The Future of The Biosciences





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The Future of The Biosciences

Review by Dr Alex Tang

I have always been fascinated with future forecast especially in the area of science, technological, society and culture. I like reading books by futurists. Most futurists are system thinkers who sees trends in the present and are able to extrapolate these trends into the future. This book which was published in September 2009 deals with the future of biosciences.

Most of us will appreciate that biosciences is the next wave of the future with its confluence into healthcare. Bioscience is the new name for biological sciences that deals with the cutting edge technology of gene manipulation technologies, anti-aging modalities, cloning and pharmaceutical developments. The research and development of these technologies are expanding by leaps and bounds. It is not inconceivable that human life expectancies will be expanded to 120 years within the next decade.

The limitation to biosciences is not the research and development, the authors argue, but whether society can continue to support a large aging population especially if the life expectancy increase to over 100. The limitation is the resources for healthcare.

There are four possible scenarios that can happen in the future. These four scenarios are the interactions of public perception of biosciences and healthcare resources. The public reception of biosciences can range from unconditional acceptance total rejection. This is a well researched book on biosciences and healthcare resources. The discussion will be enhanced by a deeper discussion of globalisation and religious impact on social trends. However the authors are wise to limit their discussion to the North American context as their data are mainly from that region.  

Posted 11 November 2009


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