Grappling with the Futures:

Insights from

Philosophy, History, and Science, Technology and Society

Futures studies, which emerged as a new field after WWII, offer a variety of methods for predicting, forecasting, anticipating, controlling, imagining, and shaping multiple futures. Those methods include trend extrapolation, predictive modeling, scenario-planning, Delphi, and Wild Cards, to name a few. The goal of this symposium is to bring together philosophers, historians, and science, technology and society (STS) scholars who are deeply engaged with the exploration of the futures. We will begin an interdisciplinary dialogue that interrogates the goals, concepts, and methods of futures studies and probes informal futures-oriented thinking that is ubiquitous in social thought and practice. 

Keynote Speakers

Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University)

Roberto Poli (University of Trento)

Cynthia Selin (Arizona State University and University of Oxford)


Yashar Saghai (Johns Hopkins University and The Millennium Project)

Roberto Poli (University of Trento)

Peter Galison (Harvard University)

Russell Powell (Boston University)

Symposium Committee


Tian Cao (Boston University)

Jerry Glenn (The Millennium Project: Global Futures Research and Studies)

Ted Gordon (The Millennium Project: Global Futures Research and Studies)

Axel Gosseries (Université Catholique de Louvain)

Jeremy Greene (Johns Hopkins University)

Sirkka Heinonen (University of Turku, Finland)

Stefan Helmreich (MIT)

Evan Hepler-Smith (Harvard University)

Sophia Roosth (Harvard University)

Elke Seefried (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)



Important Update:

Because we received an unexpected number of abstracts for blind review (over 80), we are currently rethinking the logistics of the symposium. We are delighted by the strong interest the symposium has generated and want to use this opportunity to foster research and interdisciplinary dialogue on futures studies in philosophy, history, and STS. We therefore need more time to organize the review process and figure out creative solutions to increase the capacity of the symposium. New timeline:

  • Friday December 8 [UPDATED]: Decision notification
  • Friday December 15 [UPDATED]: Symposium participation confirmation to be sent by authors of accepted abstracts to organizers (automatic registration)
  • Friday January 5 [UPDATED]: Final symposium schedule and beginning of registration period for audience members

Many thanks for your patience!