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"... Sure, the future is uncertain. However, we can shape scenarios about the future that can be used to help design our actions. These statements about the possible futures are not "knowledge." The future is not factual until it has become the past. Therefore, futurists formulate their assertions in a range of alternative futures. Planners can then devise plans for each alternative, and examine each of them, thereby stimulating creative ideas that people could have obtained in no other way.
Can futures research become a science? Most would say no. But Bell argues fairly persuasively that futures research at its best is already a science. He also characterizes it as an art (as in the art of conjecture). But he contends that a significant portion of scientific research is also an art. To Bell, futurist assertions are based in large part upon the scientific study of past and present realities, and upon conjectures involving predictions. Scientists too study the present, form hypotheses, and predict future behavior and occurrences."
Source: Foundations of Futures Studies: Human Science for a New Era, by Wendell Bell. Two volumes. Transaction Publishers, 1997. Volume 1: 365 pages, ISBN 1-56000-271-9. Volume 2: 371 pages, ISBN 1-56000-281-6.