A Multiverse of Exploration

The Institute for the Future  explored at a recent Technology Horizons Program conference the “Future of Science.

As a result, they identified 6 main areas and visualized them on this map. Most fascinating and closely related to my own interests are the topics on the right side of it:

  • data intensive science spawns new disciplines
  • science becomes gameified (i.e. fold.it)
  • scientific papers are executable as code
  • massively linked data becomes a public utility
  • wikipedia of science models is created
  • human microbiome is mapped
  • organisms become programmable
  • epigenetics informs real-time genome tweaking
  • new lifeforms created from scratch (synthetic biology?!)
  • engineered evolution

I am not an expert on the rest of the pack, “space-time cloaks” and “teleportation” still sound far too much like science fiction to me to bet on it. However, for the above-mentioned items, I can see they get realized (and have a major impact) during the next decade – some aspects of the list have already been covered in previous posts. Some of these “scientific projects” are already almost there, considering for example the advances in directed evolution, crowd-sourcing and open linked data. As any strange map, it conveys a certain set of ideas and contains some build-in bias – but going through them and discovering where it (mis-)matches with ones own views of the multiverse I always find illuminating.

Found via this article on boingboing.

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