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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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The Future


Latest Popular


Anthropology Cities Demography & Migration Economics Education Fairness & Equality Gender History Human Rights Law & Justice Nature & Environment Politics & Government Poverty & Development Progress & Modernity Race Religion The Future War & Conflict Work
Essay/Cosmology
Exodus

Elon Musk argues that we must put a million people on Mars if we are to ensure that humanity has a future

Ross Andersen

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
Omens

When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?

Ross Andersen

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/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

Essay/Automation & Robotics
The golden age

The 15-hour working week predicted by Keynes may soon be within our grasp – but are we ready for freedom from toil?

John Quiggin

Essay/Food & Drink
Freedom from food

It takes time to plan a meal, to say nothing of cooking and eating it. What if we could opt out of food altogether?

Nicola Twilley

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/History
Future perfect

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

Iwan Rhys Morus

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

Essay/History of Ideas
The end is not near

Thanks to science, most of us accept the deep past – so why are our imagined futures so shallow?

J L Schellenberg

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/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/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/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

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
The robots are coming

The invasion has already begun: the only question is when, not if, humanoid robots will work, play and war beside us

Michael Belfiore

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

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

Essay/Fairness & Equality
Votes for the future

Democracies are notoriously short-sighted. With one simple device, we could give unborn citizens a say in our present

Thomas Wells

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/Political Philosophy
Ninety-degree revolution

Right and Left are fading away. The real question in politics will be: do you look to the earth or aspire to the skies?

Steve Fuller

Essay/Data & Information
Precognitive police

Predictive policing could help prevent crime. But do we want a future where computer oracles and spies track us from birth?

Henrick Karoliszyn

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

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/Human Rights
The humanitarian future

Can humanitarian agencies still fly the flag of high principle, or are they just relics of an imperial model of charity?

Paul Currion

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence
I grew up in the future

My mom is a futurist, that peculiar subclass of optimists who believe they can see the day after tomorrow coming

Veronique Greenwood