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Existential Risk: Future pandemics

When Sep 25, 2020
from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Where Online
Contact Name
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Speaker: Professor Sir Martin Rees (University of Cambridge)

Three trends enhance the probability of global catastrophes:

  1. the rising global population, more demanding of energy and resources, leads to novel anthropogenic pressures on the biosphere -- climate change, loss of biodiversity, etc .
  2. the greater interconnectedness of our civilisation allows pandemics to rapidly cascade globally, and enhances our vulnerability to breakdown in supply chains, financial networks, etc .  
  3. novel technologies -- bio, cyber and AI -- empower small groups with the ability (via error or terror) to cause massive (even global) disruption.

Coping with this threat presents a challenge to governance: it will become ever harder to sustain the three goals of offering all citizens privacy, security and freedom.



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