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Max Brockman

What's Next

What are the hot scientific topics going to be over the next few decades? In What's Next? Dispatches on the Future of Science Max Brockman gets some of the young scientists at the forefront of current research to write about where they think their science is heading.

Laurence C Smith considers what we might be forced to do by global warming, and Nick Bostrom writes about how we may respond to the possibility of genetic enhancement of humans. There are a few essays on the future of cosmology - what can we find out about the universe before the big bang for instance. I found it interesting, though, that many of the essays seem to be linked to the applications of neuroscience to the social sciences.

One might hope that readers of a book like this would be inspired enough to become the scientists who bring some of the advances mentioned to fruition, but I rather doubt it. In the end I didn't find the essays particularly memorable and there are no suggestions for following up on the topics discussed (in fact the book doesn't even have an index) It has lots of interesting ideas and was an enjoyable read, but didn't leave me with any new mental images of the future of science.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews