Cosmologist, noted author, Astronomer Royal and recipient of the 2015 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest, Lord Martin Rees has written and spoken extensively about the problems and challenges of the 21st century, and the interfaces between science, ethics and politics. In his words, “we need to broaden our sympathies both in space and time – and perceive ourselves as part of a long heritage, and stewards for an immense future.”
He points out that the current population is 7 billion people, and is projected to grow to 9 billion in 2050. In order to cope with this aging and ever-increasing population, with growing pressure on resources, and with rising global temperatures, Lord Martin Rees stresses that issues of global health and sustainability must stay high on the world’s agenda.
The Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest was created and is supported by the Nierenberg family to honor the memory of William A. Nierenberg, who was director of Scripps for 21 years. As this year’s recipient, Lord Martin Rees delivers a thought-provoking and insightful perspective on the challenges humanity faces in the future beyond 2050.
Watch Looking Beyond 2050 — On Earth and in Space with Lord Martin Rees.
Some folks believe that peering into a crystal ball can predict the future. Others believe in the power of divination or fortune telling. While the methods differ, the question is usually the same. What does the future have in store?
Marty Lasden and co-producer, lawyer/author Eric Berkowitz, try to distinguish the prophets from the crackpots as they consider everything from genetic engineering to Judaism to the future of work in the series Up Next: Perspectives on the Future of Everything.
The Future of Work
Way back in 1987, when the Internet was still a novelty, Thomas Malone predicted the advent of electronic buying, selling, and outsourcing. Then, just a few years later, he coined the term “E-lancer” to describe the new crop of freelance workers emerging in the information economy. And in 2004, he published a book called The Future of Work. In this edition of Up Next, Malone, who is a professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, considers how, if at all, workers will be able to survive and thrive in the decades ahead.
The Future of Marriage
In Medieval times, marriage was very different than it is today. Marriages were often based on political arrangements, and women often didn’t get to choose whom they would marry, or even know their future husband beforehand. If love was involved at all, it came after the couple had been married. In this edition of Up Next, leading family studies scholar Stephanie Coontz talks about the changing nature of marriage and how well the institution is likely to fare in the decades ahead.
Browse all of the programs in the series Up Next: Perspectives on the Future of Everything.
How to describe the burden of the state-sponsored mass murder on the generation that followed the Holocaust?
Of the many revealing stories shared in this program, one from German-born historian Frank Biess stands out. When he came to St. Louis as a college student, he was struck by the overt patriotism of Americans. As he explains, most Germans of the post-Holocaust era were so squeamish about appearing too nationalistic that they would never fly their country’s flag in front of their home because it could suggest support for the Neo-Nazis. The one notable exception? Flags were okay if the German soccer team was doing well in the World Cup.
Watch Frank Biess on American Patriotism.
Hear additional accounts of the Holocaust’s shadow on contemporary Germans on The UC San Diego Library Channel. Watch Growing Up in the Shadow of the Holocaust.
Economic growth around the world is influenced by who is in the workforce and what they, male or female, are paid.
In 2003, UC Berkeley Professor Laura Tyson was asked by the World Economic Forum to put together a rigorous analysis of how countries were doing on gender parity, or diversity, using a number of different dimensions, and then see how those countries’ gender parity affected its economic performance.
This analysis came to be called the Global Gender Gap Report, and ultimately it showed that those countries with greater gender parity over time performed better economically.
Professor Tyson shares some of her own experiences, observations, and analysis as she makes a case for greater gender parity for economic growth, including how economic policy can influence the recruitment and retention of women in workplaces worldwide.
Watch Women’s Work in the World Economy now.