Did Tom Wolfe’s bold predictions about human nature come true?

By: Vaughan Bell |

Did Tom Wolfe’s bold predictions about human nature come true?

| Neuroscience | The Guardian

Twenty years ago, Tom Wolfe made predictions about how advances in neuroscience would transform our understanding of human behaviour. So, how much did he get right?

  • This article was published in February 2016

Exactly 20 years ago, Tom Wolfe wrote one of the most influential articles in neuroscience. Titled Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died, the 1996 article explores how ideas from brain science were beginning to transform our understanding of human nature and extend the horizons of our scientific imagination. It was published in a mainstream magazine, written by an outsider, and seemed to throw open the doors to an exhilarating revolution in science and self-understanding. Looking at the state of neuroscience and society two decades later, Wolfe turned out to be an insightful but uneven prophet to the brain’s future.

Related: Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities author, dies aged 87

Wolfe has had to recant his assertion that brain scanning would have a greater impact on everyday life than the internet

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