David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

We Need Art to Tell the Story of Science

I think big changes can happen very fast if there’s a critical mass.

How do we change things when large sectors of the public rejects science?  Let me say that large sectors of the public have never changed anything.  They’re reactionary.  Culture is really led by maybe the top 10 percent.  If we could just reach the top 10 percent, the other people would follow.  

This may not sound democratic, but it’s realistic.  You can never convince the whole country of anything, not this country anyway.  And it doesn’t really matter.  What we need are leaders.  What we need are idea leaders and political leaders and people who are willing to get out there and say this is the truth, this is where we’re actually going.  And here are some optional ways of thinking that could really get us into a much better state.  It could really save our world.  

I am all for celebrities getting involved in this.  There are some really smart actors in Hollywood.  And just the fact that they’re rich doesn’t mean they’re not smart, it means that they’re powerful.  Art is really our way out of here because every cosmology in the history of humanity has been popularized by art.  After all, people didn’t read until fairly recently.  

Imagine where Christianity would be without stained glass.  People wouldn’t know what the stories were.  So, we have to have artists who are willing to portray the real universe, realistically.  That may sound simple. It’s not, because the universe is totally abstract, as you know 95 ½ percent of it is invisible.  

We need people who can get these ideas across without any of the details and can get across the implications of it for our lives so that people can really feel it.  So we in our bones we can know that it matters to have a place in the universe.  And then, I think it could really catch on.  I think big changes can happen very fast if there’s a critical mass.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Cylindrical space colony.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…