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Can science see into the future?

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A new publication from the makers of New Scientist, Arc, which was launched this week, looks at what science, and science fiction, can tell us about the future.

Simon Ings, science fiction writer and editor of Arc, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that futurology is now focused on the fact that "there's a huge anxiety that we're heading for massive systemic breakdown of virtually every economic and political system... we can afford to take a broader perspective on the future".

Former Tomorrow's World presenter Maggie Philbin described how they worked with prototypes on programme, some of which worked and some of which did not - there was a "limited market" for the electric blanket that could detect your "hot bits", she said.

"It's important to try and articulate the future in science", she said, but while gadgets are faster to come to market, social change takes a lot longer.


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