Ben Alper
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Major Applications of Science in the next few decades

1. Introduction

With a huge amount of scientific research being carried out it is easy to loose track of what the end user applications are. However by mapping the applications cited in research and in predictions about the future a relatively small number of applications are found to reoccur frequently. This is my non-methodical first attempt at compiling a list of some of these applications. I welcome any suggestions of additions or criticisms.

2. Sources

Physorg.com - Collection of recently published research in the categories of Nanotechnology, Physics, Space and Earth, Electronics, Technology, Biology and Chemistry, most recently accessed in 2012.
Wfs.org - The World Future Society Predictions from 1999 to 2012 contains the predictions of a wide range of futurists from a range of publications.

3.1 Major Applications

1. Energy Creation

2. Energy Storage

3. Genetic engineering

4. Computing

5. Transport

6. Materials / Nanotech manufacturing

7. Display devices

3.2 Other applications that fit these categories

3.3 Other applications that do not fit these categories

4. Conclusion

A very small number of sources were used, and so important applications will have been missed. Classification of major categories can be done in many ways, someone else may have categories for telecoms, mining, pharmaceuticals, automotive, aerospace and defence for instance. Nanotechnology covers many areas that could be categorised separately. It is likely there will be many alternative technologies competing in each of these areas, and it is impossible to predict the tools, materials and techniques that will be used. Analysis of previous innovations suggests that most new technologies will be developed by teams of Phds in industry. Analysis of Phds available in the UK, suggests that the UK is a leader in genetic engineering, but that there is much less research in the other areas.

 

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