New Scientist: 50-year forecasts
25 Nov 2006

New Scientist: 50-year forecasts

As part of their 50th anniversary, New

25 Nov 2006

As part of their 50th anniversary, New Scientist published 50-year forecasts from over 70 scientists.

A couple highlights (mostly cut-and-pasted shamelessly from the above link):

  • Francis Collins: Genetic advances will allow entire generations of us to live happily into our hundreds
  • Edward O. Wilson: The biggest leap in biogeography and conservation biology will be the near-complete mapping of global biodiversity at the species level
  • J. Richard Gott: Establishing a self-supporting colony on Mars would change world history – it wouldn’t even be “world” history any more
  • Michael Gazzaniga: The next 50 years will focus on the social mind, the fact that humans are social animals and that most of the time we think about relationships
  • Niles Eldredge: The most significant breakthroughs will come in the form of retro-fitting existing advances in molecular and biology to a more integrated synthesis of evolutionary theory
  • Igor Aleksander: A scientific understanding of consciousness will come from a recognition of the brain as an informational machine
  • David Deutsch: On the experimental side, the construction of a working, general-purpose quantum computer is what this emminent physicist hopes for
  • Ray Kurzweil: By 2029 we will create computers that pass the Turing test, with formidable results
  • Christof Koch: Machine-brain interfaces will be realised by 2056
  • Gregory Chaitin: By 2056, weird astronomical observations may have led to radical new fundamental physics, and people will be tampering with the human genome, which should be fun
  • Piet Hut: The discovery of life elsewhere in the universe would be the most significant breakthrough, not only for astrophysics, but also for biology, philosophy and culture
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