A new year is a good time for the editors at Scientific American to look ahead and make predictions about the future of science and health. Exquisite images from space telescopes, reduced reproductive rights in the U.S., efforts to dismantle environmental regulation, and a war that laid bare our energy co-dependency were some of the inspiring and disturbing news we covered in the year 2000. There are some things we are paying attention to as the year progresses.


Satellites arecluttering the night sky, two crewed space stations are operational, and nations are fielding new military capabilities. The need for stronger international protections may be on the rise.

A new era of exploration, space science and commerce could be ushered in if the first flight of the Starship vehicle is a success. We think that the search for life beyond Earth will get a boost in the year 2023, if the James Webb Space Telescope tells us about biosignatures on a distant exoplanet or if we find fossils in the rocks of Mars.


European leaders, facing high costs and possible shortages because of the Ukraine War, will have to make decisions about energy infrastructure. We will be watching what they decide to build and keep online, as well as what existing structures they keep online. Future climate support and regulation could be determined by the U.S. government. Climate change and mortality are being revealed by science. The evidence will convince more people that we need to act now.

The global climate emergency will make it a big year for recovery after storms, floods, and other disasters. Part of that recovery will require officials to make decisions on whether to rebuild and how to do it in a way that will help us survive climate change. One question is if adaptation mechanisms will be distorted by powerful people.


We will need to modify how we as consumers of news decide what to believe and how we navigate the "Infodemic" in the years to come. Privacy, antitrust, and the health consequences of the constant use of social media are some of the issues the federal government is paying attention to. Major companies such as Meta and Stripe are laying off employees because of the downturn in the tech industry. There could be a tech downturn.


The public's interest in COVID is decreasing. People are dying of the disease and medical experts are just beginning to investigate. More vaccines and treatments are in the works for the disease. The need for better Pandemic Preparedness is emphasized by the recent Monkeypox outbreak.

We will continue to cover the science behind the procedure, documenting how abortion restrictions can harm pregnant people, especially those with limited access to healthcare. The effects of legislation on children and families seeking gender-affirming care will be reported.


It has been a long time since the search for a new psychiatric drug. MDMA may be approved by the FDA for post-traumatic stress disorder. The drug esketamine has been approved for use as an anti-depressant. The chemicals are gaining legitimacy, but they aren't a panacea.


The oldest DNA that has been Sequenced so far is about 1.2 million years old. Paleoproteomics is a technique that helps place extinct species in the tree of life. A research tool recently helped illuminate the evolutionary history of a relative of the rhinoceros.

The role of colonization in scientific exploration is being reexamined in the sciences of our ancient world. Racist species names are being watched. A new generation of scientists is fighting against practices that take items from developing nations and take them to the Western world without consideration of local knowledge or benefit.

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