Gerardus 't Hooft
In the recent past, rapid scientific and technological developments have had tremendous impact on human society. Notably the pc, internet and mobile telephony changed the world and shrank our planet. These developments are vastly different from the forecasts by science fiction authors, who promised us space travel and intelligent humanoid robots. Could real scientists have done a better job in forecasting the future? What can we say about the future now? Many SF fantasies will never materialize. Some will, but only over time spans of millions of years rather than a couple of centuries. Nature's laws are very strict and forbidding but also show gaps that might promise fantastic possibilities for a scientific future, even within our lifetime. Humanity will be able to conquer the cosmos, but how?