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  • Beyond Biology
    November 2007 By Ilmas Futehally

    Three disparate things that I read recently made me sit up and take another look at the threat that biotechnology poses to the future of humankind. The first was an announcement made by scientists of the J Craig Venter Institute on their work on genome transplantation that enabled them to transform one kind of bacteria to another type.... 

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  • Pathway to Change in Myanmar?
    November, 2007 By Jan Zalewski

    The brutal crackdown of the Burmese military regime on protesting civilians and monks in September 2007 has at last brought international attention to a country which has been ruled and brought to the verge of collapse by the longest-serving military dictatorship in the world. 

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  • Can Our Science Make Us God?
    September 2007 By Sundeep Waslekar

    A few years ago, I received a letter from a group of scientists belonging to the well-known Mensa association of high IQ persons. They wanted Strategic Foresight Group to develop scenarios on results of the particle collider experiment. Since I did not have a physicist and a mathematician in our team, I did not respond to the Mensa group. In any case, I knew nothing about the particle collider experiment. Now that I have learnt something about it, I have misplaced the Mensa letter. (I hope the scientists write back if they happen to read this column.) I believe that a scenario building exercise about the results of this experiment would be extremely exciting.

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  • Tracking Turkey’s Transformation
    September 2007 By Ilmas Futehally

    In recent months Turkey has been quite a bit in the news- often for the wrong reasons. I visited Istanbul and Ankara after a gap of two and a half years and I got a different view of dynamics within the country from than that which is often portrayed in the international press.

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  • Prospects For Political Stability in Pakistan
    September, 2007 By Prakash Chander

    General Pervez Musharraf is determined to stay in power despite the costs in doing so. His plans to continue as army chief in case he is not re-elected as president, quoted in recent reports, reflect very clearly the fear and insecurity he feels toward his future.

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  • Will the world economy collapse?
    August 2007 By Sundeep Waslekar

    I don’t spend much time in blogosphere. It was purely by accident that I came across The Big Picture blog, where Chris Laudani has posted interesting predictions by the world’s leading economists in the 1920s.

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  • Tracking India’s Transformation
    August 2007 By Ilmas Futehally

    I recently travelled to Indore, after a gap of exactly one year. It was fascinating to mark the changes that that have taken place in this Central Indian city in the last 365 days. There seems to be a boom in construction activity. The number and kind of cars on the roads seem to have undergone a change. There are hoardings aimed at young people for enrolling into courses aimed at the aviation, telecom, insurance and fashion industry. Some of these changes have resulted in the real estate prices in the city skyrocketing.

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  • How Little Do We Know?
    July 2007 By Sundeep Waslekar

    A few months ago, The Economist published a thoughtful leader comparing 21st century biology to 20th century physics. Until about a century ago, we were not aware of the atom and once we did, we thought that was it. Soon we discovered the neutron and the quark. The well-known British weekly argued that ‘the neutron moment’ of biology is yet to arrive but it might happen soon in the early part of this century.

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