Safety science is a relatively new research field because it didn't become an academic domain until the 1970s. In recent years, many scholars have carried out a great deal of safety science research. To understand the future development of safety science research, this article discusses the future trends in five safety science research directions (namely safety human factors, safety natural science, safety technology science, safety social science and safety system science) using mainly three methods, including typical literature search and review, speculation, and comparative analysis. Meanwhile, by reviewing some typical theoretical research achievements on safety science of the Safety & Security Theory Innovation and Promotion Center (STIPC) of Central South University (which is a representative research institution in the field of safety science theory in China) in recent years, this paper briefly introduces China's recent theoretical progress on safety science research from nine aspects (namely new disciplines of safety science, new safety theories, safety science methodology, safety science principles, theoretical safety models, comparative safety science, similarity safety systematology, safety culturology and safety informatics) respectively. The results show that the global research trends of safety science have undertaken a drastic shift, and safety science research has closely followed the demands of social and economic development. In a word, the theoretic foundation of safety science is gradually becoming mature and enrichment.
Keywords: safety science; research trends; theoretical pro