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An Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer
February 7 2011
About the Author – Mark Stevenson is a writer, futurologist, stand-up comedian, and cultural education consultant. The Irish Independent has called him “a uniquely funny and unashamedly intelligent comedic talent.” After graduating with first-class honors from the Information Technology Institute at Salford University, Stevenson became an editor at an IT industry think tank before mixing two careers as a musician and an expert in prime number cryptography.
As co-director of Flow Associates, Britain’s most respected cultural learning consultancy and ReAgency, a leading agency for science communication talent, he works with museums, galleries, and archives around the globe to promote learning. He was recently elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufacture, and Commerce and currently lives in London.
About the Book – In the tradition of Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, a smart and entertaining guide to the future of civilization
When unexpectedly confronted with his own mortality, Mark Stevenson-a writer, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian-began to ponder what the future holds for our species. “The past is a foreign country,” writes Stevenson. “By my analysis it’s a bit like France-in that I’ve been to parts of it and eaten some nice food there. But the future? The future is an unknown territory-and there isn’t a guidebook.” Thus, his ambition was born.
Stevenson set out simply, asking, “What’s next?” and then traveled the globe in pursuit of the answers. Along the way, he visited the Australian outback to visit the farmers who can save us from climate change, met a robot with mood swings, and talked to the Spaniard who’s putting a hotel in space. While some might be overwhelmed, or even dismayed by the looming realities of genome sequencing, synthetic biology, a nuclear renaissance, and carbon scrubbing, Stevenson remains, well, optimistic. Drawing on his singular humor and storytelling to break down these sometimes complicated discoveries, An Optimist’s Tour of the Future paints a wonderfully readable, and completely enthralling portrait of where we’ll be when we grow up- and why it’s not so scary.