2000 Revisited: Publication on visions of the future

Astrofuturism and the GDR’s visions of the future on the one hand, current visions of technology on the other hand: A new anthology bridges the gap between the science of history and TA and asks how the two disciplines can complement each other.
2000 Revisited: Neuerscheinung zu Zukunftsvisionen
Source: KIT Scientific Publishing

Ideas about future developments of scientific and technological progress are an important part of technology assessment (TA). However, these visions of the future are also increasingly moving into the focus of other disciplines, such as the science of history. Here, we have to mention historical futurology in particular, which has been investigating the performative effect of visions of the future – i.e., how ideas about the world of tomorrow influenced social thinking and acting in the past..

Visions of tomorrow’s world – yesterday and today

In the anthology “2000 Revisited. Visionen der Welt von morgen im Gestern und Heute“ ("2000 Revisited. Past and present visions of the world of tomorrow") published at the end of 2020, historical analyses meet TA research approaches. The volume, which does not only show the similarities but also the differences in the research of technology futures, has been edited by Paulina Dobroć, PhD student at ITAS, and Andie Rothenhäusler, PhD student at the Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ) of KIT.

The volume focuses on 13 case studies. The section about “Zukünfte von gestern”(Yesterday’s futures) deals with past visions of the future, including examinations of futuristic visions of space travel on both sides of the Iron Curtain or Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” diagnosis. The section “Zukünfte von heute” (Today’s futures) is dedicated to current future references and visions such as demographic development, modern robot visions, but also the Quantified Self movement.

Cooperation between humanities and social sciences

The volume is prefaced by two contributions that reflect on the methodological approach to the analysis of futures. Marcus Popplow and Andreas Lösch describe how researchers in the history of technology and in TA, respectively, approach the topic of the future and the limits they encounter in their analysis. In their introduction, Paulina Dobroć and Andie Rothenhäusler point out the need for collaboration between different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences in the analysis of visions of the future.

“2000 Revisited” was published by KIT Scientific Publishing in early December and is available both in bookstores and as a digital open access publication. (21.01.2020)

Bibliographic data:

Dobroć, Paulina; Rothenhäusler, Andie (Hrsg.)
2000 Revisited – Visionen der Welt von morgen im Gestern und Heute. Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing, 2020, 369 S., DOI 10.5445/KSP/1000117728
(Karlsruher Studien Technik und Kultur)
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