Futuropolis by Popular Science

Hosted by Popular Science Assistant Editor Lindsey Kratochwill and Associate Editor Breanna Draxler, Futuropolis is a new podcast about everyday life in the future. We’ve always wondered what it will be like to grab dinner on Mars, pilot a flying car, or walk a robot dog. So to find out, we talk to the scientists, engineers, and innovators who are shaping the world of tomorrow. Plus we dig into Popular Science’s archives to revisit past predictions.


  • Bon Voyage

    Dec 16 2015

    Vacations are supposed to be about relaxation and rejuvenation, but anyone who has stood in the crowded lines at an amusement park or waded through the hordes of people at Disneyland knows that this is not always the case. In this episode of Futuropolis—the 12th and final episode of season 1—we set out to see how technology might help shape better vacations in the future. Transportation will inevitably get faster and cheaper, but we also hope it will be jet-lag-free. Hotels might transform their...more

  • Thinking Outside the Cubicle

    Dec 02 2015

    Between traffic-clogged commutes, high stress jobs, and crappy coffee in the breakroom, the daily grind can be painful. Luckily, technology is paving the way for jobs you’ll actually be excited to do. Menial tasks like email can be automated. Decision-making can be done with artificial intelligence. And “deep learning” can teach robots to be creative and even generate ideas. Granted, automation is something Popular Science has been excited (and worried) about for decades, so we turn to our ever...more

  • Clicks to Bricks

    Nov 18 2015

    For those of you who don’t enjoy wandering the aisles of the grocery store in search of soy sauce, or mailing back endless pairs of ill-fitting shoes bought online, we have good news for you: Shopping in the future is going to be so much easier than it is today. Between smartphones and tracking technologies, every trip to the store will be quick, efficient, and a heck of a lot smarter than it is today. Some retailers will even be able to anticipate your needs and take care of them for you. To ge...more

  • Winning the Numbers Game

    Nov 04 2015

    Basketball season is now in full swing. But here at Popular Science, we’re ahead of the game. We’re looking beyond 2015 to see what sports will look like 10, 20, or even 30 years down the road. In this episode of the podcast, we talk to Marcus Elliott, founder of the Peak Performance Project, or P3. The company uses a slew of data to build better athletes. And we hear from Ryan Warkins, who works at Catapult Sports, a company that tracks athletes with all kinds of sensors. We discuss how to kee...more

  • The Prognosis is Good

    Oct 21 2015

    Being sick is no fun. There's nothing worse than a queasy tummy, or that pesky sniffle that just won’t go away. But what will illness look like in the future? Will we be dealing with the same old diseases? Or will we have engineered solutions to be super-human healthy? That’s what we’ll try to figure out in this episode of Futuropolis—the prognosis for future illnesses. Unfortunately, cancer isn’t going away anytime soon. But oncologist Jennie Crews tells us how our bodies can be persuaded to ki...more

  • Show me the digital money!

    Oct 07 2015

    Money is one of those things you’re not supposed to talk about. It’s politically incorrect and often uncomfortable. But your favorite podcast hosts are bucking social conventions in this episode of Futuropolis to discuss how we’ll pay for things in the future. Futurist and IEEE member Heather Schlegel helps us understand why we have money in the first place,so we can see how that might change in our increasingly connected world. To take that threat further, Marla Blow, a partner at a finance inv...more

  • Talk Emoji to Me

    Sep 23 2015

    When you think about the future of language, you might worry that we’ll all walk around speaking in weird code. Or perhaps that we won’t speak at all, instead just texting each other all day. But fear not! In this episode of Futuropolis, we discover that the spoken word (and words in general) aren’t going anywhere. They’re just morphing in cool and crazy ways. To figure out technology’s role in the future of language, we talk to Fred Benenson, the author of How to Speak Emoji and Emoji Dick, as ...more

  • Finding Mr. (Swipe) Right

    Sep 09 2015

    In this episode of Futuropolis, we tackle the age old question: what is love? Okay, we don’t actually answer that question, but, we do talk to a sociologist at Tinder, the co-founder of OkCupid, and a sociologist who has studied how the ways through which we find mates has changed over time. Plus we take an entertaining look back at our archives to see why people were marrying young back in 1960. In the end, we think we have a pretty good handle of how technology is butting into our love lives. ...more

  • Better, Stronger, Faster

    Aug 26 2015

    Could humans one day scrap our flesh-and-blood limbs for bionic ones? High-tech prosthetics are improving in leaps and bounds, so bionics seemed like the perfect topic for the fourth episode of our Futuropolis podcast. In the past few years, researchers have developed bionics that can act on signals from muscles--we talk to actress Angel Giuffria, who uses one--and even the brain. And we speak with a researcher who’s working on prosthetics that give the wearer a sense of touch. We also look at p...more

  • The Programmable Pooch

    Aug 12 2015

    During this exploration of everyday life in the future, we’re looking at pets. In the shiny world of tomorrow, you won’t be walking any old run-of-the-mill Fido—because we’ll have high-tech cuddling machines.   Robot pets have graced the pages of Popular Science on more than a few occasions. But first, we had to figure out what people want in a pet. In 1893, we laid out the parameters for designing the ideal (live) pet. And things have only gotten more complicated—and interesting—from there. In...more

  • Robot You Can Drive My Car

    Jul 29 2015

    In the second episode of Futuropolis, the podcast that explores what everyday life will be like in the future, we’re tackling your daily commute. Sitting in traffic doesn’t have to be stressful and frustrating. In the future, you may be able to lean back and relax while your car watches the road for you.   We’ve been promised autonomous cars for what seems like forever—and our archives have proof. In 1961, we predicted that cars would be directed by a punched tape so you could sleep behind the w...more

  • Microgravity Dinners

    Jul 15 2015

    One day, we may well be zipping around in commercial spaceships or living in colonies on Mars. But it will be hard to enjoy life in microgravity if the food is as freeze-dried and, well, unpalatable as it is today. In addition to sampling astronaut ice cream on the show, we speak with a space botanist, an astronaut, and the guy that could make 3-D printed space food a reality. Listen to the episode to find out how, and why, we'll make future food tasty. Don't miss the space-food-related gems we'...more

  • Promo for Futuropolis

    Jul 09 2015

    Welcome to Futuropolis, a new show from Popular Science about everyday life in the future. Hosted by Popular Science Assistant Editor Lindsey Kratochwill and Associate Editor Breanna Draxler.