9 Big Problems With Future Scientific Breakthroughs

We can have our sci-fi future, but there are some big problems to solve first.

future city
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The unstoppable march of progress will hopefully one day furnish us all with the future of our sci-fi dreams.

But this isn't sci-fi, and even if the future does deliver there are some big old hurdles that we'll have to clear before we can fly off into that interstellar sunset.

These obstacles can crop up in the most unexpected of places. Alongside the obvious issues of actually figuring out the technology for teleports, interstellar travel and even curing horrible diseases, there could be some serious downsides.

Will robots really steal our jobs? Would genetic modification create an underclass? Is finding a cure for cancer really such a good thing?

9. Interstellar Travel

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Interstellar travel is probably one of the key things that spring to mind when people think about the future of the human race.

Unsurprisingly, journeying through the (hopefully) lifeless vacuum of space is something that is fraught with difficulties - with everything from found sources to the effects of zero-G having to be taken into account - but one of the biggest hurdles we'll have to overcome for this particular endeavour crops up before we've even set off.

The thing is, if we were to set off towards the stars in the first craft we build that could handle it, in the time it takes to get even halfway to another solar system, us Earthlings will have probably produced a craft capable of catching up and overtaking it.

Some people think that the exponential nature of economic and technological growth would prevent humans from setting out for the stars, perhaps indefinitely, due to fear of essentially being lapped on an interstellar scale.

The Wait Calculation was proposed by Andrew Kennedy in 2006, as a possible solution to this. It shows that, by factoring the rates of growth and the times it would take to reach our destination, we can calculate the optimum time to take the leap into space so that travellers will not be over taken.

The good news is that we've managed to figure it out, the bad news is that we can't leave until the year 3107. Better get it in the diary.

 
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