futurology


fu·tur·olo·gy

noun \ˌfyü-chə-ˈrä-lə-jē\

: the study of what might happen in the future

Full Definition of FUTUROLOGY

:  a study that deals with future possibilities based on current trends
fu·tur·olog·i·cal \-rə-ˈlä-ji-kəl\ adjective
fu·tur·olo·gist \-ˈrä-lə-jist\ noun

First Known Use of FUTUROLOGY

1946

futurology

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Study of current trends in order to forecast future developments. The field originated in the “technological forecasting” developed near the end of World War II and in studies examining the consequences of nuclear conflict. Studies in the 1960s sought to anticipate future social patterns and needs. The Limits of Growth by Dennis Meadows, et al. (1972), focused on global socioeconomic trends, projecting a Malthusian vision in which the collapse of the world order would result if population growth, industrial expansion, pollution, food production, and natural-resource use continued at current rates. Later reports reiterated many of these concerns, with critics contending that futurologists' models were flawed and futurologists responding that their analytic techniques were becoming increasingly sophisticated. Other notable works include Alvin Toffler's Future Shock (1970), Daniel Bell's The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973), Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth (1982), and Nigel Calder's The Green Machines (1986).

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