I found Novikov said that algebraic topology was dead in the early 1970's in this article.
Segal had been one of Atiyah's first students, working on equivariant K-theory, and then other equivariant generalized cohomology theories. He was a collaborator on the second of the Annals papers on the index theorem. Well known as an algebraic topologist, he arrived in Moscow in the early 1970s to give some lectures and met S. Novikov, who told him, “So you are a topologist? Here we think that algebraic topology is dead.”
I wonder what he meant by it. Any thoughts?
Note I heard that Thom also said so, but I could find only Japanese Wikipedia article saying he said so, which does not give a reference for that assertion.