Want to keep up? As we start climbing the curve of accelerating technological change, you'll have to work a bit harder to avoid being left behind. Here's the New Scientist's Smart Guide to 2012:
Neutrinos may be tachyons
Next year, experiments will test claims of particles breaking the cosmic speed limit - but how to meld these misbehaving particles with the rest of physics?
Higgs hunt is all about catching Zs
Confirming the existence of the Higgs boson will be like trying to identify the tracks of a zebra after a herd of horses has passed by.
The Rio Earth Summit
Spaceship Earth needs a pilot – at Rio we will have to push for a global system of "environmental governance"
How best to test machine IQ
A hundred years since the birth of Alan Turing, his famous benchmark for machine intelligence is both too hard and too narrow, but there's another way.
How to win at the Olympics
Athletes have the right combination of genes and will have trained for years, their diets finely honed. It is in their minds where medals will be won or lost.
Humans' chimeric origins
The roots of our species are being called into question in ways that challenge the roots of our identity.
The US cyber election
The way we live our lives online will make it easier for US presidential candidates to target their message.
Billion-dollar price of privacy
Facebook is about to go public and could be worth up to $100 billion – and it's all because of you.
Mapping the human brain
The Human Connectome Project aims to map the large-scale connections of 1200 human brains and will start reporting data in late 2012.
The networks that run the world
From the global economy to the human brain, understanding the connections is key. To make sense of the world you've got to know network theory.
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