What If?


Scenarios for the future of health

What If? is our annual collection of scenarios. This year it considers the future of health. Each of these stories is fiction, but grounded in historical fact, current speculation and real science. They do not present a unified narrative but are set in different futures. If you are not already a subscriber you can unlock some of our content by registering .

What If?

What if biohackers injected themselves with mRNA?

Members of the Witnesses of Bioinformatic Freedom, a biohacking-rights group, demand the right to alter their own biology. An imagined scenario from 2029

What if America tackled its opioid crisis?

Kamala Harris’s administration is getting serious about tackling deaths from drug overdoses. It is a problem with deep roots. An imagined scenario from 2025


What if a deadly heatwave hit India?

Why Hyderabad is weathering India’s deadly heatwave so much better than Chennai. An imagined scenario from 2041


What if everyone’s nutrition was personalised?

How the mass adoption of personalised nutrition is changing people’s health—and the food industry. An imagined scenario from 2035

What if smartphones became personal health assistants?

The latest model of Apple’s iconic iPhone is built around health-monitoring features. An imagined scenario from 2028

What if marmosets lived on the Moon?

A primate colony set up to explore one fundamental aspect of the human condition has ended up illuminating another. An imagined scenario from 2055

What if dementia was preventable and treatable?