Predictions : Thirty Great Minds on the Future

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These predictions about the 21st century are from 30 of today's best-known minds - including Richard Dawkins, Umberto Eco, J.K. Galbraith, Steven Pinker, and Peter Singer. The predictions outline the discoveries/changes that the contributors expect to see happen in their field in the 21st century. Each prediction is followed by a profile of the writer, setting his or her work in context and explaining the theories or inventions. Taken as a whole, the book provides a snapshot of the state of knowledge across a broad range of fields at the millennium's end. Chemist Carl Djerassi, inventor of the contraceptive pill, predicts the setting up of fertility banks, full of frozen sperm and eggs, where couples who want to have children will open accounts. Philosopher Peter Singer predicts that animals will be granted the same rights as humans. Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg expects that in the next century there will be an answer to the question "What are the Laws of Everything?" Cybernetics professor Kevin Warwick describes a future where humans will be able to read one anothers thoughts, by means of electronic implants in the human body. Economist J.K. Galbraith hopes for controls on the nuclear more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 132.08 x 185.42 x 27.94mm | 408.23g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • portraits
  • 0192862103
  • 9780192862105

About Sian Griffiths

Sian Griffiths is the features editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement, editor of Beyond the Glass Ceiling and co-editor (with Jennifer Wallace) of Consuming Passions: Food in the Age of Anxiety. He lives in the more

Review quote

"What would millennium fever be without predictions about what the future holds? This fascinating book offers thoughtful essays from a multinational melange of well-regarded thinkers."--Booklist"Well organized, well presented, and stimulating"--Suzanne W. Wood, Library Journalshow more

Review Text

Having turned the corner into the year 2000, everyone wonders what's in store for the future. Editor Sian Griffiths has assembled the predictions of 30 prominent thinkers, writers, scientists and visionaries. Each person is profiled, based on a recent interview, and then in several pages sketches out their prediction, fears or hopes for the future. Arthur C. Clarke predicts human habitation on the moon, Mars, Jupiter's moons Euopa and Ganymede, and on Saturn's largest moon Titan, and the development of a new propulsion system that will transcend space and time to enable humans to set off for nearby star systems. Sherry Turkle, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has thought and written about our relationships with computers, worries about the identity of our children who now interact with Furbies and Tamogotchis as well as computers. Richard Dawkins believes that this century will see the solving of the ancient philosophical mind-body problem - not by philosphers but by scientists. Peter Singer, who wrote Animal Liberation, hopes among other things that the animals will be awarded their rights. The American feminist Andrea Dworkin talks about - and hopes for - a 'new Jerusalem for women'. Stephen Jay Gould from Harvard University refuses to speculate on our scientific future but entertainingly explains why it is impossible to say anything. And there are many others: Lynn Margulis, Daniel Goleman, Umberto Eco, Francis Fukuyama, James Watson, Steven Pinker, J.K. Galbraith, Elaine Showalter and Susan Greenfield. One hopes that Woody Allen's satiric vision - 'I have seen the future, and it is very much like the present, only longer' - will not prove true. This book provides plenty of support for the idea that it will be a great deal more than that and well worth sticking around for. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

33 ratings
3.36 out of 5 stars
5 12% (4)
4 36% (12)
3 33% (11)
2 12% (4)
1 6% (2)
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