Astronomy, Public

Martin Rees: the World in 2050


Leading astrophysicist Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and a senior figure in UK science, will look ahead to 2050 in a public lecture at Cardiff University on 6th April. This event is sponsored by the Learned Society of Wales and forms part of the Annual University/LSW Partnership Lecture series. It will be followed by a reception in our VJ Gallery. It is free to attend but a ticket must be booked in advance. All are welcome.

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Professor Rees will talk about “The World in 2050 – and Beyond”. Our Earth is 45 million centuries old. But this century is the first when one species – ours – can determine the biosphere’s fate. Threats from the collective ‘footprint’ of 9 billion people seeking food, resources and energy are widely discussed. But less well studied is the potential vulnerability of our globally-linked society to the unintended consequences of powerful technologies – not only nuclear, but (even more) biotech, advanced AI, space, geoengineering and so forth. These are advancing fast, and bring with them great hopes, but also great fears. They will present new threats more diverse and more intractable than nuclear weapons have done.

Martin Rees is a cosmologist and space scientist based in Cambridge, where he has been Director of the Institute of Astronomy, a
Research Professor, and Master of Trinity College. He was President of the Royal Society during 2005-2010, and in 2005 he was appointed to the House of Lords. In 2016, he was elected as one of the first Honorary Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales.

He has received many international awards for his research, and belongs to numerous foreign academies including the US National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy and the Pontifical Academy. He is on the Board of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and has served on many bodies connected with education, space research, arms control and international collaboration in science. He lectures, writes and broadcasts widely for general audiences.

For a full talk abstract, and to book tickets, visit the event website.