By 2050 there will be far more of us: world population is predicted to be two billion higher than it is today. This rise, predominantly in the developing world, will engender major geopolitical shifts and tensions. Unless new and appropriate technologies are urgently adopted, rising demands for energy, food and water could irreversably degrade the Earth's biosphere.
By mid-century, scientific understanding will have been greatly enhanced: science is the one truly global culture. Individuals will be increasingly empowered by technology that potentially offers huge benefits to the developing and the developed world. But these same advances will pose novel ethical dilemmas, and render our ever more interconnected world vulnerable to new and disruptive threats.
Lord Martin Rees is President of the Royal Society, Master of Trinity College, and Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He was appointed Astronomer Royal in 1995, and was nominated to the House of Lords in 2005 as a cross-bench peer. He was appointed a member of the Order of Merit in 2007.
The Lecture will be Chaired by Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, with an Introduction by Dr Ian Goldin, Director of the James Martin 21st Century School.