The Future


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Video/Space Exploration

A tour of Mars assembled from NASA images reveals a wondrous but uninviting planet

5 minutes

Video/Biology

Everything you always wanted to know about sex in space

4 minutes

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Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Intelligence: a history

Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction. No wonder we fear super-smart robots

Stephen Cave

Video/Energy, Resources, & Sustainability

The case for making our homes out of trash – tradition and culture be damned

7 minutes

Idea/Technology & the Self

Why upgrading your brain could make you less human

Michael Bess

Essay/Mathematics

Future tension

Facts about the past and present are either true or false. Can knowledge of the future offer the same degree of certainty?

Anthony Sudbery

Video/Space Exploration

Could we make a home on Mars? It would be a very unique psychological situation

3 minutes

Video/History of Science

Science doesn’t rely on luck, but success in science can’t do without it

5 minutes

Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

Now it’s time to prepare for the Machinocene

Huw Price

Video/Space Exploration

Imagine alien signals are detected. Here’s what happens next

3 minutes

Video/The Future

Could the weirdest solution to the problem of nuclear waste also be the best?

14 minutes

Video/The Future

Is the Global Seed Vault in Norway humanity’s last, best hope?

4 minutes

Essay/Nature & Environment

Who owns the earth?

Private land ownership is a beautiful dream gone badly wrong. It’s time to reinstate the forgotten ideal of the commons

Antonia Malchik

Essay/Earth Science

Half-Earth

Half of the Earth’s surface and seas must be dedicated to the conservation of nature, or humanity will have no future

Edward O Wilson

Idea/The Future

The buildings of the future will keep rearranging themselves

Darran Anderson

Essay/Genetics

Making the cut

In gene editing, the genetic code now has a workable text editor. Will this mean Ctrl+X for disease and Ctrl+V for talent?

John Parrington

Video/Philosophy of Science

Our existence is both cosmically trivial and linked to everything that ever was

7 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

Why saving the world’s poorest children helps curb global population growth

4 minutes

Essay/Data & Information

Perfect genetic knowledge

Human genomics is just the start: the Earth has 50 billion tons of DNA. What happens when we have the entire biocode?

Dawn Field

Essay/Architecture & Landscape

Desert utopia

It might be pleasing to dream of arcologies, mega-cities, and space colonies – but no one can design the perfect human community

Jared Keller

Video/Work

The robots are coming… for our jobs! Why the human workforce is at risk

15 minutes

Essay/Automation & Robotics

How to design the future

As technological choices become ever more complex, design fiction, not science, hints at the future we actually want

Jon Turney

Essay/Data & Information

Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame?

Judy Wajcman

Video/Demography & Migration

Is predicting population growth over the next century within the experts’ reach?

2 minutes

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Scorched Earth, 2200AD

Climate change has done its worst, and now just 500 million humans remain on lifeboats in the north. How do they survive?

Linda Marsa

Essay/Automation & Robotics

RoboCorp

Get ready for companies that run themselves. But will the autonomous economy set us all free, or just make the rich richer?

David Z Morris

Essay/Engineering

A fault in our design

We tend to think that technological progress is making us more resilient, but it might be making us more vulnerable

Colin Dickey

Essay/Cosmology

Mixed messages

Our latest message to ET could be full of LOLcats and celebs. We should try to do better, or keep quiet altogether

Sarah Scoles

Essay/Cultures & Languages

Talk like an Egyptian

If we want to safeguard our languages, stories and ideas against extinction, we had better study Egyptology

Grayson Clary

Essay/History

Future perfect

Social progress, high-speed transport and electricity everywhere – how the Victorians invented the future

Iwan Rhys Morus