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21st Century Technologies

Tools for a Promising Future?

Today's technological developments take place more rapidly than ever before, exponentially in key areas. Will nanotechnology soon prevent the hardening of the arteries, kill cancer cells and enhance muscle strength? Will self-cleaning dishes, temperature-sensitive clothes, and grain-dust-sized computers count as standard inventory of 21st century households? Or will out of control nanorobots wreak havoc on the planet?

Machines that filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere already exist. Can climate change be reversed with such a tool? Can artificial life forms created by synthetic biology turn pollutants into precious raw materials? Are organic super computer technologies and individualized medicine soon enabling people to live forever?

On the trail of the future, there is much to discover. There is no question that new technologies are changing our lives as quickly and extensively as ever before. The "how" and "why?" are just as controversial as the individual technologies themselves. Does an optimistic look into the future make sense - despite the possible risks and dangers? How can we democratize technology and use it for the common good?

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