The ongoing acceleration of progress means that whereas in the past radical changes required centuries or at least decades, today they are often happening over a few years. This means predicting short- and mid-term future is very important and the role of future studies today is greater than it ever was.

But are we up to this task? It seems that at least some of us are. The reason for that is that we are increasingly able to look forward into the future and see how things fit together. Paradoxically, the faster change happens, the easier it may be to predict.

"Perhaps more than at any other time in human history, people from all walks of life have an understanding of scientific progress and its implications. What separates our generation from other eras is that researchers today can clearly see where our technology can take us. Science fiction literature is filled with machines of the future, depicting anticipated discoveries."

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