Modern Scientist Predictions Glenn T. Seaborg

About the predictions both right and wrong of modern scientist Glenn T. Seaborg includings ones about molecular medicine science and technology.


Now an associate director of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Nobel Prize winner Seaborg was chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission from 1961 to 1971. Codiscoverer of 10 elements, including plutonium, he headed the chemical work on plutonium in the Manhattan Project.

Past Predictions: No record.

Future Predictions: No Dates Given

* Much progress will be made in the understanding of life processes--in biochemistry, molecular biology, and related areas concerning the study of proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, and other macromolecules. Chemical and biological investigations at the molecular and cellular levels, aided by enormously efficient computers, will elucidate the origin of life and lead to the artificial creation of life. Biochemical genetics will give us a great deal of control over the genetic code and, beneficently applied (which will pose a real challenge), should result in a reduction or elimination of genetic defects.

* Computer-aided molecular medicine, immunochemistry, and chemotherapy should lead to the alleviation, treatment, cure, or prevention of our major ailments, including "mental" illness, and to a slowing of the aging process. And we will understand the structure, mechanism, and functioning of nerve and brain, leading to control of our memory, through investigations in neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, neuro-physiology, statistical biology, and experimental psychology. Bioengineering should make available implantable (microcomputer-assisted) artificial hearts, kidneys, eyes (instruments to permit the blind to "see"), ears (instruments to permit the deaf to "hear"), and other bodily parts and organs.

* Science and technology, properly supported, will solve our energy, food, and mineral resources problems, even with our expanding worldwide population. Our endless supply of solar energy will be put to practical use through processes yet to be discovered--direct catalytic conversion to electricity, splitting of water to produce hydrogen fuel, or widespread bioconversion of vegetation and waste products. In addition to breeding of new crops, new sources of food will come from biological nitrogen fixation; protein extraction from low-cost grain, legumes, and leaves; and the production of single-cell protein from all types of wastes and algae. Geologists will find new sources of minerals, chemists will increase the efficiency of extraction, and materials scientists will synthesize substitute materials from resources which are in abundant supply.

* Scientific advances will include, in physics, the understanding of fundamental particles and nuclear structure, and the synthesis of many additional chemical elements; in space sciences, the colonization of the moon and manned travel to Mars; in chemistry, the synthesis of millions of new compounds tailored for a wide spectrum of practical uses; in seismology, the prediction of earthquakes; in computer science, the placement of miniaturized computers in the hands of nearly everyone and perhaps production of machines that "think"; in engineering sciences, the translation of scientific discoveries on all fronts into a bewildering total of practical applications; and in astronomy and astrophysics, comprehension of the universe extending far beyond the awareness of quasars, pulsars, and black holes.

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