Personally, I find it just hilarious that TFA fails to recognize two points:
First, that our inability to live long enough to win a prize that takes a 150 year career directly highlights a domain of science that we still have some pretty amazing leaps left to take.
And second, that a NatGeo author of all people would dare to write about another discipline running out of material - How many indigenous tribes do you have left to exploit for stories, NG? And will you do the honorable thing and close up shop when you finally run out, or will you just turn into yet another travel-n'-tourism rag? ;)
We can talk about this again when a human born on Earth can someday physically walk on another habitable planet. I can think of three completely-physically-possible ways to accomplish that, without even giving it much thought: Living forever (with enough energy and the right tools, we can repair anything); near-infinite free energy (fusion) combined with time dilation, uploading your consciousness to a clone made, at the receiving end, from your own digitized and transmitted DNA. Any combination of just those alone would completely reshape human existence, and don't even require getting into the "maybe but probably not" methods like FTL travel or wormholes.
This really doesn't take much effort, you poor uncreative bastard (not you, parent poster - the TFA author). Pick something you can't do that the laws of physics don't outright ban (and even some of those might have a way to "bend" them, if not outright break them). Pick something obvious we have almost no understanding of - gravity; what your dog really wants for dinner; the size of the universe (the Hubble Radius merely describes our causal universe - We actually can't tell whether or not we live in an infinite universe); how to feed everyone in a world that throws away more food than it actually needs; fuckin' magnets (as Hofstadter said, "greenness dissolves" - You can't explain macroscopic effects with turtles all the way down); why hot models like ugly singers; what "causes" radioactive decay; why writers in a dying genre feel the need to prove their inadequacy in other domains of knowledge - And you'll have a breakthrough just waiting to happen.