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The Astronomer Royal Looks to the Future

Evening Program with Book Signing

Inside Science program

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1A0065
Tickets
Does the future of humanity include Mars? (NASA)

In an unsettled and rapidly changing world, various prospects for the future—good and bad—are possible. Unfortunately, finds one prominent British scientist, too often our approach to what lies ahead is constricted by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. He offers an alternative perspective: Humanity’s future is bound to the future of science, and our prospects hinge on how successfully we harness technological advances to address its challenges.

Cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees, who holds the position of Astronomer Royal, argues that we must think rationally, globally, collectively, and optimistically about the long-term future. Drawing from his new book On the Future: Prospects for Humanity (Princeton University Press) Rees discusses how we can use science to solve critical problems while avoiding its dystopian risk.

He examines how advances in biotechnology, cybertechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence, if pursued and applied wisely, could empower us to boost the developing and developed world and overcome a wide range of threats from climate change to nuclear war. Rees offers fascinating insights into cutting-edge science and technology as he analyzes the central challenge of the future: that there’s no viable “Plan B” for Earth within reach if we do not care for our home planet.

On the Future is available for sale and signing.

Inside Science

Location
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)