The Transformation of Humankind

Past Event

13 November 2012, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
Clarendon Laboratory, 20 Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU

Dr James Martin, founder of the Oxford Martin School, will discuss the extreme paradigm shifts that lay ahead of us to achieve the transformation of humankind.

About the lecture

"An idea gets truly interesting when you are scared of taking it to its logical conclusion"

In the midst of revolution, you can’t see the overall picture of what is happening. We are in the middle of the biggest revolution ever - a massive transformation of humankind, enabled by technology and driven by many other factors. Since life began, evolution has occurred at a glacial pace, but now explosive change is happening and massive mistakes are being made.

Nature corrects mistakes in brutal ways. However, humanity is the first entity in Earth’s history that can think about what is going wrong and try to correct it. This is the first time there have been highly intelligent creatures that can study their situation and devise powerful ways to deal with the problems. Our future could be magnificent, but time is short. In our near future there is a need for extreme paradigm shifts, diverse in nature, and for which we are almost totally unprepared.

This event marks the 'Diamond Jubillee' of Dr Martin's matriculation from the University of Oxford.

About the speaker

Dr James Martin founded the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford in 2005 to foster and facilitate innovative, interdisciplinary research on the problems, dangers and opportunities of the near future. Martin is the largest individual benefactor to the University of Oxford in its 900-year history.

Martin has written more textbooks than any other living person – 104, many of which have been seminal in their field. He wrote The Meaning of the 21st Century, which was made into a major film, and is a Pulitzer nominee for his book The Wired Society.

He is an Honorary Life Fellow of the British Royal Institution, a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow of the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at Monterey, California. Martin has honorary doctorates from universities on all six continents.

More about Dr James Martin