Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and Royal Society Research Professor at Cambridge University, is renowned for his extraordinary intuition in unraveling the complexities of the universe. He has been a leader in the quest to understand the physical processes near black holes and is responsible for major advances in our understanding of the cosmic background radiation, quasars, gamma-ray bursts, and galaxy formation. He has contributed to almost every area of cosmology and astrophysics and through his public speaking and writing he has made the Universe a more familiar place for everyone.
Astrophysicist Sir Martin Rees, the main guest on Monday night, discussed his new book Our Final Hour, whichadvances an alarming thesis: the odds are no better than 50/50 that our species will survive to the end of the twenty-first century. As science continues to advance, Rees said that new threats will emerge. "It's very hard to regulate science," he commented but "sometimes the answer is more science or differently directed science rather than putting the breaks on science." Being an astronomer Rees said gives him an awareness of the enormous time span that lies ahead, and as such he is concerned about the stewardship of our planet. He sounded the warning of the possibilities for "terror, error and environmental disaster," citing the dangers of small groups having access to destructive technology and the continued impact of fossil fuels on global warming. "For the first time human beings themselves will start to change," Reese said of the coming decades. These alterati ... More »Host: George Noory