November 15, 2018 8:50 pm

What Does the Future of Humanity Look Like? Find out Friday from Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sir Martin Rees.

What does the future hold? What will we leave behind for future generations? Will we leave behind anything or will we destroy it all? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson investigates the future of us with comic co-host Maeve Higgins, and astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author Sir Martin Rees.

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Maeve Higgins and Sir Martin Rees in Neil’s office at the Hayden Planetarium in NYC. Credit: StarTalk Radio.

Shown: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Maeve Higgins and Sir Martin Rees in Neil’s office at the Hayden Planetarium in NYC. Credit: StarTalk Radio.

Martin, Britain’s Astronomer Royal since 1995, and both the former Master of Trinity College at Cambridge and former President of the Royal Society (a position held by Sir Isaac Newton himself), has certainly made a name for himself in the world of astrophysics. We were delighted that he stopped by to chat about the future of humanity with our very own personal astrophysicist. Martin’s new book, On The Future: Prospects for Humanity, discusses just that – what the future of us might look like.

You’ll hear why people should trust astrophysicists over futurists when pondering the future. Martin tells us some things we might be able to predict by 2050 and why we should keep an open mind when discussing science fiction. We also look at science fiction and how it can be used as a tool to make sure certain things do not happen.

After that, we move on to fan-submitted Cosmic Queries. We explore the idea of a globally unified science organization and how science already functions as a global culture. Find out what Martin thinks about our battle against climate change. Will future generations judge our actions in how we handle our climate crisis? We also discuss if a certain climate disaster needs to happen in order for people to accept the imminent threat of climate change.

Discover more about space travel and whether or not it will be accessible for everyone in the future. Will it be grounded in the private or public sector? Will NASA become more like a functionary spaceport for private vessels? We also explore the dangers of thinking that the answer to our human problems lies in Martian colonization.

Neil and Martin ponder what might be the next big breakthrough in science, why science literacy is vital going forward, and why new technology always brings great benefits but equally great downsides. All that, plus, Martin gives his final thoughts on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed.

Please join us tomorrow night for The Future of Us, with Sir Martin Rees at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen