Utopia Public Lecture - The World in 2050
This is the third lecture in the Institute of Advanced Study's public lecture series on Utopia.
By 2050 the world's population will have risen to around 9 billion. There will be pressure on energy, resources and the environment. New technology (some as yet un-envisaged) could, if optimally applied, ensure a rising quality of life and a closing of the gap between the developing and developed world. But there is a growing gap between what science will allow us to do and what it's prudent or ethical actually to do. There are threats as well as opportunities and it's realistic to be a technological optimist while being an anxious pessimist about the actual political and social trends.
Martin Rees is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Astronomer Royal. In 2005 he was appointed to the House of Lords and elected President of the Royal Society, a position he holds until December 2010. He is the author or co-author of more than 500 research papers, as well as seven books (five for general readership), and numerous magazine and newspaper articles on scientific and general subjects.
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