Expert Forecasts for 2020

Strengthening the military and warfighters of the future is often a prominent concern for countries in the scientifically proficient group. For example, as a new EU member, Poland needs to modernize its military for greater compatibility with its new security partners. Russia wants to preserve its former status as a world military power. Strengthening homeland security and public safety can also be a relatively high priority. Russia, for instance, faces considerable internal security problems, such as organized crime and armed opposition in Chechnya. All the countries in the scientifically developing group of nations—those able to acquire nine of 16 top applications—will have even less capacity than the proficient group will to implement them beyond laboratory research, demonstrations, or limited diffusion. Brazil and Chile in South America, Mexico in North America, and Turkey in Europe will be the most capable, followed by South Africa, then Indonesia, and finally Colombia. None of these seven countries will have a high level of S&T capacity. And each will have significantly more barriers than drivers. • Social values, public opinion, and politics: Religious beliefs, cultural customs, and social mores that affect how a technology application is perceived within a society; compatibility of a new application with dominant public opinions; and the politics and economics underlying debates about an application. • Green manufacturing: Redesigned manufacturing processes that either eliminate or greatly reduce waste streams and the need to use toxic materials. • Quantum cryptography: Quantum mechanical methods that encode information for secure transfer.