Episode 4: The Runaway World

In the fourth and final Reith Lecture of 2010, Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal, explores how fast our world is moving in the 21st Century.

Speaking at the Open University in Milton Keynes, the home of online learning, he acknowledges how the internet and other technologies have transformed our lives.

Now he calls on politicians and other powers that be to provide the funding that will keep the UK among the world’s front runners in scientific research and discovery.

Without money and without education to attract young people into science, the UK is in danger of falling behind China and India - countries that are investing heavily in their science and technology sectors.

Professor Rees ends his series of lectures evoking memories of the ‘glorious’ Ely Cathedral, near Cambridge in England, a monument built to last a thousand years.

If we, like the cathedral builders, redirect our energies and focus on the long-term, he believes together we can solve the problems that face our planet, and secure its future for billions of people worldwide and for generations to come.

Producer: Kirsten Lass
Editor: Sue Ellis

Contact the programme: thereithlectures@bbc.co.uk

Available now

55 minutes

Last on

Sun 27 Jun 2010 13:05 GMT

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