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We have changed the world irrevocably and may soon transform ourselves as a species. Here's a status report on the human experiment. In this special magazine bundle, enjoy the latest issue of Scientific American magazine that attempts to answer the biggest questions facing the human race. Plus, dig into an issue of Scientific American MIND on the future of brain health. Finally, read what the experts think will happen to science in the next 50, 100 and 150 years.


The Future in 9 Big Questions

How smart are we? We changed the world irrevocable and may soon transform ourselves as a species. Here's a status report on the human experiment.

September 2016


  • A History in Layers
    What mark will we leave on the planet?
    By Jan Zalasiewicz
  • Coping Skills
    Will climate change us?
    By Katie Peek
  • A Tale of Two Worlds 
    Who will be the winners and losers in an increasingly crowded world?
    By Mara Hvistendahl
  • The Threat of Inequality
    Can civil society endure extreme economic disparity? 
    By Angus Deaton
  • The Red Line
    Will we learn to control our genetic destinies? 
    By Stephen S. Hall
  • Living to 120
    Can we defeat aging? 
    By Bill Gifford
  • All Too Human
    Would we want to live forever (if we could)?
    By Hillary Rosner
  • Deep Time, Deep Survival
    How long will our species last?
    By David Grinspoon
  • The Great Unknown
    Can we trust our own predictions?
    By Kin Stanley Robinson

The Future You

What's Next in Brain Health

November 2014


  • The Future of the Brain: An Introduction
    What's next in brain health and enhancement
    By The Editors
  • Decoding the Brain
    New technologies are extracting detailed data from our brains that reveal what we know, have seen or have dreamed. Some of the signals could even fly a plane
    By Larry Greenemeier
  • Virtual Assault
    Cyberbullies take advantage of the unique psychology of online communities to attack, intimidate and hurt others. Here is what makes trolls tick— and how to stop them
    By Elizabeth Svoboda
  • Cyborg Confidential
    Hooking the brain up to a computer can do more than let the severely disabled move arti¬ficial limbs. It is also revealing the secrets of how we learn
    By Sandra Upson
  • Let There Be Light
    By engineering brain cells to switch on or off in response to light, scientists are unlocking the mysteries of the mind and crafting new remedies for brain disorders
    By Edward S. Boyden
  • A Digital Safety Net
    People are increasingly broadcasting symptoms of mental illness on social media. We should listen
    By Roni Jacobson
  • When Two Brains Connect
    The dawn of human brain-to-brain communication has arrived
    By Rajesh P. N. Rao and Andrea Stocco
  • Your Electric Pharmacy
    Future medications for brain disorders could be delivered through electrodes rather than pills
    By Marom Bikson and Peter Toshev

The Future of Science: 50, 100 and 150 Years From Now

Scientific American asked leading scientists and science writers to look forward to what the world will be like in the years 2063, 2113 and 2163, and tell us what role science and technology will play in our future

January 2013


  • A Drone in Every Driveway
    The only way to bring flying cars to the masses is to leave the flying to the car
    By Mary Cummings
  • The Nuclear Question 
    If the world can’t manage to cast off the ultimate weapons by the middle of the century, we may face extinction 
    By Ron Rosenbaum
  • A Cure for What Ails You 
    Gene therapy, once off to a rocky start, transforms medicine by getting at the root cause of many diseases
    By Ricki Lewis
  • A Tsunami of Extinction 
    By the next century lions, tigers and other marquee species will be gone or confined to zoos 
    By Thomas Lovejoy
  • The Fate of An Engineered Planet 
    Solar engineering and other exceptionally ambitious new technologies to deal with the reality of rising global temperatures come riddled with uncertainties. To illustrate how complex the problem is and what kind of challenges lie ahead, here are three contrasting, and somewhat fantastical, scenarios 
    By David W. Keith and Andy Parker
  • A Bold and Foolish Effort to Predict the Future of Computing
    What today’s prophets of technology say about the day after tomorrow
    By Ed Regis
  • Starship Humanity
    How future generations will make the voyage from our earthly home to the planets and beyond—and what it means for our species 
    By Cameron M. Smith
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