An illustration of two people looking at one another in profile, one balding in a green shirt, one bald in a blue shirt. Between them is a vertical DNA strand.

Intangible Variation

Read a new short story by Meg Charlton about grief, epigenetics, and surfing.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy and society.

Future Tense is the citizen’s guide to the future.

The partnership provides insightful, timely, and unexpected analysis at the intersection of technology and society through written commentary and live events in Washington, D.C. and beyond.


Close-up photo of a semiconductor, held by a hand in a blue glove.

[ONLINE] – North America’s Semiconductor Moment

Supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 highlighted North America’s dependence on semiconductors made in Asia. In response, the U.S. has committed $52 billion through the CHIPS and Science Act to bring home advanced semiconductor manufacturing and improve supply chain resilience. Mexico’s geographic proximity, strong manufacturing sector, and favorable terms of trade uniquely position it to join the U.S.-led global semiconductor supply chain reshuffling. But can Mexico seize the moment? Join Future Tense and ASU’s Convergence Lab to discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead.

March 15, 2023
2:00 pm  – 3:00 pm
The book “Data Driven,” with a light orange cover and an illustration of a truck watched over by ominous, lidless eyes from above.

[ONLINE] – “Data Driven” with Karen Levy

Join author Karen Levy, a 2019 New America Fellow, for a conversation about her new book Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance and the role of data collection in broader systems of social control.

December 13, 2022
10:00 am  – 11:00 am

Future Tense Fiction

A series of original science fiction stories crafted by leading authors, exploring how science and technology will change our lives in the future. Each story is paired with a response essay by an expert in a related field.

An illustration of two people looking at one another in profile, one balding in a green shirt, one bald in a blue shirt. Between them is a vertical DNA strand.

By Meg Charlton

A murder mystery about grief, epigenetics, and surfing.

A grid of colorful images of Bigfoot and evidence of the creature, including a muddy footprint, fur caught on a branch, a person looking through binoculars, and more.

By Torie Bosch

A story about de-extincting a creature that (probably) never existed.

A giant footprint in the snow, seen from above. Inside the footprint, a person crouches, holding a flashlight or weapon.

By Margrét Helgadóttir

A story about a holiday parade, a hunter, and a zoo full of lab-grown animals.

A colorful, distorted image of an aisle in a store, with boxes and bottles from shelves, plus a shopping cart, being sucked toward the background.

By Palmer Holton

A story about a small town, a murder, and a massive recycling plant.

An illustration of two human figures sitting on the black keys of a giant piano, facing one another.

By Ysabelle Cheung

A story about gender, companionship, and the inner lives of robots.

Two people hugging, their faces not visible, lit from below by a yellow light from a smart phone.

By B. Pladek

A story about navigating ever-unquantifiable risk.

Best of Future Tense

Future Tense publishes commentary on Slate by researchers and scholars at Arizona State University, alongside many other writers and thinkers from the fields of journalism, public policy, science and technology, and more.