How Big Think can better support you and how you can support Big Think

Here's a letter from our co-founders on the ways to help the world get smarter, faster, through engaging actionable content.

Big Think experts Steven Pinker, Michelle Thaller and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Dear readers,

We're the co-founders of Big Think. First and foremost, we want to thank you for your viewership. Over the last 12 years, you have helped us take Big Think from a vision scrawled in notes on lined paper to a reality that has reached over 1 billion people with the mission of helping the world get "smarter faster".

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Open academic culture, more crucial than ever, is in peril

Why campuses are becoming polarized — and what we can do about it.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • The narrowing of academic freedom is a major problem for institutions of higher education.
  • Social media, external pressures, and increasingly diverse student bodies — while providing some positives — create more opportunity for misunderstanding and miscommunication.
  • Reaffirming the value of and commitment to open debate ensures a more vibrant academic culture.
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A comet ‘burps’ as a satellite watches the whole thing

What happens after a heavy comet meal?

Image source: Farnham et al./NASA
  • A comet produces and unexpected explosive ejection of ice, dust, and gas.
  • NASA's TESS satellites captures the whole thing by accident.
  • The "burp" may have left a crater 65 feet across. That's quite a burp.
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Gear
  • 12min summarizes hundreds of best-selling books down to essential 12-minute microbooks.
  • Microbooks are downloadable in both text and audio formats.
  • You can request a 12min summary of any non-fiction book not in their vast library.
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10 mind-bending books on the nature of time

Why does time flow in one direction? Why do humans perceive time so differently than it really is? Is there really a difference between the present, the past, and the future? These books explore these questions and more.

  • Despite being immersed in it and inexorably propelled by it, we don't really understand time all that well.
  • Fortunately, we can rely on the minds of our smartest writers to give us a good understanding of the one thing we all can't get enough of.
  • This list of books on time ranges from the complicated to the straightforward, the historical to the speculative, the scientific to the literary, and more.
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Breakthrough in creation of gamma ray lasers that use antimatter

Superpowerful lasers for next-generation technologies are closer to existence.

Surprising Science
  • A new study calculates how to create high-energy gamma rays.
  • Physicist Allen Mills proposes using liquid helium to make bubbles of positronium, a mixture with antimatter.
  • Gamma ray lasers can lead to new technologies in space propulsion, medical imaging and cancer treatment.
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Common hair products linked to cancer risk, says breaking new study

Embracing signs of age might be the road to a longer life after all.

Photo Source: LisaRedfern / Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • New research found that hair dyes and chemical straighteners might significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • According to the study, black women who used permanent dyes at least every 5-8 weeks raised their risk of developing cancer by 60 percent.
  • This isn't the first time beauty products have been found to contain cancerous chemicals.
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10 of the best new games according to geniuses at Mensa

Kick off your next game night with these Mensa-recommended board and card games.

Photo by Robert Coelho on Unsplash
Gear
  • Mensa members judge an annual competition to determine which games are the best on the market.
  • Hundreds of board, card, and party games are considered each year but only a select few can win.
  • These 10 top games are available to purchase and play right now.
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