How Science and Technology Will Transform Our Lives in the Next Twenty Years
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 Here's the latest effort by two science writers who've made a career of forecasting the future of science and technology. Cetron and Davies (Crystal Globe, 1991) set themselves the comparatively modest goal of looking perhaps two decades ahead- -although they are quite aware that even that limited time frame can bring major surprises, many of them nasty. But while the authors urge appropriate caution, they nonetheless foresee a rosy future. The computer explosion will continue, with tomorrow's desktop machines rivaling today's most advanced models in sheer power; the Internet, its speed enhanced by fiber-optic technology, will put the full resources of the Library of Congress or the programs of hundreds of cable TV networks in every home that can afford them. Transportation will dramatically improve, led by the revival of railroads in the US and by the development of supersonic transports that will put any spot on earth within a couple of hours of any other. And all this progress can take place without endangering the environment--in fact, the authors expect science to figure out a way to repair the Antarctic ozone hole and reverse global warming. Part of the process will be the movement of polluting industries into orbit, where accidents can be isolated from vulnerable populations. Much of this sounds as if the authors expect Murphy's Law to be repealed by Congress, followed by the voluntary retirement of every corner-cutting CEO in the industrial world. While many of the predictions in this book will undoubtedly come true, there is no telling which ones; and there is even less foretelling the side effects of even the tamest of predictions. It would be nice if everything worked out as the authors hope; but the prudent traveler into the future will be prepared to abandon his luggage more than once on the way to the year 2020. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 12th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-15429-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997