Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us


Quick Studies

2025.jpg

(Photo: Public Domain)

What Will 2025 Look Like?

• July 01, 2014 • 11:15 AM

(Photo: Public Domain)

If modern research trends continue, this is what some experts say the future holds.

Will 2025 finally bring us the flying car?

Not only could it bring us something like it, but the aircraft will also probably be powered by solar energy.

That’s according to a thought exercise by two analysts with the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters. They scoured scientific literature and patent records to identify the biggest and most impactful research areas. By probing the innovative work underway in different sectors, they came up with the following predictions about what life will be like in 2025.

DEMENTIA HAS DECLINED

Dementia researchers have already isolated chromosomes that cause different forms of the disease. As baby boomers reach their 80s, more research into the disease is expected. “In 2025, the studies of genetic mutations causing dementia, coupled with improved detection and onset-prevention methods, will result in far fewer people suffering from it,” the analysts write.

SOLAR POWER IS THE LARGEST SOURCE OF ENERGY ON THE PLANET

The rapid growth of solar thermal and solar photovoltaic energy will increase—but it gets better. “Chemical bonds, a photosynthetic process, will make solar energy available when needed,” the analysts write. “Increased efficiency of energy conversion will be realized through new materials such as cobalt-oxide and titanium-oxide nanostructures, photocatalysts and 3D nanoscale heterojunctions.”

TYPE 1 DIABETES IS PREVENTABLE

Researchers and public health officials have been confounded for decades by rises in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It’s generally thought that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through a diet and exercise regime. By 2025, research into manipulating the human genome could make Type 1 diabetes and other heritable diseases preventable.

FOOD SHORTAGES AND FOOD PRICE FLUCTUATIONS ARE HISTORY

In 2025, the researchers imagine an agricultural industry that grows its crops at high densities indoors using low-energy lighting systems. One such indoor farm is already operating in Chicago.

ELECTRIC AIR TRANSPORTATION

They won’t exactly be flying cars, but construction and battery materials are getting so light that “micro-commercial aircraft” could serve as taxis. Forget about expensive jet fuel—planes could charge up on electricity before taxiing to the runway.

EVEN MORE DIGITAL

“If you think we’re electronically dependent now, you haven’t seen anything yet,” the analysts write. “Thanks to the prevalence of improved semiconductors, graphene-carbon nanotube capacitors, cell-free networks of service antenna and 5G technology, wireless communications will dominate everything, everywhere.”

PLANT-BASED PACKAGING IS THE NORM

Most of today’s plastic is made from oil, and leaches poisons as it gradually breaks down. Replacement materials are being made from cellulose—alternatives that will get stronger and cheaper.

CANCER TREATMENT WITHOUT TOXIC SIDE EFFECTS

Personalized medicine and big data will help doctors target drug treatments with fewer side effects.

DNA MAPPING AT BIRTH

DNA testing is becoming so easy that, by 2025, our babies could be routinely screened at birth.

TELEPORTATION TESTS

Research into the Higgs Boson particle is accelerating, bringing the promise of teleportation. Not for humans, tragically. But “a significant investment in and testing of quantum teleportation will be underway using other forms of matter,” the analysts predict.

John Upton
John Upton is a science journalist with an ecology background. He has written recently for VICE, Slate, Nautilus, Modern Farmer, Grist, and Audubon magazine. He blogs at Wonk on the Wildlife. Upton's favorite eukaryotes are fungi, but he won't fault you for being human. Follow him on Twitter @johnupton.

More From John Upton

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and PSmag.com, delivered straight to your inbox.

Recent Posts

December 18 • 8:00 AM

Gendering #BlackLivesMatter: A Feminist Perspective

Black men are stereotyped as violent, while black women are rendered invisible. Here’s why the gendering of black lives matters.


December 18 • 7:06 AM

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.


December 18 • 6:00 AM

The Very Weak and Complicated Links Between Mental Illness and Gun Violence

Vanderbilt University’s Jonathan Metzl and Kenneth MacLeish address our anxieties and correct our assumptions.


December 18 • 4:00 AM

Should Movies Be Rated RD for Reckless Driving?

A new study finds a link between watching films featuring reckless driving and engaging in similar behavior years later.


December 17 • 4:00 PM

How to Run a Drug Dealing Network in Prison

People tend not to hear about the prison drug dealing operations that succeed. Substance.com asks a veteran of the game to explain his system.


December 17 • 2:00 PM

Gender Segregation of Toys Is on the Rise

Charting the use of “toys for boys” and “toys for girls” in American English.


December 17 • 12:41 PM

Why the College Football Playoff Is Terrible But Better Than Before

The sample size is still embarrassingly small, but at least there’s less room for the availability cascade.


December 17 • 11:06 AM

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.


December 17 • 10:37 AM

A Public Lynching in Sproul Plaza

When photographs of lynching victims showed up on a hallowed site of democracy in action, a provocation was issued—but to whom, by whom, and why?


December 17 • 8:00 AM

What Was the Job?

This was the year the job broke, the year we accepted a re-interpretation of its fundamental bargain and bought in to the push to get us to all work for ourselves rather than each other.


December 17 • 6:00 AM

White Kids Will Be Kids

Even the “good” kids—bound for college, upwardly mobile—sometimes break the law. The difference? They don’t have much to fear. A professor of race and social movements reflects on her teenage years and faces some uncomfortable realities.



December 16 • 4:00 PM

How Fear of Occupy Wall Street Undermined the Red Cross’ Sandy Relief Effort

Red Cross responders say there was a ban on working with the widely praised Occupy Sandy relief group because it was seen as politically unpalatable.


December 16 • 3:30 PM

Murder! Mayhem! And That’s Just the Cartoons!

New research suggests deaths are common features of animated features aimed at children.


December 16 • 1:43 PM

In Tragedy, Empathy Still Dependent on Proximity

In spite of an increasingly connected world, in the face of adversity, a personal touch is most effective.


December 16 • 12:00 PM

The ‘New York Times’ Is Hooked on Drug du Jour Journalism

For the paper of record, addiction is always about this drug or that drug rather than the real causes.


December 16 • 10:00 AM

What Is the Point of Academic Books?

Ultimately, they’re meant to disseminate knowledge. But their narrow appeal makes them expensive to produce and harder to sell.


December 16 • 8:00 AM

Unjust and Unwell: The Racial Issues That Could Be Affecting Your Health Care

Physicians and medical students have the same problems with implicit bias as the rest of us.


December 16 • 6:00 AM

If You Get Confused Just Listen to the Music Play

Healing the brain with the Grateful Dead.


December 16 • 4:00 AM

Another Casualty of the Great Recession: Trust

Research from Britain finds people who were laid off from their jobs expressed lower levels of generalized trust.


December 15 • 4:00 PM

When Charter Schools Are Non-Profit in Name Only

Some charters pass along nearly all their money to for-profit companies hired to manage the schools. It’s an arrangement that’s raising eyebrows.


December 15 • 2:00 PM

No More Space Race

A far cry from the fierce Cold War Space Race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, exploration in the 21st century is likely to be a much more globally collaborative project.


December 15 • 12:32 PM

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.


December 15 • 12:00 PM

Gluttony and Global Warming: We’re Eating Ourselves to a Warmer Planet

Forget your car. Our obsession with beef and dairy has a far more devastating effect on the climate.


December 15 • 10:00 AM

The 2016 Presidential Race Has Already Started

And this is the most exciting part.


Follow us


Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

A Word of Caution to the Holiday Deal-Makers

Repeat customers—with higher return rates and real bargain-hunting prowess—can have negative effects on a company’s net earnings.

Crowdfunding Works for Science

Scientists just need to put forth some effort.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.