Cover image for What the future looks like : sciencists predict the next great discoveries and reveal how today's breakthroughs are shaping our world / edited by Jim Al-Khalili.
What the future looks like : sciencists predict the next great discoveries and reveal how today's breakthroughs are shaping our world / edited by Jim Al-Khalili.
Publication Information:
New York : The Experiment, 2018.
Physical Description:
240 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published as: What's next? / edited by Jim Al-Khalili (London : Profile Books, 2017).


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
501 WHA Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Science fact , not science fiction, on the cutting-edge developments that are already changing the course of our future

Every day, scientists conduct pioneering experiments with the potential to transform how we live. Yet it isn't every day you hear from the scientists themselves! Now, award-winning author Jim Al-Khalili and his team of top-notch experts explain how today's earthshaking discoveries will shape our world tomorrow--and beyond.

Pull back the curtain on:
genomics robotics AI the "Internet of Things" synthetic biology transhumanism interstellar travel colonization of the solar system teleportation and much more
And find insight into big-picture questions such as :

Will we find a cure to all diseases? The answer to climate change? And will bionics one day turn us into superheroes?

The scientists in these pages are interested only in the truth--reality-based and speculation-free. The future they conjure is by turns tantalizing and sobering: There's plenty to look forward to, but also plenty to dread. And undoubtedly the best way to for us to face tomorrow's greatest challenges is to learn what the future looks like--today.

Author Notes

Jameel Sadik "Jim" Al-Khalili was born on September 21 1962 in Iraq. He is a theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. After completing his A-levels in 1982, he studied physics at the University of Surrey and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1986. Despite having a job lined up at the National Physical Laboratory, he stayed on at Surrey to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree in nuclear reaction theory, which he obtained in 1989. He was also awarded a Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) postdoctoral fellowship at University College London, In 1994, Al-Khalili was awarded an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Advanced Research Fellowship for five years, during which time he established himself as a leading expert on mathematical models of exotic atomic nuclei.

Al-Khalili is now a professor of physics at the University of Surrey, where he also holds a chair in the Public Engagement in Science. Al-Khalili was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for science communication for 2007. As a broadcaster, Al-Khalili is frequently on television and radio and also writes articles for the British press.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This collection of essays edited by quantum physicist Al-Khalili (Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics) focuses on domain futurology; where discoveries in rapidly changing industries appear to be taking us. The contributors consider both the promises and perils of new discoveries in their respective fields, from biology to energy, demography to genomics. The increasing overlap among these fields, and the complexity and rate of change within them, make accurate long-term predictions extremely difficult. Several chapters, such as those on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and transport are intensely topical and describe environments that have recently exploded into the public consciousness following various technological synergies. Other chapters, such as those on climate change and apocalypses, explore preexisting existential threats that are no less worthy of coverage despite their greater familiarity. VERDICT The focus on sincere, factual presentation of current and future possibilities by leading experts is particularly welcome in this era of fake news and anti-science rhetoric. Younger readers surveying career options in the sciences will find much inspiration here, while the most widely read science generalists will be sure to learn something new.-Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Jim Al-KhaliliPhilip BallGaia VinceJulia SlingoAdam KucharskiAarathi PrasadAdam RutherfordMark WalkerNaomi ClimerAlan WoodwardMargaret A. BodenWinfried K. HensingerAnna PloszajskiJeff HardyJohn MilesNoel SharkeyLouisa PrestonLewis DartnellJim Al-Khalili
Introductionp. 7
The Future Of Our Planet: Demographics, conservation, and climate change
1 Demographicsp. 12
2 The biospherep. 25
3 Climate changep. 37
The Future Of Us: Medicine, genetics, and transhumanism
4 The future of medicinep. 52
5 Genomics and genetic engineeringp. 63
6 Synthetic biologyp. 75
7 Transhumanismp. 85
The Future Online: AI, quantum computing, and the internet
8 The Cloud and "Internet of Things"p. 100
9 Cybersecurityp. 111
10 Artificial intelligencep. 122
11 Quantum computingp. 133
Making The Future: Engineering, transportation, and energy
12 Smart materialsp. 146
13 Energyp. 156
14 Transportationp. 168
15 Roboticsp. 178
The Far Future: Time travel, the apocalypse, and living in space
16 Interstellar travel and colonizing the solar systemp. 190
17 Apocalypsep. 203
18 Teleportation and time travelp. 215
Further readingp. 225
About the authorsp. 228
Indexp. 235