- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
These short meditations on the world in 50 years are overwhelmingly devoted to developments in human health, climate change and technology, with a disappointing scarcity of speculation about any social or spiritual transformations. Scientists, who make up more than half of the contributors, predict that genetic engineering will be commonplace and AIDS obsolete, although infectious diseases will adapt and prosper. Marriages will be arranged by compatible genotype; the oceans will rise; cats will no longer be kept as pets-they will have been identified (along with hamsters and birds) as transmitters of everything from Parkinson's to schizophrenia. China and India will be the new superpowers, and the U.S. will finally adopt the metric system. Although many writers note that certain species of plants and animals will be extinct in 50 years, only one laments that several languages will also be dead. This privileging of the scientific viewpoint makes the contributions from immunologist Peter Doherty and writer Michael Shermer all the more welcome as they attempt to focus on humanity rather than technology, imagination more than data. Perhaps it is easier to chart the course of climate change than social change-still the inhabitants of the planet and the future of their governments, beliefs and values deserve as much attention as the planet itself. (Apr .15)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.