What is Big History? Is it a discipline? Is it a perspective? What is certain is that Big History is at once the ultimate Map of Time, and the Map of All Knowledge. It provides an encompassing historical framework for the study of all the phenomena in the Universe—starting with the Big Bang, going through cosmic evolution, geological and biological evolution, and then cultural evolution and "little history". Integrating in its reflection our current ecological crisis, the exponential increase in knowledge, population and production, and the prospects for the future of the species, and of the universe.
Now we can salute the first issue of the Journal of Big History. Want to know what is Big History? Read David Christian's presentation. It just might change the way you envision your activity and your discipline within the University. It might transform the way you conceptualize your activity and your profession. The university carries universality inscribed in its name and in the very notion. Big History is something we cannot afford to ignore—we are in it, and this perspective helps us to better understand ourselves and our endeavors.
David Christian is the director of the Big History Institute, and a major promoter of a pioneering educational project, the Big History Project, which has its website, its international conference, and plans for a major educational and curricular reform, supported by Bill Gates. This is surely (if we take into consideration its articulation through online courses) one major development for the educational curriculum in future years, one much in tune with our century's concerns, and much needed by a global community both unified and torn apart by increasing connections and globalized exchanges.