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What Is Your Big Question?

A crow sits on a stop sign along a road running through a desolate landscape.
iStockphoto

Questions ... questions ... So many big questions ...

Everybody has them. We are born cute but clueless, come of age through the ignominy of high school; shoulder the burden and joys of adulthood and then — BAM — it's over. And all around us is this space of infinite beauty and sorrow and weirdness. How can you not have questions?

Here at 13.7 we spend a lot of time on big questions. Here are a few that keep us up at night.

  • What is the nature of the mind?
  • Can there be a theory of everything?
  • Is there life on other worlds?
  • Can civilization survive on this world?
  • What is our responsibility to the animals we share the planet with?
  • Of course, these are only a small subset of the questions that live in everyone's hearts. Some of our questions are, indeed, about big issues, like the existence of a deity, and others are much smaller, like personal suffering. Then there are issues about politics and history and art.

    So, today, it's time to hear from you, the 13.7 Cosmos and Culture community. What are your questions, big and small? Since brevity is the soul of wit and inquiry (OK, I made the last part up.), please try to keep responses short. I've also started using the hashtag #MyQuestionIs so that those of us in the twitterverse can share, too.

    So, what do you want to know? What's are your burning questions?


    You can keep up with more of what Adam Frank is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @AdamFrank4

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Adam Frank was a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. A professor at the University of Rochester, Frank is a theoretical/computational astrophysicist and currently heads a research group developing supercomputer code to study the formation and death of stars. Frank's research has also explored the evolution of newly born planets and the structure of clouds in the interstellar medium. Recently, he has begun work in the fields of astrobiology and network theory/data science. Frank also holds a joint appointment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Department of Energy fusion lab.