Robonaut 2. Photo Date: July 28, 2009. Location: Building 32. Photographer: Robert Markowitz.

In 2015, advances in science and engineering will once again shape the world in profound ways. Here are the most important.

  1. Wind Power Moves Offshore

  2. Ultrafast Data Transfer Speeds Up Science

  3. General Relativity Gets Put To The Test

  4. Commercial Space Habitats Go For Launch

  5. Robots Join The Open-Source Revolution

  6. Virtual Reality Meets Its Public

  7. Biosimilars Hit The U.S. Market

Update: How’d We Do In 2014?

What We Predicted What Actually Happened
The U.S. Army would use Field Deployable Hydrolysis Systems (FDHS) to neutralize chemical warfare agents. FDHS aboard U.S. ships had disposed of many of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-August.
Tokyo Electric Power Company would build an underground ice wall to sequester contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The company tried, but the ice wall failed because temperatures didn’t drop low enough to freeze the radioactive groundwater.
Infectious diseases like whooping cough and measles would reemerge on a larger scale. We were all too correct; plus, an Ebola outbreak raced through West Africa before jumping to the U.S. and Europe.

Mark Your 2015 Calendars For These Stories:

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title, “The Year In Ideas.”