In this Martin Rees speech, the astronomer discusses the scientific changes humans can expect over the next century, and warns that if not managed properly, these changes could have devastating global consequences.
He begins his speech by recognizing that while we are more or less confident in the explanation of the big bang theory, we are less confident in explaining why it happened. As Rees explains, it is this scientific complexity that is the greatest challenge for all of humanity. He goes on to warn that the world will change faster in this century than it has ever before. The physical and mental makeup of the human may in fact witness a significant transformation in the coming 100 years.
Rees believes that as humans, we have to accept the risks of science, if we are going to enjoy its benefits. He sees scientists as the ones responsible for ensuring these risks are monitored and managed in everyday life, because unlike politicians or CEOs, they are not subject to commercial pressure.