In 1965, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences initiated the Commission on the Year 2000, the forerunner of what became the field of futurism. The Commission did not believe that one could "predict" the future, but sought instead to identify structural changes in society that would have long-term social impacts. And since the Commission believed that choices were possible, it sought to chart "alternative futures" on critical issues that society would face.
The results of the Commission's work appeared in 1967 in a special issue of Dædalus, the journal of the Academy. The volume consisted of "working papers," prepared by the Chairman of the Commission, Daniel Bell, twenty-three memoranda written by such scholars as Daniel P. Moynihan, Erik Erikson, Ernst Mayr, David Riesman, James Q. Wilson, and Samuel P. Huntington, and an edited transcript of the vigorous discussions provoked by the documents.
Thirty years later, the volume remains extraordinarily timely. It is both a benchmark for the understanding of American society and a prospectus of the issues that are still relevant to the problems of today—and tomorrow. This edition contains a new preface by Daniel Bell and Stephen Graubaud that reviews the Commission's work and identifies the foresight—and one startling failure—of that work.
Daniel Bell, Robert Bowie, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Karl W. Deutsch, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Hedley Donovan, Leonard J. Duhl, Erik H. Erikson, Lawrence K. Frank, William Gorham, Stephen R. Graubard, Charles M. Haar, Samuel P. Huntington, Fred Charles Iklé, Herman Kahn, Harry Kalven, Jr., Wassily Leontief, Ernst Mayr, Margaret Mead, Matthew S. Meselson, George A. Miller, Wilbert E. Moore, Daniel P. Moynihan, Harold Orlans, Harvey S. Perloff, John R. Pierce, Alan Pifer, Emanuel R. Piore, Ithiel de Sola Pool, Michael Postan, Gardner C. Quarton, Roger Revelle, David Riesman, Eugene V. Rostow, Donald A. Schon, Martin Shubik, Krister Stendahl, Anthony J. Wiener, James Q. Wilson, Robert C. Wood, Christopher Wright, Paul N. Ylvisaker.
About the Editor
Stephen Graubard is Editor of Dacdalas, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Brown University.