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Horizons of future science

Philip Campbell, Editor in Chief of Nature, writes (Nature 451, 643; 2008):

“When Nature asked a group of experts to offer their visions of the future, we were aware that such a project can have its pitfalls. Experts can get things drastically wrong — although, as Arthur C. Clarke noted, this usually occurs when they assert what is not possible. When they say what is possible, they can be inspiringly right.

With such inspiration in mind, these five Horizons articles (listed below) offer a sense of what our authors believe should happen over the next few years. The collection is in no way comprehensive — we simply wanted to deliver a mix of fundamental and applied science, with the writers articulating their unrefereed agendas for their disciplines.”

The five Horizons articles, all in the 7 February 2008 issue of Nature:

A systematic look at an old problem

As life expectancy increases, a systems-biology approach is needed to ensure that we have a healthy old age.

Thomas B. L. Kirkwood pp 644-647

Chemistry for everyone

Moves by chemists to help computers access the scientific literature have boosted the drive to make scientific information freely available to all.

Peter Murray-Rust pp 648-651

Building better batteries

Researchers must find a sustainable way of providing the power our modern lifestyles demand.

M. Armand and J.-M. Tarascon pp 652-657

Evolution of anatomy and gene control

Evo-devo meets systems biology.

Georgy Koentges pp 658-663

Wiring up quantum systems

The emerging field of circuit quantum electrodynamics could pave the way for the design of practical quantum computers.

R. J. Schoelkopf and S. M. Girvin pp 664-669

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    Attila Csordas said:

    I loved the first 3 signal articles although I missed a good and detailed ageing systems biology example by Kirkwood and I think that Murray-Rust’s interesting essay used a little bit outdated vocabulary targeted for the mainstream Nature audience, like e-science and cyberscholarship, those terms sounded like a bit 90s. The battery article was the most technical and new to me and I liked it.

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