Instead of grumbling on about how much the world is changing around us like a gaggle of disgruntled ostriches, perhaps it’s time we all got a grip on what’s really happening. Now we can thanks to the How To: Academy’s third annual conference on the future.
Having attended the conference last year, High50 can vouch for the extraordinary calibre of speakers and stimulating topics. The one-day-long conference takes place in the historical setting of the Royal Institution’s famous amphitheatre www.rigb.org where scientists, politicians, authors, thinkers and artists have lectured for over 200 years. It’s a scientist’s paradise because in this room, Humphry Davy first revealed sodium, Michael Faraday enunciated his field theory of electromagnetism and JJ Thomson announced the existence of the fundamental particle later called the electron.
Leading experts will speak on issues that are particularly relevant to our generation, like Alzheimers prevention and new techniques in cancer research, but there will also be talks on a range of subjects from robotic brains, cyborgs, human-centred geolocation, epigenetics and made-to-order 3D printed organs to changing your genes and much more.
The conference is moderated by Matthew Taylor, Head of the RSA, and is a mandatory event for anyone who is curious about what’s happening in the field of research or who is concerned for the future of our planet. The day will not throw up all the answers but it will certainly reassure that some of the best brains on the planet are working on the issues that are set to define our remaining years – solar and hydrogen energy, disease, digital disruption of cities and solving chronic undernourishment. Here’s a taster of just one talk, ‘Remaking the World’, that will be given by Professor Lewis Dartnell at the University of Westminster:
For the sake of a thought experiment, let’s imagine that the world as we know it ends tomorrow and your community of post-apocalyptic survivors must rebuild from scratch. What is the most vital scientific understanding and technological know-how that you would need to accelerate the rebooting of civilisation? Lewis Dartnell argues that it is by understanding how we got to here, and why we made particular choices in our own history of development, that we can best appreciate how to move forward into an uncertain future and change the world.
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