The Greatest Technological Challenges of the Next 50 Years

A group of scientists, entrepreneurs, and futurologists (yea, its a real word) presented the greatest technological challenges they foresee in the coming half century to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (of which yours truly is a student member *holds up badge and power ring*).

The 18-strong team of scientists, entrepreneurs and thinkers was convened by the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to identify problems for technology in the 21st century that, if solved, would change the world. The group included biologist Craig Venter, inventor Dean Kamen, Google co-founder Larry Page and Harvard University professor of international development Calestous Juma.

Here’s the list (which overlaps nicely with some of the UN Millennium Goals):

  • Quality of life (health, clean energy, sustainability, vulnerability, joy of living)
  • Clean water
  • Securing cyberspace
  • Carbon sequestration technologies

A few on their list didn’t seem totally worthy of being included among the above issues (i.e. enhancing virtual reality or preventing nuclear terror – what, is this the 1960’s?). What do you think?

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: