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32 EpisodesProduced by Wade RoushWebsite

We can have the future we want—but we have to work for it. Soonish brings you stories and conversations showing how the choices we make together forge the technological world of tomorrow. From MIT-trained technology journalist Wade Roush. Learn more at We're a proud member of the… read more

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Unpeaceful Transition of Power

June 24th, 2020


[Episode originally published June 25, 2020, updated July 7, 2020]

Voters, hold on to your hats. The U.S. election system could face an unprecedented …

Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear, Incomprehensible: How One Futurist Frames the Pandemic

May 12th, 2020


Futurists—who sometimes prefer to be called scenario planners or foresight thinkers—specialize in helping the rest of us understand the big trends and forces that will shape the world of tomorrow. So here’s what I …

Making Moonrise

November 14th, 2019


Fifty years after Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins went to the moon, it’s hard to shake off the afterimage of the Saturn V rocket …

Election Dreams and Nightmares

October 31st, 2019


The moment in the voting booth when you put your pen to your ballot (or put your finger to the electronic touchscreen, as the case may be) is democracy distilled. It’s the act that makes America a republic. But while …

The Great Blue Hill Heist

August 19th, 2019


In this short bonus episode, hear the bizarre story of a college student who scaled a New England weather tower on a dare, stole a curious scientific …

I Have Seen the Future of Displays

August 7th, 2019


Apple used the opening keynote presentation at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose in June to roll out the usual array of …

How to Fix Social Media

July 24th, 2019


Earlier this year Soonish took on social media in an episode called A Future Without Facebook. In that show I explained my own decision to quit the …

The Art that Launched a Thousand Rockets

May 14th, 2019


The adjective “visionary” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s literally true of Chesley Bonestell and Arthur Radebaugh, the two illustrators featured in this week’s episode. Both men used their fertile visual …

A Future Without Facebook

March 22nd, 2019


Every technology has its growing pains, but Facebook, at age 15, has matured into a never-ending disaster. Here at Soonish, I'm fed up, and I'm …

The Track Not Taken

November 9th, 2018


The Meigs Elevated Railway—one of the world’s first monorail systems—looked like something out of a Jules Verne novel. But it was very real. In this …

When Minds and Machines Converge

October 1st, 2018


Can thought-power control the world outside our heads? Thanks to new brain-machine interface technology, the answer is yes. But the real question is …

Making Music with Machines

July 27th, 2018


We can’t predict what kind of music people will want to make or hear in the future. But based on the sounds coming out of today's studios and clubs, it's a good bet that the tunes of tomorrow will be heavily mediated by …

Tomorrow, Today with Ministry of Ideas

July 2nd, 2018


The way we picture the future is still based, in large measure, on the visions brought to life at the world’s fairs and international expositions that swept the globe between the 1850s and the 1960s—especially the New …

Sci-Fi That Takes Science Seriously

June 18th, 2018


The golden era of “hard” science fiction that respects the rules of actual science lasted from the 1940s to the 1960s. In the 1970s, demand for hard …

The Future Is Clear

February 17th, 2018


Episode 2.07: What's ubiquitous but invisible, versatile yet temperamental, goopy when it's hot yet brittle when it's cold, as old as civilization …

Looking Virtual Reality In The Eye

January 5th, 2018


Episode 2.06: The immersive, 3D environments of virtual reality aren’t science fiction any more, and they aren’t just for video games. In this episode Wade visits “The Enemy,” a groundbreaking VR exhibit about the …

A Space Shuttle Isn't Cool. You Know What's Cool? A Space Elevator (Soonish on Soonish)

December 15th, 2017


Episode 2.05 of Soonish, the podcast, is all about Soonish, the book! Host Wade Roush interviews Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, the husband-and-wife …

Back To The Futurists With Tamar Avishai

November 8th, 2017


Episode 2.04 is a special crossover show featuring Tamar Avishai's The Lonely Palette, one of the founding shows in our new podcast collective, Hub …

Mapping the Future with Tim O'Reilly

October 24th, 2017


Episode 2.03: For a sane, humane, and skeptical perspective on what’s happening to Silicon Valley and why our high-tech economy seems to be failing us, there’s no better source than Tim O’Reilly, master trend spotter …

Introducing Hub & Spoke

October 13th, 2017


Episode 2.02: Big news! Soonish is a founding member of Hub & Spoke, a Boston-centric collective of smart, idea-driven podcasts. Together with …

Shadows Of August: The Eclipse Road Trip Edition

September 14th, 2017


Episode 2.01: The conflict in Charlottesville in August of 2017 showed that Americans are having a hard time figuring out how to represent the country’s past, let alone how to fix the present or plan for the future. But …

Washington, We Have A Problem

July 3rd, 2017


Episode 1.10: Just in time for Independence Day 2017, it's a special politics edition of Soonish! With his attacks on judges and journalists, his …

A Tale Of Two Bridges

June 8th, 2017


Episode 1.09: When Boston’s elegant Longfellow Bridge opened in 1907, it was innovative example of classical European bridge architecture adapted for a busy American city. But over the next century, officials allowed …

Hacking Time

May 11th, 2017


Episode 1.08: Why do "productivity" tools like email, to-do lists, and calendars make so many of us feel miserable and overburdened? Why hasn't …


April 20th, 2017


Episode 1.07: More than 500 people have flown in space since Yuri Gagarin’s historic ride in 1961—and virtually every one of them has been a military officer or government employee. But now that’s changing. Jeff Bezos’s …

Origin Story

March 29th, 2017


Episode 1.06: After in-depth episodes about movies, monorails, museums, manufacturing, and meat, the show goes meta and I talk about Soonish itself. Hear how Carl Sagan and extraterrestrials helped to kickstart my …

Meat Without The Moo

March 8th, 2017


Episode 1.05: We meet people working to promote a range of alternatives to meat from livestock--including a cricket farmer, a researcher studying ways to grow meat from muscle cells in the laboratory, and a startup …

Future Factories, With Workers Built In

February 22nd, 2017


Episode 1.04: Six million manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the U.S. since 2000, and you've probably heard economists and politicians say "those …

Can Technology Save Museums?

February 8th, 2017


Episode 1.03: Museum attendance declined steeply in the first decade of this century, according to a survey by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA found that audiences were being siphoned away by the Internet, …

Monorails: Trains Of Tomorrow?

January 25th, 2017


Episode 1.02: Monorails first captured the public imagination as the "trains of the future" here in the U.S., thanks to projects like the Disneyland monorail (1959) and the Seattle World's Fair monorail (1962). But …

How "2001" Got The Future So Wrong

January 11th, 2017


Episode 1.01: This inaugural episode of Soonish is about the boldest vision of the future ever put down on film: Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space …

Coming Soon

December 10th, 2016


Episode 1.00: A preview of coming attractions from Soonish, a new podcast about the future hosted by technology journalist Wade Roush, PhD. Each …

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