Another nomination for The Battle To Beat Malaria

Back to the Future

A fast-moving, entertaining and thought-provoking juxtaposition of the predictions made in 1900 for the 20th century and today's forecasts for the world by 2100 AD.

In 1900 experts got much wrong and a lot right. Housework never became fun. But we did get the internet and the atomic bomb.

The programme's 2000 experts predict fixed-term marriages, immortality, a new ice age, nuclear war, takeover by robots and the human race splitting into two species.

If the accuracy of 1900 is a guide, some of them will be right…

For the first day of the new century, the BBC has asked some of the world's top brains for their predictions for where we'll be by 2100.   These forecasts are matched with those exactly a hundred years ago - the last time the world tried to peer a century ahead. The result is a provocative, entertaining and mind-expanding journey which is guaranteed to cut through Millennium hangovers and set us up for the 21st century.

In 1900, though electricity, cinema and modern warfare were in their infancy, visionaries like H G Wells effectively foresaw the internet, space travel and the atomic bomb. But other predictions were that there was nothing left to be invented, that housework would become fun and that we'd each have a private airship.

Even if  the success rate of today's predictions is no better, this programme suggests we may be sleep-walking into a future where everything it means to be human is thrown into question.

Cybernetics Professor Kevin Warwick, who has already started to turn himself into a cyborg in which implanted computer chips will control his body, predicts robots will overtake the world, reducing humans to a life in zoos or as pets.

We'll have virtual lovers of either sex and a fixed term option for marriage says policymaker Helen Wilkinson.

Expect almost continuous conflict, limited nuclear war, rampant plague, and China as top nation says Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, author of Millennium.

The human race may be on course to split into two species with the gene-rich well on their way to becoming a distinct biological entity to the gene-poor, says American biologist Lee Silver.

We'll cheat death and acquire immortality by uploading our brains onto computers according to BT futurologist Ian Pearson.

And according to Esther Dyson, the godmother of the internet, we may even see by 2100 the end of life's only two certainties, death and taxes.

For more information about the programme click here


This programme was made by Takeaway Media, Wingspan's parent company, which Archie ran with Neil Cameron.