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2030Technology That Will Change the World$
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Rutger van Santen, Djan Khoe, and Bram Vermeer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377170

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195377170.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 June 2021



6.0 (p.259) Agenda

Rutger van Santen

Djan Khoe

Bram Vermeer

Oxford University Press

We have some serious work to do. Far too many people lead miserable lives because they lack the most basic necessities to deal with hunger, thirst, shelter, disease, or disability. In addition, the prosperity currently enjoyed by many of us may not be taken for granted in the future. The experts in this book have identified a range of breakthroughs that are urgently required if we are to improve the fate of humanity in the decades ahead and look to the future with greater confidence. There will be some hard choices, and some lines of research will probably need to be pursued at the expense of others. Industry should change and adopt new strategies. And we as a society should accept and foster that change. The evolution of technology, industry, and society is a complex process full of feedback mechanisms and surprises. It’s vital that we understand the most promising ways to facilitate the necessary changes of direction. The technologies proposed in this book aren’t straightforward; otherwise, they would have been identified much sooner. The days when you could produce a brilliant invention in your garden shed have largely gone. Anyone wishing to improve the current state of technology needs a solid pedigree and will need to labor long and hard with a group of dedicated colleagues, in many cases relying on extremely expensive equipment. Breakthroughs demand the stamina, laborious testing, and inspiration of countless scientists and engineers. Hundreds of thousands of design hours can go into a new microchip, car, or power-generation technique. Developing new technology is a complex process. That complexity is exemplified by the development of the laser. Einstein predicted the principle of stimulated emission on which lasers are based long before World War II. But it was many more decades before working lasers were created and longer still before they were put to practical use. Once we had them, however, we found we could use them in new scientific instruments that opened up fresh areas of research.

Keywords:   DNA, Linux, creativity, ecosystems, feedback mechanisms, irrationality, lasers, mass production, nuclear power, politics

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