The Big History Project was started by Bill Gates and David Christian to enable the global teaching of Big History. Big History “is the attempt to understand, in a unified way, the history of Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity.” 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”
Gates became interested in big history when he heard a series of 48 lectures by Christian published by The Teaching Company under the name “Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity”. 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”.
After Gates and Christian met to discuss the lectures, the genesis of the Big History Project occurred. They founded the project, and developed a team to achieve their stated goal, “to get big history taught to as many students around the world as possible”.