In a famous essay he published in 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted a future of material abundance and abundant leisure. Keynes’s essay has resurfaced today with the growth of automation and high levels of unemployment. In the interim his fellow King’s graduates advanced and chronicled the scientific and technical improvements that Keynes wrote characterize the modern age. In this essay, William Hoffman tracks computer genius Alan Turing, the technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser, Charles Nicholl, who wrote a biography of Leonardo da Vinci, and the science journalist Nicholas Wade.
William Hoffman is a writer and editor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology at University of Minnesota Medical School. He is author with Leo Furcht of The Biologist’s Imagination: Innovation in the Biosciences (Oxford University Press, 2014) and The Stem Cell Dilemma (Arcade Publishing, 2008, 2011).