The New York Academy of Sciences holds a discussion on scientific predictions about the future. The panel looks at the world envisioned by previous generations, and how things are different from that vision today.
Society has often looked to science to create a utopian future free of worry and disease and full of gadgets and toys. While some promises have come true—tablet computers, miracle cures, and commercial space flight, to name just a few—most of the earth's population doesn't live in the world promised by optimistic scientists of the past.
Scientific American's George Musser moderates this panel where Dr. Greg Benford and Dr. Stuart Firestein examine why scientists are so bad at predicting the impact of their work, and theology professor Dr. Christiana Peppard explores the ethical side of scientific false promises.