Soonish is audio journalism that looks at how we adopt, and adapt to, new technologies. It asks how we think about the future, what we can do to shape it, and why our best forecasts—and our worst fears—are usually wrong. It's like science fiction—without the fiction.

 
 

1.10: Washington, We have a problem

Journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson thinks democracy in the US is protected by a "constitutional gyroscope." If that's true, Donald Trump is doing his best to break it. 

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1.08: Hacking time

Why do our so many of our productivity tools, like email, to-do lists, and calendars, make us want to run and hide? This week we look at technologies for managing our personal futures, and why it's conceivable that less is more.

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1.09: A tale of two bridges

Can a city's history crowd out its future? We ask how Boston's ultra-modern Zakim Bridge got built, and why officials are spending more than twice as much to restore (rather than replace) the much older Longfellow Bridge. 

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1.07: Astropreneurs

When humans return to the moon, will they be government-employed astronauts, or private citizens? This week we explore the #newspace boom—the veritable meteor shower of startups working to develop space for economic gain.

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1.06: origin story

Hear how Carl Sagan and extraterrestrials helped to kickstart my science journalism career, how the Challenger disaster woke me up to technology’s double-edged nature, and how the New York World’s Fair of 1939 got me thinking about the world of the future.

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1.05: meat without the moo

Livestock farming can't meet the protein needs of a burgeoning world population. Meet entrepreneurs and researchers developing alternatives, including lab techniques for growing cultured meat, and better ways to farm insects.

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1.04: Future factories, with workers built in

A cultural and technological revolution sweeping the United States promises to redefine manufacturing, make it drastically more accessible, and create a ladder to new kinds of jobs.

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1.02: Monorails: Trains of Tomorrow?

Since the 1950s, monorails have been emblems of the future. And today they're being built everywhere in the world—except the United States. Soonish visited Seattle to find out why.

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1.03: can technology save museums?

Attendance at art museums is in steep decline. Meet curators and educators who are helping museums in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston use technology to re-engage with visitors.

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1.01: How "2001" Got the future so wrong

In their quest for plausibility, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke sweated every detail of 2001: A Space Odyssey. We ask why so few of the movie's predictions came true.

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ABOUT

Find out about the show and its creator, Wade Roush.

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