Futurism

"I had 'Earthseed' in mind when I created the portrait of Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower is one of my favorites of Butler's novels," says Nettrice Gaskins.

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

GM's head of design Harley Earl drove the "Y-job" to and from work for 11 years.

How General Motors Introduced the Idea of a 'Concept Car'

Eighty years ago, the Buick Y-job was billed as the car of the future

The Harmony is an all-electric vehicle designed by Texas A&M engineers.

Personal Flying Machines of the Future Won't Look Much Like Jet Packs

Judging from the GoFly competition, they're much more likely to resemble flying motorbikes

How a $10 Billion Experimental City Nearly Got Built in Rural Minnesota

A new documentary explores the “city of the future” that was meant to provide a blueprint for urban centers across America

BB-8 is an “astromech droid” who first appeared in The Force Awakens.

What the Robots of Star Wars Tell Us About the Future of Human Work

The films' much-loved robots exist mostly to assist rather than replace humans—and like us, they are prone to errors

The face of a dreamer.

Winston Churchill Imagined the Lab-Grown Hamburger

But he was off about the year when it would be created

It looks a bit like a blimp–unsurprising, since Fuller meant it to fly.

Buckminster Fuller Was Good at Ideas, Terrible at Car Design

Fuller held more than 30 patents during his life, but many of his ideas didn't make it off the page–or not for long

In the war years, Greyhounds were crowded with travelers, leading planners to look at a new technology: helicopters.

In a Fit of 1940s Optimism, Greyhound Proposed a Fleet of Helicopter Buses

"Greyhound Skyways" would have turned major cities into bustling helicopter hubs

Isaac Asimov at age 70.

If Isaac Asimov Had Named The Smartphone, He Might Have Called It The “Pocket Computer Mark II”

The sci-fi author correctly predicted a number of innovations that have come to pass

Kevin Kelly unpacks 12 technological forces in his new book.

<em>Wired</em> Founder Kevin Kelly On the Technologies That Will Dominate Our Future

The optimistic futurist says we'll share more, own less and spend far more time on our devices

"Science fiction is so important to our culture, because it allows us to dream," said Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science division, at the "Future is Here" festival.

Future Is Here Festival

The Future Is Here Festival Considers Extraterrestrial Life and the Essence of Humanity

In the festival's final day, speakers turn to the cosmos and our place within it

Future is Here festival attendees heard from visionaries in a wide range of fields.

Future Is Here Festival

How to Make Science Fiction Become Fact, in Three Steps

Speakers at <em>Smithsonian</em> magazine's "Future is Here" festival said be patient, persistent, but never, ever pessimistic

Future Is Here Festival

Tech Visionary Nicholas Negroponte Talks About the Future of Education

The act of writing a computer program, says the founder of MIT's Media Lab, allows a child to learn about learning

Cemeteries of the Future

Do you want to be buried in a coral reef, a skyscraper or on an artificial island?

Artist Yoshi Sodeoka envisions musical instruments carried in satellites orbiting the Earth that would be able to “neutralize nations at war."

How Will We Make Music in 200 Years?

A group of innovators were asked to imagine what music will be like in 2214. If they're right, it could be pretty bizarre

Cool Finds

Every Year for the Next 100 Years, Authors Will Write Books That Won't Be Read Until 2114

Author Margaret Atwood's new book became the first to go into the century-long time capsule project

New Research

Humanity’s Legacy Might Be The Holes We Leave Behind

The last remnants of human civilizations might be the holes we carve into the earth

Atlas V Launches the New Horizons Mission to Pluto.

Future Is Here Festival

Take a Peek Into the Future's Present With Our Live Coverage of Smithsonian's Two-Day Festival

The magazine's 2nd annual conference brings together experts, authors and visionaries in the fields of science, science fiction and technology.

Cell phones have revolutionized daily life, and will only continue to impact our existence, says Joshua Bell, an anthropologist at the Natural History Museum.

Future Is Here Festival

The Future is Here: What's Next For Mobile Phones?

Anthropologist Joshua Bell weighs in on new uses for cell phone technology at Smithsonian magazine's annual festival

What future will our children inherit?

New Poll Reveals Americans' Predictions of the Future

What are they most fearful of? What are they most optimistic about?

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