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Big History Institute

Big History is the attempt to understand, in a unified and interdisciplinary way, the history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity. Big History is ambitious - it seeks understanding by bringing together and linking the knowledge available in many different scholarly disciplines.

Big History is not European history or American history, or Asian history. Nor is it just human history because it embraces the sciences as well as the humanities.  Big History is the first truly universal history for the modern era, a science-based origin story for humanity that links human history to the histories of the earth and the Universe as a whole. Because it surveys the past on such huge scales it also provides powerful ways of thinking about the future.  It offers the historical perspectives that will be needed by future generations of students as they tackle the huge global challenges we face today.

Established in early 2012, the Big History Institute builds upon the pioneering role that Macquarie University has played in the evolution of the new discipline of Big History. The Institute consolidates our existing work and provides the opportunity to achieve another world first - an innovative centre of research and teaching excellence in Big History.

The Big History Institute aims to provide a hub for scholars interested in interdisciplinary research on fundamental scholarly problems. Our plan for the Institute includes a range of programs and activities which expand and strengthen our existing work in the  key focus areas of Big History Research; Big History Teaching; and Big History Media, Outreach, & Dialogue.

Macquarie University is the intellectual birthplace of Big History. Whilst exploring conceptions of history on very large scales Professor David Christian coined the term "Big History" to argue for an expansion of the temporal and disciplinary limits of history. David Christian taught one of the world's first Big History courses at Macquarie in 1989. He is the author of "Maps of Time", co-founder with Bill Gates of the Big History Project, inaugural President of the International Big History Association, and Director of the Big History Institute at Macquarie University.

We look forward to working with supporters and partners around the world who recognize the important role that Big History can play given the transformational changes that are occurring throughout the world as hundreds of millions reach new levels of economic development and prosperity, and the world becomes ever more inter-connected and complex.

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For further information please contact Andrew McKenna, Head of Partnerships and Development, Faculty of Arts -