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Appendix A: Scenarios
Pages 61-82

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From page 61...
... Appendixes 61
From page 63...
... A scenario is a tool for ordering one's perceptions about alternative future environments in which today's decisions might be played out. The initial phase usually involves rigorously challenging the mental maps that shape one's perceptions.
From page 64...
... Like physics, chemistry is benefiting from new computational methods and the ability to manipulate matter at the very small scale. We can simulate chemical reactions and structures that enable us to try many more alternatives in virtual labs than we could ever do in the real world.
From page 65...
... The telescope and the microscope changed our view of the very large and the very small. Atom smashers, now called particle accelerators, made it possible to explore the interior of the atom.
From page 66...
... Over the coming decade we anticipate building several huge new telescopes both on the ground and in space. The scanning tunneling microscope has given us the ability to see and manipulate individual atoms.
From page 67...
... The chemistry that lies ahead will have two new distinct properties. We are increasingly going to be able to predict the dynamics of chemical reactions and the properties of the resulting new materials using computational methods.
From page 68...
... When Eric Drexler first articulated his vision of nanotechnology in 1986, most physicists derided it as implausible. Because of the irrepressible movements of very small things, you could never control them or make them stable enough to build nanoscale machines, even if nature did.
From page 69...
... We would have remarkable new capabilities to manufacture new devices and new materials in entirely ecologically benign ways. We might even have new clean energy sources.
From page 70...
... One woman is on the phone setting up meetings with the congressional Bio-Machines Oversight Committee. Another woman tries to finish an article for the Times on the companys' current research into external uteruses and its potential effects on unborn fetuses and gender inequalities in the workplace.
From page 71...
... troops and also sent drones over Israel to spray a deadly, genetically modified variant of Ebola that Iraqi scientists were able to develop through advances using stem cells. Ebola-C, as it was called in this country, a powerful virus that could spread through any bodily fluid exchange, would attach itself to vulnerable cells in the body and modify its genetic information such that the cells it would spawn would burst, spreading the virus further through the body until a major organ was destroyed.
From page 72...
... biotechnology companies. Universities began to develop degree programs in ethics, life sciences, and society; courses in biological advances were added to liberal arts programs; and courses in ethics were made requirements in all science and engineering degree programs.
From page 73...
... Many of her colleagues garnered technical jobs; others became part of the political landscape by joining the staffs of congressional oversight committees; still others engaged in public relations and marketing for the top life sciences companies. Katherines' closest friend in graduate school, Ayodele Amana from Lagos, Nigeria, decided to spend her life getting the advances in life sciences all the way to the poorest migrants in Africa, who badly needed AIDS vaccinations and even the simplest of vitamins and water purification techniques that were commonplace in America generations ago.
From page 74...
... 74 THE ENGINEER OF 2020 alarm for 6:00 a.m., got in bed, told her steamer what outfit she wanted to wear the next day, turned off all the lights in her house, and then laid back and closed her eyes. "After all the life sciences advances of the past 15 years," Katherine thought to herself, "why is it that we havent' figured out an alternative to sleeping?
From page 75...
... By 2010, developing nations experienced premature deaths of nearly 3 million citizens per year due to inadequate water, food distribution, and power infrastructures. As in the previous decades, unless those deaths fell close together geographically and temporally so that the media could effectively cover a "disaster," little happened.
From page 76...
... Earthquake abatement strategies continued to be enforced in Japan and California: new buildings were built to code, older buildings were retooled. Hurricane evacuation routes along the Gulf and Florida coasts, along with an increase in the ability to forecast hurricanes, limited human death but not property destruction.
From page 77...
... The conference was the result of insurance company pressures combined with increased abilities to predict severe events and fairly solid predictions of increased natural disasters. Essentially, the world representatives decided the chances of an increase in the number, severity, and points of landfall for hurricanes were high enough to take preventive actions.
From page 78...
... And the asteroid striking the Pacific Ocean in 2017 was certainly a surprise. It didnt' fit the "insurance" model; 1.3 million died in the Puget Sound region alone, and the economic cost was in the multiple trillions of dollars in the United States alone (Tokyo did not suffer a direct tidal hit, a blessing that saved 10 million lives)
From page 79...
... Soldiers were the construction workers, road builders, electric power restorers, and food distributors. This use of military personnel immediately reduced the ability of the United States to send forces into the rest of the world and thus reduced the country's ability to fight a foreign threat.
From page 80...
... The bombardment of the World Trade Center towers in 2001 opened eyes to the increasing technological disparities between the nations. An immediate military response removed that particular group of terrorists, but others saw the attack as a major success and made plans of their own.
From page 81...
... After the horrific terrorist attacks at the Olympics in 2008, foreign vacation travel all but ceased, and governments started tightening their borders to prevent future attacks. These protectionist tactics crippled the world economy, reducing trade and ending economic cooperation.
From page 82...
... While major international companies had long moved manufacturing and technical service jobs overseas in search of low-cost suppliers, the pressure to outsource "creative" jobs, such as engineering design, mounted. This placed severe downward pressure on the availability of engineering jobs in the U.S.


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