Continuing in the discussion pointing out
where chemical careers might be heading
are some interesting items extracted from
Mike Wallace’s book on
What things will be like 50 years from now.
Many eminent spokes-people were invited
by editors to contribute their thoughts in areas
in which they are most familiar. Seven stand-out
Major fuel usage - biotechnology - population
(1) G. Smoot and N. Borlaug contributed segments
suggesting that population will level off at 9-10
billion, with growth in developing countries and
accompanying global wealth. Fuel usage will
transition ever more with a biofuels component.
(BP is now referred to as “Beyond Petroleum.”)
Biofuels will compete with crops for genetic
(2) Water will remain a limiting resource.
It might be better to learn to manage the trends
resulting from global warming than to try to stem
the human impact of it, Borlaug states.
Human health - habits - pharmaceutics -
(3) People in the middle of their life in 50 years
could be less healthy than their parents due
to obesity and high risk life styles. People will
work into their 70s with more options for
people in their 60s. Life expectancy may plateau
(4) E. F. Torrey suggests that psychiatric illnesses,
and diseases, like, MS, arthritis, and some cancers
may result from infectious agent transmission from
animals. Dogs as a result will be kept as pets,
many other animals will be less common pets.
Smoking will not exist and vaccines for infections
(5) Genetic profiles in early life will be routine, doctor
office visits will be a thing of the past, preventive
medicine with new, small imaging devices and rare
physical specimen sampling, and gene-based therapies
Health will emerge as a global investment. A
person may have access to their personal medical
record in their own devices.
More organs and tissues will be manufactured.
Stem cells will find a host of applications.
Patient care by robots that will monitor and
More prominent use of performance enhancing
pharmaceutics PFPs (R. Clarke)
Nanotechnology - biologics - artificial intelligence
(6) Billion - fold improvement in information technology
(R. Kurzweil) will affect everything from energy use
to biologics to turning on genes to artificial intelligence.
(Law of accelerating returns - Kurzweil)
Buildings will be able to weather catastrophes
Education - learning
(7) Ideas will move without restrictions of borders and