Think tank

What does it mean?

a committee of people experienced in a particular subject, established by an organization, government, etc., to develop ideas and advise on matters related to that subject How do we use it?

Linda's mom works for a think tank that studies how to encourage recycling in communities.

Word quiz

You won't need a think tank to take a guess at this question. What were people likely to be thinking about when "think tank" was first used?

A. the first programs sending spacecraft into orbit
B. the potential of a new invention called the telephone
C. the first successful use of a vaccine against disease
D. the new access to knowledge due to invention of the printing press

Think "A" and you've thought right! In the mid-1900s, there were many new developments in society and science, and therefore much for think tanks to do. The word "think tank" itself first appeared in the late 1950s. Some other words first used around the same time show that our understanding and exploration of space was increasing, for example. Our earliest evidence of "moondust," which refers to the fine dry particles of the moon's soil, is from the late 1950s, as is our evidence of "splashdown," which refers to the landing of a spacecraft in the ocean.