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This wasn’t the year of the hoverboard, flying cars or fast-rehydrating pizzas, much to the disappointment of Back to the Future fans everywhere. Nevertheless, scientists have continued to push their respective disciplines to futuristic new heights, pulling the curtain on a future replete with technological and medical advances even a sci-fi writer might not have dreamed up.

At the same time, research into the toll that human life and industrialization has taken on the planet paints a dire picture of what lies ahead. This makes advances in the field of clean energy all the more vital as mankind gears up to fight for the very habitability of the planet.

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