If you grew up on a steady stream of Hollywood blockbusters filled with killer robots, alien invasions and apocalyptic natural disasters, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the future looks pretty bleak. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be that way.
In fact, according John Higgs, a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, the group of adults of school-leaving age might be just the sort of individuals we need if we’re going to avoid the dystopian future science fiction would have us believe inevitable.
In his book, The Future Starts Here (£20, Orion), he explains why this Generation Z have inherited a world apparently on the brink of self-destruction, and why their enthusiasm for wider social networks will be key to a brighter future.
He speaks to BBC Science Focus Online editor Alexander McNamara about what Star Trek can teach us about generational attitudes, the desire for meaning over stuff, and why life on Mars would be rubbish.
We now have more than 75 episodes of the Science Focus Podcast, each of which is still well worth a listen. Here are a few that you might find interesting:
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