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Facing an "Extreme Future," Nations—and Researchers—Must Collaborate, Experts Say
With the world facing stresses on energy, water, food supplies and social services that seem destined to grow more dire, 21st century science will have to adopt new, more global approaches in organization and funding to provide solutions, experts told an 8 May session of the 33rd annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy.
James Canton, chief executive officer of the Institute for Global Futures, predicts the world will face an "extreme future" by 2020, with energy supplies failing to keep pace with the economic growth; developed nations continuing to experience declines in population; 95% of the world's 8 billion people living in developing nations; the rise of 100 megacities with more than 10 million people each; and a wealth gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" that continues to widen.
"We're going to be challenged on food, energy, water and climate change," Canton said during a panel discussion on the world science and technology will face—and help create—in the decades ahead. To address that future, he said, science must help accelerate social innovations and find new ways to manage complexity.
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