21st Century Technologies

Promises and Perils of a Dynamic Future

Release Date: May 1, 1999

The next few decades hold the prospect of remarkable progress in a wide range of pervasive technologies that are likely to have a profound effect on how we live, work, and spend our leisure time. These technologies are sit to revolutionise the worlds of medicine, agriculture, travel, retailing… so much that is familiar in our daily lives. Used wisely, they could be of huge benefit to mankind. Used wrongly, they could mean lost opportunities and unnecessary risks.

The challenge for society is immense. What would be the cost of failure to embrace dynamic change? What kind of ethical dilemmas will arise from further breakthroughs in genetic engineering? Will the spread of new technologies create new social divisions? What sort of societies will prove most adept at harnessing the vast technological potential? How can countries best cooperate to maximize the benefits of spillovers?

This book reviews the extraordinary promise of technological advances over the next twenty years, and assesses some of the key issues–economic, social, environmental, ethical–that decision-makers in government, business, and society will face in the decades ahead.