Flash Forward

Flash Forward is a show about possible (and not so possible) future scenarios. What would the warranty on a sex robot look like? How would diplomacy work if we couldn’t lie? Could there ever be a fecal transplant black market? (Complicated, it wouldn’t, and yes, respectively, in case you’re curious.) Hosted and produced by award winning science journalist Rose Eveleth, each episode combines audio drama and journalism to go deep on potential tomorrows, and uncovers what those futures might really be like. The future is going to be weird, so let's get ready for it together.

Back To The Future: Robot Teachers, Drug Decrim...
We revisit three past futures, and see what's happened since our field trip.
44 min
Enter The Alternate Timeline (SEASON FINALE!)
56 min
Waste Not Want Not
52 min
Is Anybody Out There?
What happens if we find aliens? What if they find us?
58 min
Home Sweet Home
What if everybody had a place to live?
54 min
Give The Land Back?
Today we travel to a future where the US and Canada give stolen land back to tribes & bands.
53 min
Votes for All!
61 min
Double Trouble
Today we travel to a future where we all have digital replicas of ourselves to deploy at faculty meetings, doctors appointments, and even dates.
48 min
Boss Bot
Today we travel to a future where you’re guaranteed a job, but there’s a catch: your job is assigned to you by an algorithm.
58 min
Halfway To Heaven
Should we put nursing homes in space?
51 min
Shock And Awe
Today we travel to a future where super-bandages can heal wounds really fast. Sound like science fiction? Well it might be closer than you think!
53 min
Game of Bones
Today we travel to a future where archaeology accidentally runs out of bones.
47 min
It's The End Of The World As We Know It
52 min
Dollars For Data
How much is your personal information really worth?
55 min
Should We Put Polar Bears In Antarctica?
As the climate warms, some species won't be able to keep up. Should we help them?
53 min
One Child to Rule Them All
55 min
Introducing: Advice For And From The Future ▹▹ ...
Welcome to the newest show in the Flash Forward family!
28 min
Heads Will Roll
Today we travel to a future where you can plop your head onto a brand new body.
53 min
Welcome to Celebrityville
Today we travel to a future where celebrities construct their own cities for you and I to live in.
44 min
40 min
Goodnight Night
Today we travel to a future where darkness is a thing of the past. No more night, no more stars, no more deep inky black sky. What happens when we light everything up?
46 min
Doomsday 2000/2038/2100
46 min
Flash Back to the Future: Flight Shame, Genetic...
Why are Swedes flying less? Who bought GED Match? And what the heck is happening with the census?
39 min
Flash Back to the Future: Mosquitoes, UBI, Coro...
Today is a very special ~~surprise~~ episode! We revisit three past futures, and talk about what's happened since we visited them.
39 min
POWER: Mothers Against Digital Danger
48 min
POWER: The Sleeping Lion
Today’s episode is about a future in which China supplants the US as the dominant world superpower.
41 min
POWER: Weird Flux But OK
Today’s episode is about nuclear fusion, a technology that might save us all or might be a complete waste of time and money.
45 min
POWER: 1919 (Episode 100!)
It’s the 100th episode!!!!!! To mix things up, today we’re traveling to the 1919 to see how three different events shaped the last 100 years, and will continue to shape the future.
52 min
POWER: Time After Time
Today we travel to a future where we can travel through time. Is it possible? Would you kill Hitler? Would it matter?
35 min
CRIME: Moon Court
On today’s episode we take everything we’ve learned so far about the future of crime, and take it to space.
42 min
What happens when just a few skin cells can make you suspect number one?
57 min
CRIME: Can You Sue An Algorithm?
Today we travel to a future where algorithms can be put on trial.
52 min
CRIME: I Can See My House From Here!
Today we travel to a future where satellites can catch criminals.
53 min
CRIME: Jaw & Order
Today we travel to a future where your face can be held against you.
55 min
BODIES: Ghostbot
Today we travel to a future where dying isn’t the end.
54 min
BODIES: Switcheroo
Today we travel to a future where we can swap bodies with one another. Would you trade places with someone?
45 min
BODIES: This Is Not A Test
Today we travel to a future where all animal testing is banned. What are the alternatives? What can we do without using animals, and what can’t we do?
52 min
Today we travel to a future where we can tattoo sensors right onto our skin. What happens when you can get a live readout of everything from glucose to hormones to hydration levels built into a tattoo?
52 min
BODIES: Enter Night
Today we travel to a future where humans can see at night. What happens when we expand our vision out into the darkness? How does that impact everything from work, to architecture, to poaching to horror movies? And is it even possible?
55 min
EARTH: The Ocean Farm
Today we travel to a future where fisheries collapse, and we turn the ocean into a giant farm.
55 min
EARTH: The Cement Ban
49 min
EARTH: The Desert Creep
Today, we travel to the deserts. Or, actually, the deserts travel to us. What happens if dust swallows up over 30% of the planet?
51 min
EARTH: The Polar Flip
What would happen if Earth's magnetic field reversed? Turns out it's happened before.
55 min
EARTH: The Sunshade
52 min
Season Five Coming Soon!
2 min
Snip Snip Snip
61 min
Water Would Be Nice
41 min
The Commute From Hell
46 min
What To Expect When You're Expecting In Space
47 min
Farm To Tablet
47 min
Eyes In The Skies
44 min
Money For Nothing
51 min
Fungus Among Us
How much of what you do is actually your choice? What if you were secretly being controlled by a parasite that had infected your brain? What if that infection was spreading?
41 min
Spawn of Sponcon
Welcome to a future in which you can sign up to be a brand ambassador, and get paid for every time you mention a product in conversation.
48 min
Dr. Doolittle
Today we tackle the age-old question: what if animals could talk? Or, more precisely, what if we could actually understand what animals are saying?
56 min
Under The Sea
Why do space colonies seem more likely than underwater cities? And what does it take to build a settlement on the sea floor?
56 min
Portrait Of The Artist As An Algorithm
49 min
The Very Big Sick
53 min
The Space Roomba
This episode we take on a future where space junk has gotten so bad, that active spacecraft are constantly having to maneuver around it, which wastes fuel and cuts down on operation time. And humans decide to finally do something about it. But what?
50 min
We Are Family
What happens when everybody has their DNA sequenced and uploaded to genetic genealogy sites?
54 min
Federal Project Two
In 1935, the United States Government spent millions of dollars on projects meant to employ artists. What if they did it again?
52 min
Enter the Exos
This episode we talk exoskeletons: what are they being used for now? What might they be used for in the future? And what happens when they’re everywhere?
50 min
Fitness in a Bottle
What if you could take a drug, and never have to go to the gym again?
51 min
Fire From the Deep
In this episode, a huge submarine volcano erupts, breaks the surface of the ocean, and forms a new island. What happens next?
43 min
The Grey Dawn
48 min
You’ve Got Brainmail
In our last episode of the season, we take one one of the most requested futures: telepathy! What would it be like to be able to link minds, and communicate brain to brain? And how likely is it that we’ll ever get this kind of technology? -
49 min
This episode we travel to a future where the 2020 census goes haywire. What happens if we don’t get an accurate count of Americans? Who cares? Apparently the constitution does!  - The 2020 census is currently in the crosshairs — census watchers sa...
45 min
There’s No Great Future in Plastics
This episode is all about a world without plastic. What would that look like? Is it even possible? 
34 min
Our Father, Who art in Algorithm
In this episode, we travel to a future where a tech mogul feeds a machine learning system all the religious texts he can find, and asks it to generate a “super religion.” - Buckle up because this is a long episode! But it’s fun, I promise. -
50 min
Deceptible Me
This episode we travel to a future where you can choose to turn off your ability to deceive yourself. Are you now a perfectly clear eyed genius? Or a perpetually depressed misanthrope? Maybe both?
38 min
Easy Bake Organs
This episode we take on a future full of bioprinted replacement organs. You asked for more hopeful futures, this is about as hopeful as they get!
32 min
Buzz Off
In this episode we travel to a world without bees. And not just honey bees, all bees.
25 min
This episode we go to a future with pirates! There always has to be at least one pirate episode per season. This time it’s pharmaceutical pirates.
27 min
After Life
This month’s episode is about what it would take to sterilize the Earth, and why you might want to figure that out in the first place.  - First we talk to the authors of a paper that tries to figure out this exact question.
24 min
Down For Everyone Not Just You
This episode is a little different than other episodes. As many of you know, Flash Forward is my second job. My first job is at ESPN, where I recently helped launch an audio documentary series called 30 for 30 Podcasts. Please go check that out,
37 min
Love On The Brain
This episode, we travel to a future where your romantic partners aren’t chosen by questions or swipes, but rather by your brainwaves. - This future is based on an idea from Shelly Ronan and Ernesto D. Morales and their project Object Solutions.
31 min
Mons Voyage
This episode, we go on another vacation! Can you tell I need a vacation? Anyway, back to the episode. What would it be like if you could hop on a space cruise ship, and take a trip to Mars? - This is a special episode because our little future int...
30 min
Back to the Future: A Womb Away From Home
Long time listeners of Flash Forward might feel like this future is kind of… familiar. And it is. It’s actually the first future we ever traveled to on this show. A future where humans have invented artificial wombs.
21 min
In this future there are no more human police officers. Is that even possible? - The future of policing is a really really complicated topic. And it’s also, and this might be the understatement of the year, a controversial one.
32 min
This month on Flash Forward, we go to a future where anybody can make a video of you doing anything they want. And that technology is cheap and easy to access. What happens?
41 min
California Dreaming
California has one of the largest economies in the world. So what would happen if it broke away from the United States? Could California ever go independent? And if it did, what would that look like?
38 min
Greetings From Paradice
Every year, over 20 million people get on a cruise ship and set sail for a seafaring vacation. Most of those cruises take their vacationers to warm, sunny climates. But thanks to climate change, a new hoard of ships might start sailing North rather tha...
34 min
Today’s episode is about a future where nobody works on farms anymore, all farming is done by robots. Is it possible? Probably not. But it might be closer than you think. - Today’s episode features: Curtiz Marez,
34 min
Extra! Extra!
This week we travel to a future where there is so much fake news that nobody can tell what is real anymore. Are we already there? What happens next? - This week's guests include: - Amy Webb — Founder of the Future Today Institute,
30 min
How is Babby (Not) Made
Hello! And welcome to SEASON THREE of Flash Forward! I know I’ve been away for a bit, but I’m really excited for this season, I have some really fun futures planned for you. And some scary ones. But also fun ones! I promise, it’s a good mix. -
37 min
The Witch Who Came From Mars
Today we do something weird, in honor of the end of the second season! Instead of coming up with a future and then finding experts to talk about it, I asked an AI to write a future for us. And the AI apparently wants us to talk about space travel,
43 min
Where’s the Beef?
Today we go to a future where animal products are banned. It’s one that lots of listeners have asked for so here you go. We talk about what happens to the land, the animals and the humans in this equation. -
37 min
Revenge of the Retweet
Today we try to figure out what happens when our future presidential candidates have thousands of Tweets and Tumblr posts and Instagrams in their online record. - What happens, when today’s teens start running for office?
33 min
The Altered State
Today we travel to a future where all drugs are legal. Just roll up to the store, and get yourself some cocaine! - We start with some history: for centuries a world without drug laws existed. Mark Kleiman,
36 min
Bot for Teacher
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. - First, I talk to a Ashok Goel,
37 min
Today week we take on a doomsday future! We haven’t done one of those this season. So, what would happen if all the active volcanoes in the world erupted at the same time? The short answer is: bad things. The long answer is, well,
29 min
Today we go to a future where all pop stars use avatars, clones, robots or cartoons instead of their real bodies and faces. What does that do to music? Can everybody pull off an avatar? And why would any pop star even want that? -
45 min
Expiration Date
Today we travel to a future where it’s possible to know exactly when you will die. Do you chose to find out? - Now, this is, impossible. Totally impossible. And I’m not even going to try and come up with some strange pseudoscientific explanation f...
47 min
Today we travel to a world with universal translation devices. Where the babelfish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comes true (although probably not in the form of an evolved organism, but let's not fret about the details). 
33 min
Swipe Right For Democracy
Today we travel to a future where America has converted to a direct democracy. Everybody votes on everything! - Hey, did you know it was an election year in the United States? I know, you've probably not really heard about this,
27 min
Rude Bot Rises
Okay, you asked for it, and I finally did it. Today’s episode is about conscious artificial intelligence. Which is a HUGE topic! So we only took a small bite out of all the things we could possibly talk about. - We started with some definitions.
29 min
Tree Free
Today we travel to a fully digital world, a world where paper is a thing of the past. - On this show we’ve tackled a huge range of futures — we’ve talked about things that are extremely likely, like, antibiotic resistance,
25 min
MiniPod Time Travel
Today’s episode is a minipod, a smattering of time travel, future travel, and news about the show. - In this episode we hear a bunch of messages from listeners: what folks think about past futures we’ve been to,
18 min
Today we travel to a future without pets. What would it take for us to give up our fuzzy, slithery, fishy friends? Should our pets get more rights? And if we didn’t have dogs or cats, would we domesticate something else to take their place? -
24 min
My Everything Pal
Today we travel to a future full of spreadsheet approved lives. A future where everything we do is tracked and quantified: calories, air quality, sleep, heart rate, microbes, brain waves, finances, happiness, sadness, menstrual cycles, poops,
34 min