RHUL Annual Sustainability Lecture
Best of Times, Worst of Times: Hard Choices for Tomorrow's World
Professor Lord May of Oxford OM FRS, Zoology Department, Oxford University
Lord May was until recently President of The Royal Society, and before that Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and Head of its Office of Science & Technology. He is a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change.
These days, humans on average live longer and healthier lives, with more energy subsidies and food per person than in earlier times. This results from our ever-increasing understanding of how the natural world works. But increasingly we are finding that our well-intentioned applications of that understanding are having unintended adverse effects. This lecture will survey some of the challenges that confront us: still increasing human numbers; the emergence of new diseases; how to manage increasing demands for energy; and, looking beyond our own species, the sixth great wave of mass extinctions which seems likely to unfold over the next few centuries.
This lecture is organized by the Centre for Research into Sustainability (CRIS) and the School of Biological Sciences.