Advances in biotech, cyber-technology, robotics, and space exploration could, if applied wisely, allow a bright future – even for 10 billion people – by the end of this century.
But there are dystopian risks we ignore at our peril.
These risks are of two kinds: those stemming from our ever-greater collective “footprint” on the Earth, and those enabled by technologies so powerful that even small groups can, whether by error or design, cause global catastrophe.
Martin Rees, the UK Astronomer Royal, will explore this unprecedented moment in human history during his Perimeter Institute public lecture on October 2, 2019. A former president of the Royal Society and master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Rees is a cosmologist whose work also explores the interfaces between science, ethics, and politics.
In his October 2 talk – which kicks off the 2019/20 season of the Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series – Rees will discuss the outlook for humans (or their robotic envoys) venturing to other planets. Humans, Rees argues, will be ill-adapted to new habitats beyond Earth, and will use genetic and cyborg technology to transform into a “post-human” species.
Rees’ talk at Perimeter will cover themes from his 2018 book, On the Future: Prospects for Humanity. Rees is an acclaimed thinker, author, and speaker who belongs to numerous scientific academies around the world. His past books include Before the Beginning, Our Final Century?, Just Six Numbers, Our Cosmic Habitat, and Gravity’s Fatal Attraction.
- Public Lectures