Rees says that our prospects depend on how well we harness technological advances to address the challenges we face and to care for our planet. He argues that we must think rationally, globally, collectively and optimistically about our long-term future. Advances in biotechnology, cybertechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence could address threats from climate change and nuclear war if applied wisely.
Rees is Astronomer Royal and a former master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and president of the Royal Society. He is a member of the House of Lords and involved in international science and issues of technological risk. His previous books include Our Cosmic Habitat and Our Final Hour. Here he talks to Professor Ian Goldin, professor of globalisation and development at the University of Oxford and a former vice-president of the World Bank.