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  1. #1
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Which field of science holds the most potential in the coming century?

    Which field of science holds the most potnetial in the coming century?

    biology and genetics
    Physics and engineering
    nanotechnology
    Space technology
    medical science and health (as in like cure for cancer)
    chemistry
    energy development (alternative fuel source)



    or something else (feel free to add a new category not on the list, either made up or realistic)


    P.S how to turn this thread into a poll

  2. #2
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Nanotechnology, which would apply to Biology, Chemistry etc., although Energy developments may be more of a priority at the moment, while we wait for assemblers and disassemblers.
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
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  3. #3
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    I'd say nanotechnology. And that in turn would help a lot in many other fields, for example medicine. Biology and genetics seem to have new headlines every day, so I kind of hope that there is going to be loads of breakthroughs in gene thereapy and other areas.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  4. #4
    Senior Member 6sticks's Avatar
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    Accurate username.

    Nanotechnology.
    No offense.

  5. #5
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    Artificial Intelligence, because once it takes off we won't know what hit us. I'm serious.

  6. #6
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Jack Flak is right. It's AI.
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  7. #7

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    I don't think it is going to be a field that we've named already.
    It'll likely be some combination.

    Nonotech and biotech are converging and influencing a lot of things rights now (including better materials, alternative energy, and fine-scale manufacturing).

    Medical imaging and Computer Tomography are yielding new insights into the human body, especially the human brain. This in turn has filled the science section of book-stores with many books on the brain and the mind, as neuroscience is making great progress (backed by a co-discoverer of DNA, no less). Along with this there have been great strides in cognitive science which is tightly connected to Artificial Intelligence (which is an antiquated term for what has now become many sub-disciplines connected with things that are not necessarily confined creating an artificial form of "intelligence"-- including statistical inference, neural-networks, Fuzzy Logic, multi-modal formal reasoning, Modern Control Theory, pattern recognition, Human-Computer Interaction, Semantic Networks, ...).

    I think Automation (Industrial, Corporate, and Domestic) is something that has had great potential for a long time. Imagine being a business owner simply having to do minimal maintenance to a "machine" that takes and fulfills orders--complete with custom manufacturing, automated delivery, and collection/analysis of customer feedback. But out labor market would go through a temporary crisis in "unskilled" work if an industry focused on automating everything were to flourish.

    Right now information is cheap and getting cheaper exponentially, while energy remains about as expensive as it has always been (if not getting more expensive). So I think the greater potential is there for some break-through in energy.

    Whether or not we'll have one is a different question.

    We may only be able to make things slightly cheaper (long-run, remember we've passed peak-oil) with the use of 4-th generation nuclear, solar ink/paint, oil shale, and fuel-cell cell technology, hybrid and electric vehicles to use less of our scarce oil and more of our grid (mostly powered by coal).

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  8. #8
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Artificial Intelligence, because once it takes off we won't know what hit us. I'm serious.
    Not really. AI is in many ways leading itself into a corner.

    I agree with ygolo on the basic concept that it's probably going to achievements in various fields that'll mark the next century. Although the exact nature of those achievements is what I dispute.

    Probably what concerns me most is whether or not scientific research and development is moving along routes guided by proper philosophical underpinnings. I'm very concerned that it isn't, and hasn't been for quite some time.

    We have the mistaken concept that science is some autonomous field that goes by its own rules, irregardless of everybody else. That's not true. Science is a means to an end, not an end to itself. What is the exact nature of the ends we wish for science to achieve. We're not engaging in proper discussions about that. We confuse science with scientism.

    Frederich Nietzsche made an important point about this in On the Genealogy of Morals:

    "Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as science ‘without presuppositions’…a ‘faith’ must always be there first of all, so that science can acquire from it a direction, a meaning, a limit, a method – a right to exist…It is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science."

  9. #9
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Artificial Intelligence, because once it takes off we won't know what hit us. I'm serious.
    Nano and AI will blend into one thing after a while, as we will use one to create the other. Micromachines also means micro-"computers".
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

  10. #10
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Yeah nanotech hands down. Maybe physics if there are any serious breakthroughs.

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