Commission on the Year 2000


Interest in the millennium developed not only from the significance of the number, but from the anticipation of the world to come, full of new technologies, shifting policies, and a changing role for the United States in the global arena. The Academy initiated this study in 1964 to consider the consequences of private and public decisions, anticipate future problems, and suggest alternative solutions before problems descend unnoticed and demand an immediate, and not always effective, response. The task was to imagine the future and identify the problem areas and social and intellectual questions likely to be central by the year 2000. Among the issues discussed were: values and rights; the life-cycle of the individual; the international system; the U.S. government; intellectual institutions; science and society; the social impact of the computer; biomedical sciences and technology; the individual; and economic institutions. First published in Dædalus in 1967, the report’s chapter titles reveal topics that have been and continue to be at the center of scholarly research and contemporary politics.

Resulting Publications

  • Toward the Year 2000: Work in Progress, ed. Daniel Bell and Stephen R. Graubard. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 1967, 1968, 1997. Available from publisher.
  • The Future of the U.S. Government: Toward the Year 2000, ed. Harvey S. Perloff. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1971. (out of print)


Project Leader