Motherboard Presents: Humans of the Year 2017

Over the coming weeks, we will spotlight the work of dozens of people who are building a brighter future for humanity.

Life in 2017 is a wildly surreal rollercoaster. The themes of science fiction dystopias have exploded into the zeitgeist. As the Motherboard adage goes: “The future is wonderful, the future is terrifying.” Often, it can feel like the latter sentiment outweighs the former.

But while 2017 is awash with challenges, these times have only further emboldened people to build a smarter, safer, and more progressive society.


Today, Motherboard is launching the 2017 version of Humans of the Year—a series of profiles honoring the people who are making sure science and technology works for people, not against them. Over the coming weeks, we will publish dozens of profiles about people who are empowering us all.

We're kicking off the series with three scientists who have respectively explored the frontiers of consciousness, the ocean, and wearable technology. James Fadiman is a psychologist who has spent his career advocating for the potential mental health benefits of psychedelics. Anna-Louise Reysenbach is a deep sea researcher with an otherworldly menagerie of microbial extremophiles in her lab. Felice Torrisi has figured out how to print electronics onto polyester, opening the door to a range of new smart fashion possibilities.

Some of our awardees have developed treatments for depression and other chronic illnesses. Others bring digital security and coding skills to marginalized communities who need them. There are those who travel to far-flung locations to understand the mysteries of our universe, and some who build simulated alien worlds in their own backyard.

Despite their disparate fields of expertise, all of these Humans of the Year share a vision of a better future, and a commitment to do their part to construct it. We hope you are as inspired by their hard work and fresh ideas as we are.

Humans of the Year is a series about the people building a better future for everyone. Follow along here .