The list was developed by Dr. Jessica Baron when she worked at Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values from 2012-2018.* Dr. Baron continues to compile and write the list and can be contacted at jessicalbaron@me.com if you have questions.

The list, released each December, is designed for both citizens and scientists alike as new technologies develop. We live in an era of rapid development as technologies that seemed theoretical only a few years ago are increasingly incorporated into our daily lives. Our concern is that there’s little public dialog about the use and risks of these technologies, and that dialog is necessary to keep public policy in pace with science and technology.

The list is not about scary technologies to watch out for or about creating fear of the future. It’s simply a heads up to those of us who don’t have the time or the inclination to follow every breakthrough as we’re bombarded with news of all kinds each day. Our hope is that in reading the list, people will see just how far we’ve come and take time to think about the steps involved in integrating new technology into society.

Over the last six years we’ve heard from dozens of teachers around the country who use their list in their classrooms. We couldn’t be more thankful for those of you who reach out to tell us that our hard work is making a difference! These conversations belong in the science, literature, arts, history, and language classrooms, but also at the dinner table, at the water cooler, and anywhere else people stop to chat. You will notice the presentation of the list has changed a bit each year. In the future we will be updating old entries, adding guides for teachers, and offering videos.

* In rare cases when Dr. Baron is not the sole author of an entry, co-authors and scholars and students who provided significant help in the creation of an entry are listed at the bottom of its page.