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ISJ April 2014: Big history


Lowell Gustafson


The Big History Project was started by Bill Gates and David Christian to enable the global teaching of big history. It is a course that covers history from the big bang through to the present in an interdisciplinary way. The Big History Project ‘is dedicated to fostering a greater love and capacity for learning among high school students’.

Bill Gates became interested in big history when he heard a series of lectures by Christian. For Gates, ‘he really blew me away. Here’s a guy who’s read across the sciences, humanities, and social sciences and brought it together in a single framework. It made me wish that I could have taken big history when I was young, because it would have given me a way to think about all of the school work and reading that followed. In particular, it really put the sciences in an interesting historical context and explained how they apply to a lot of contemporary concerns.’