In 1943 Erwin Schrödinger wrote 'What is Life', a book which is considered to have had great influence on the future of biology, in particular inspiring physicists such as Francis Crick to take an interest in the subject. 'What is Life? The next fifty years', is based on lectures given to mark the 50th anniversary of Schrödinger's book. Scientists such as Stephen J Gould, Roger Penrose, and Jared Diamond look at which of Schrödinger's predictions have come to fruition and which may form the basis of future research. If you're interested in what eminent scientists think are the hot topics in biology then you should take a look at this book.
This work picks up two main themes from Schrödinger, firstly order from order and secondly order from disorder. The first, concerning the transmission of information via genes, has had a great influence since Schrödinger's book. The second, concerning the origin of life from non-living matter, and general questions of the thermodynamics of life, is seen as an important field of study for the future. However, although the book is subtitled 'Speculations on the future of biology', I wasn't convinced that the contributors really entered into the spirit of futurology - the book is more of a report on the current state of play in various fields.