The Ideas And Breakthroughs That Will Shape The World In 2015

From Ebola to virtual reality, here's what the year has in store for science

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. Ebola Drugs Reach West Africa

  3. Ultrafast Data Transfer Speeds Up Science

  4. Probes Solve The Mystery Of Dwarf Planets

  5. General Relativity Gets Put To The Test

  6. Commercial Space Habitats Go For Launch

  7. Western States Face The Water Crisis

  8. Robots Join The Open-Source Revolution

  9. Virtual Reality Meets Its Public

  10. 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.”