Trending Colors For 2020 Weddings


Expert Forecasts for 2020

None of the countries in our sample, regardless of their level of S&T capacity, will have low numbers of both drivers and barriers through 2020. This reflects the fact that nations cannot reduce barriers without simultaneously developing drivers and S&T resources. As in the lagging countries, cheap solar energy and rural wireless communications could help scientifically developing nations promote economic growth and international commerce. Nations with the highest level of S&T capacity sit atop the development ladder. Their leading concerns are usually quite different from those of countries with less capacity because they have already achieved the more basic development objectives prerequisite to focusing on those goals. When a national priority is the same, a scientifically advanced country often has very different motivations from those of a lagging or developing one. Promoting economic growth and international commerce is a case in point. The nations in this group are already world economic leaders; their problem is usually to maintain or capture even more of a competitive advantage in an aggressive global market. South Korea, for example, has to deal with a China rapidly gaining S&T capacity and emerging as a commanding economic force. It also needs to gain ground on Japan, the United States, and other economic superpowers. Other advanced countries are contending with skyrocketing health costs. With rapidly aging populations, they need to increase the productivity of their future workforce to finance cutting-edge medical treatment. Rural wireless communications, rapid bioassays, filters and catalysts, cheap autonomous housing, ubiquitous RFID tagging, and quantum cryptography could all help strengthen the military and warfighters. Beyond these, ubiquitous information access could improve combat planning and execution, logistics, and support functions. Pervasive sensors could be implemented in tactical situations to provide updated intelligence and targeting. The increased ability to exchange instructions provided by wearable computers would be a significant advantage in military situations as well. Of 56 illustrative applications that we identified as possible by 2020, 16 appear to have the greatest combined likelihood of being widely available commercially, enjoying a significant market demand, and affecting multiple sectors (e.g., water, food, land, population, governance, social structure, energy, health, economic development, education, defense and conflict, and environment and pollution).