Listening to the radio, reading my newspapers and exchanging e-mails with friends over the past week, four futuristic predictions, all made by scientists,¬†caught my attention. The first was a food scientist who argued that food crises for the world’s growing population could easily be avoided if people could overcome their aversion to eating insects. He enthused about deep-fried locusts, roast honeyed ants and meal worms, ground down and reconstituted as fake steaks. He pointed out that aboriginal peoples in, variously, Australasia, Asia and the Americas have always complemented their diets with insects. If we could only overcome our aversion there need never be a food crisis. The second was, in the context of a recently published book about Latin and English, a scientist who predicted that simultaneous mechanical interpretation is with striking distance and would render ‘world languages’ such as ‘globish’ unnecessary. The third was a scientist who pointed out that human intelligence is increasing at such a speed that the level of our intelligence within, say, a hundred years, would be beyond our understanding now. Lastly, a friend brought to my attention a New York Times article by Brian Greene about the consequences of our steadily expanding universe. His central prediction is that the Earth’s future night sky will be mostly dark (since most light-emitting stars will have accelerated away and the light they emit will be trapped). People staring up at such a sky would find it difficult to believe that it had once been alive with hundreds of thousands of twinkling stars. Who needs science fiction?