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and Medicine
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Acts of Intuition

Imagining our future.

Fortune-telling is devilishly hard, but we do it all the time. Business makes bets on potentially lucrative products and markets. Scientific research, despite unpredictability, proceeds on hunches and intuition. Policy is often made on the basis of what we hope will turn out to be right and fair. When editors write about the future, they try to guess what will interest their readers. But there is a feature common to all acts of intuition, and that is imagination.

Herewith you’ll find a collection of what we consider to be the best examples of imagining the future. A company springs to life after resurrecting another’s moribund clinical data. Genomics, after a hiatus, finds a fruitful place in predictive diagnostics and treatment. The DNA between genes, thought to be evolutionarily mute, suddenly rises and speaks. In remote corners of the world, saving an infant with a vaccination saves our humanity. Indeed, there are clouds across the crystal ball: our genes can predict the future, and they tell us more than we’re prepared to know. As science becomes more accessible and value-laden, it will struggle to define itself politically and morally.

We believe the only way to discover the limits of what is possible is to venture beyond them. The people, the businesses, and the technologies we write about typify this understanding. We sincerely hope the results will capture what it is like to imagine ourselves in the years ahead.

Christopher Scott

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Business
and Finance

Prescription prices and health care costs still shadow the life sciences industry. But for biotechnology companies, an open IPO window and lucrative licensing deals may mean rosy days ahead.

Science, Technology,
and Medicine

Elegant, straightforward ideas will win in the immediate future, while insights into the mysteries of complex diseases will set the tempo for new cures. But dusting off old technologies may beat out both approaches in the long run.

Policy, Society,
and Ethics

The hubris of science, plus intrusions of Western technology and medicine into the developing world, make one wonder: why not health care and knowledge for all, rather than a fortunate few? Life sciences will continue their global reach, but not without controversy.

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