The Man of the Future (10-8-1933)

What will human beings be like a hundred years into the future–in the year 2033?  That’s what a group of famous physicians was talking about on this date in 1933.

The World’s Fair in Burnham Park was drawing to a close.  Fair officials had asked the doctors to present a discussion about new trends in medical science.  Though the weather was chilly, over 4,000 people came to the open-air meeting.

Dr. George Washington Crile

Dr. George Washington Crile

The lead speaker was Dr. George Washington Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic.  Looking forward a hundred years, he predicted that some diseases would be eliminated.  In 2033 there would be no tuberculosis, and no diabetes.  Since the public was becoming more aware of personal hygiene, there would be hardly any infectious diseases.

On the other hand, the stresses of modern life might lead to an increase in kidney and heart ailments.  And cancer would continue to claim too many victims.

But the general trend was positive.  Dr. Charles H. Mayo of the Mayo Clinic said that the human life span would continue to grow longer.  In the time of Columbus, with infant mortality high, the average person lived to be 18 years old.  Now in 1933, a person could expect to reach the ripe old age of 58.  By 2033, the typical human life might be as long as 77 years.
Man of the Future?

Man of the Future?

Physicians were teaching their patients how to take better care of themselves.  “The doctors in this country are in a peculiar situation,” Dr. Mayo laughed.  “They are talking themselves out of jobs.”

Human psychology was also being studied–and that would effect education.  “The brain itself and the character and the emotional life of the child and of man are constructed by the environment,” Dr. Crile said, “by parents, by teachers, by society.”  He promised that further research would reveal more about the mechanism that operates a person’s brain.  That would provide “an accurate knowledge of what patterns of action should be placed on the brain.”  Then teaching methods would no longer be “haphazard.”
Chef of the Future

Chef of the Future

A musical performance by a chorus of a thousand singing nurses brought the day’s program to a close.
That was 82 years ago.  Only 18 more years to go until 2033.  And by way of a statistic, the current life expectancy in the United States is 79.4 years.

—30—

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