Berkley's Advice for t...

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