Coronavirus: The economics of contagious disease

How should we think about the tension between opening the economy back up and preserving public health?

What are the major missteps the global community is making that will need to be addressed to prepare us for future pandemics? Is the US economy ready to reopen?


What are the major missteps the global community is making that will need to be addressed to prepare us for future pandemics? Is the US economy ready to reopen? In this Big Think Live session with Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, you'll learn about the public health assumptions that must be rethought and how we can mobilize ourselves and our systems for a more sustainable long-term future.

Ask your questions for Jeffrey Sachs during the live Q&A!

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
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​'The time is now' for cryptocurrencies, PayPal CEO says

Is Bitcoin akin to 'digital gold'?

Technology & Innovation
  • In October, PayPal announced that it would begin allowing users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies.
  • Other major fintech companies—Square, Fidelity, SoFi—have also recently begun investing heavily in cryptocurrencies.
  • While prices are volatile, many investors believe cryptocurrencies are a relatively safe bet because blockchain technology will prove itself over the long term.
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"Clean meat" approved for sale in Singapore

Singapore has approved the sale of a lab-grown meat product in an effort to secure its food supplies against disease and climate change.

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • Singapore has become the first country to approve the sale of a lab-grown meat product.
  • Eat Just, the company behind the product, will have a small-scale commercial launch of its chicken bites.
  • So-called "clean meats" may reduce our reliance on livestock farming, which kills billions of animals worldwide every year.
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    Scientists find the "magic number" that links forces of the universe

    Researchers dramatically improve the accuracy of a number that connects fundamental forces.

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    Surprising Science
    • A team of physicists carried out experiments to determine the precise value of the fine-structure constant.
    • This pure number describes the strength of the electromagnetic forces between elementary particles.
    • The scientists improved the accuracy of this measurement by 2.5 times.
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    Study suggests most "dark web" users are not engaging in illicit activities

    A new study finds that some people just want privacy.

    Photo by Soumil Kumar from Pexels
    Technology & Innovation
    • Despite its reputation as a tool for criminals, only a small percentage of Tor users were actually going to the dark web.
    • The rate was higher in free countries and lower in countries with censored internet access.
    • The findings are controversial, and may be limited by their methodology to be general assumptions.
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