Surviving the Century

Lecture by Lord Martin Rees. Public Lecture Series organized by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Our Earth has existed for 45 million centuries. But the present century is the first when one species – ours – has the planet’s future in its hands. We have forecasts of the pressures that will stem from a rising population, more demanding of energy and resources. But technological advances are less predictable. We need to worry about the downsides of bio- cyber- and nano-technology. We must minimise vulnerabilities stemming from the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy and global society, and the greater empowerment of small groups. This lecture will address some of these issues, looking towards 2050 and beyond, with a focus on the responsibilities of scientists and policy-makers.

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