How Big History Could Change the World for the Better

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Elise Bohan


Big History is ideally positioned to act as a major driver of social change through the promotion of a rigorous and accessible scientific origin story. This origin story appeals to our species’ universal predilection for storytelling and unifies key scientific theories across disciplines within a single, coherent narrative. Below, I identify two interrelated problems that Big History can help combat: suboptimal cultural knowledge priorities, and scientific illiteracy. I then explore how Big History can be part of the solution, with reference to my own experience teaching Big History in Australia. I argue that if taught globally and promoted as a core part of the assumed knowledge of every culture, Big History could help facilitate a much needed shift towards a more enlightened, rational, scientifically literate, and future conscious society.

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Author Biography

Elise Bohan, Macquarie University, Big History Institute, Sydney

Elise Bohan is the author of the world’s first in-depth history of transhumanism. She also penned the introduction to the popular Dorling Kindersley book, Big History, and has taught Big History at Macquarie University in Sydney alongside the founder of the field, Professor David Christian.