Sunday, June 27, 2010

12 Events That Will Change Everything, Made Interactive

"12 Events That Will Change Everything," which appears in the June 2010 issue of Scientific American has an interactive companion website.  IGSS students will be exploring global ethical issues in 2010-11 and hopefully, they may want to  explore some of the global ethical issues related to future events and how societies can best respond.

I am currently looking at essays from a recent NT library purchase:

This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future
Edited byJohn Brockman. Harper Perennial,which is Part of a series stemming from his online science journal Edge (, including What Have You Changed Your Mind About? and What Is Your Dangerous Idea? 

In this book author and editor Brockman presents 136 answers to the question, “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?” 

From the book's website: Milan architect Stefano Boeri responds with a single sentence: “Discovering that someone from the future has already come to visit us.” Most others take the question more seriously; J. Craig Venter believes his laboratory will use “digitized genetic information” to direct organisms in creating biofuels and recycling carbon dioxide. Like biofuels, several topics are recurrent: both Robert Shapiro and Douglas Rushikoff consider discovering a “Separate Origin for Life,” a terrestrial unicellular organism that doesn’t belong to our tree of life; Leo M. Chalupa and Alison Gopnik both consider the possibility resetting the adult brain’s plasticity—its capacity for learning—to childhood levels. Futurologist Juan Enriquez believes that reengineering body parts and the brain will lead to “human speciation” unseen for hundreds of thousands of years, while controversial atheist Richard Dawkins suggests that reverse-engineering evolution could create a highly illuminating “continuum between every species and every other.” 

Many of these ideas are related to those in the Scientific American article. The June article is available full text in the library's print periodicals section.  ProQuest database does not offer the article full-text.

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