Emerging Science

An estimated 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest-growing industries in the next five to 10 years will need science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and almost all jobs will require ICT literacy. Read on to find growth opportunities for yourself and your organization from this partial forecast made by Athena, our robot, and explore her full forecast on our website.

Athena’s forecast
Start year: 2015
Likely Tipping point: 2030
Likely End year: 2060
Likely Impact $: Trillions
Likelihood: 90%
Regions affected: The World
Most affected sectors: science, health, government, transport, communications, defence, computing, nutrition

About this Alert: It is robot generated from verbatim forecasts and questions auto-extracted from the Shaping Tomorrow database of articles, reports and PowerPoints and supplemented with quantitative and graphical analysis by the robot. Time to compile and produce – 50 minutes.

What is changing?


  • Broadcast employees will need to become more open to using data in decision-making and become accustomed to combining art with science.
  • The torrent of neuro-papers pouring out of labs overspills the proliferating specialist journals and threatens to take over much of Nature and Science.
  • Open research data is the next step in achieving the UK’s open science ambitions and will help improve co-operation and strengthen the UK’s position as a global science leader.


  • Significant portions of data science and data analytics jobs will be automated.
  • There will be a new age of R&D focused less on product benefit and food science and more on leveraging digital, mobile and social technologies to enable desired consumer experiences.
  • Mobile devices will soon be used as sensors to read the world around their users.
  • Machine learning on the edge device instead of (or in conjunction) with the cloud will prove to be one of the most powerful features in the next round of computer evolution.
  • Global industrial automation in the life sciences industry is expected to reach 5.13 billion by 2020.


  • By 2025, citizen science will have evolved from home hobby status into a global sector that provides freelance careers for millions of graduates with solid bioscience backgrounds and an inquisitive and entrepreneurial attitude to work.
  • Some 71% of all jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years will require knowledge or degrees in STEM.
  • The United States will have about 9.2 million STEM jobs in 2020.
  • By 2018 the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills.
  • Europe’s shortage of computer science talent is projected to grow.
  • Computational thinking and problem-solving skills will be relevant to every job in the future.


  • A reason to expect a Chinese research revolution is that China now graduates more university students in the fields of sciencetechnology, engineering, and mathematics than any other country.
  • Demand for postsecondary education in health care will rise faster than in all other fields with the exception of sciencetechnology, engineering and mathematics-or STEM-and education occupations.


  • Materials science is expected to develop new high-tech, high-performance materials such as new super-alloys and nanomaterials.
  • A major theme of materials science will be the design of materials and engineering systems that minimize supply risks and environmental damage.
  • Drug companies and venture capitalists are pouring billions of dollars into gene therapy projects in hopes of shuttling more one-time treatments onto the market in the coming years.
  • Science conducted on the space station continues to yield benefits for humanity and will enable future long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.
  • The UK could lose £1 billion in science funding if the UK governmentdoes not make up the shortfall in EU-linked research funds.


  • Wireless powered implants could serve as “neural dust” that can one-day scan and stimulate brain cells.
  • Even separate technologies such as nanotechnology, 3D printing, robotics, bio-engineering and quantum computing will be integrated into a future globalCognitive M2M ecosystem.
  • A quantum enabled paradigm shift from qualitative / descriptive chemistry simulations to quantitative / predictive chemistry simulations could modernize the field so dramatically that the examples imaginable today is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • A mega-project could cause the cost of fabricating DNA to plummet 1,000-fold in 10 years.
  • The volume and accuracy of information that can be extracted from a DNA sample is only going to increase as the science and technology of genomics improves.
  • In the near future, data science and new visualization techniques will make it easy for elected leaders to view and analyze both the parts and the whole of a complex system (of the Metro, of land use, of disease, of climate change).
  • Recent experiments to attempt to edit human genes have raised important questions about the potential risks and ethical concerns of altering the human germline.
  • A synthetic human genome could make it possible to create humans who lack biological parents.
  • All publicly funded scientific papers published in Europe could be made free to access by 2020.
  • Artificial intelligences with a human level of sophistication could appear within the next few decades.

Sentiment analysis (neutral)

Learn more

Find more sources and forecasts on Shaping Tomorrow, some of which were used in this Trend Alert, or ask us for our ready-made and free, in-depth PowerPoint report or more detailed GIST briefing on this or any other topic of interest to you.

Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.

Ask us to show you how you can produce similar, private Alerts for your stakeholders on topics of interest to you.

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