Modern Scientist Predictions Herman Kahn Past

About the predictions both right and wrong of modern scientist Herman Kahn including ones about OPEC, antiballistic missiles and SSTs.


Predictor: HERMAN KAHN

Perhaps the most prolific and controversial of the scientific predictors is the burly, bearded Herman Kahn, who has been in his life a physicist, mathematician, geneticist, sociologist, and lecturer. He is cofounder and director of the Hudson Institute at Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., where, with a group of 35 other experts, he works at developing scenarios about the future of the world. His opinions, though not his scenarios, are definite: Pessimism about the state of the world is a contemporary fad; there is no reason why we can't solve the energy problem; the "less-is-more" limited-growth philosophy will not work. Since Kahn was 13 years old, he has worked at what he calls "man's work," always a mover and a doer. His books, among them On Thermonuclear War, Thinking about the Unthinkable, and The Year 2000, have caused endless debate. Many of the following predictions were made with the help of other members of the institute, notably Anthony Weiner.

Past Predictions: Wrong-In a 1974 interview with U.S. News & World Report Kahn stated that there would be a "relative surplus of both food and energy by 1977."

* In that same interview he predicted that OPEC oil prices would decline dramatically by 1975 and would be "reasonable" by 1977.

Right--In 1968 in Foreign Affairs, he predicted that the Vietnam War would not end soon.

* He foresaw effective antiballistic missile defense from the ground.

* He predicted giant supersonic jets. The SSTs, notably the Anglo-French Concorde, now fly.

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