Piecing Together the Scientific Puzzles of Tomorrow

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

By Blake Cole

Among the most exciting aspects of Penn Arts and Sciences is our faculty’s ability to take on the big questions of tomorrow from vastly different vantages. It’s a dynamic we here at the magazine love to cover. Last issue, we delved into the future of Artificial Intelligence, featuring faculty you might not immediately associate with AI. Continuing in that same spirit, our cover story this time around, “Perception is Reality—and Virtual Reality,” focuses in on a visual technology that promises to have a significant impact on research and everyday life. What can neural biology teach us about that future? How different is a psychologist’s take? And how do these incremental foresights add up to build a better picture of what tomorrow’s science might look like? These are questions we are committed to continually exploring.

Also in this issue, our faculty tackle questions of immigration and global inequality in “The Past, Present, and Future of Human Migration.” On the heels of an election that revealed deep divisions in our society, one thing that most can agree on is the urgent need for respectful, open discussion on the issues that divide us. And speaking of the election, what happened with the polls? Find out in “Has Polling Lost Its Reputation?” in which we speak to one of our political scientists who happens to double as Elections Unit Director at NBC News. We also invite you to explore how a unique internship program is shaping the lives of future artists, filmmakers, and writers in “A Summer Like No Other.” We speak with alums of the RealArts @ Penn program to get an idea of the kind of impact it had on their lives and careers, and what current students might expect from their own internships.

In other OMNIA news, we are excited to announce the relaunch of our OMNIA website, which promises a better visual experience with completely overhauled Multimedia and Insomnia sections. We’re constantly striving to improve the presentation of our content here at OMNIA, but our core goal remains: to present cutting-edge research and forward-thinking expert insight from our faculty, students, and alums. Thanks for reading.