The World in 2050 and Beyond, with Martin Rees

November 10, 2020

November 10, 2020

12:00–1:00pm, PST 

Webinar; Register Here

Through a series of interwoven programs, we are creating New Profiles of the Future—inspired by Sir Arthur C. Clarke's seminal book Profiles of the Future—to bring together the world’s leading thinkers (science fiction writers, cultural scholars, scientists, and more), young visionaries, and the public to produce a well-researched, complex, and empowering set of speculations about the next hundred years that can serve as a roadmap for today’s generation to use to navigate the relentless change of contemporary life.

We are honored to have Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, join us virtual to deliver a talk entitled "The World in 2050 and Beyond." A discussion with Erik Viirre, Director of the Clarke Center, and a Q&A will follow.

aced67cde918da3c22de8fab6e19f39dLord Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal. He founded the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk with Huw Price and Jaan Tallinn. He is a Fellow of Trinity College and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He was formerly the Master of Trinity College and President of the Royal Society.  He has extensive experience engaging with both policymakers and the public to better prepare for our long term challenges. He is the author of a number of popular books, including Just Six Numbers and the existential risk-focused Our Final Century? He has written over 500 peer reviewed papers and eight books in total. His most recent book is On the Future: Prospects for Humanity. Personal website:

“Prophecy may be a lost art, but I can think of no better way to envision what lies ahead than this book―a multidimensional meditation by one of our most distinguished and wise scientific minds on where we are headed and what we can do to right the ship of our civilization. In a time when it is hard to find a dream of the future that is not dystopian, Martin Rees sees and writes with rigor, clarity, and hope.”―Ann Druyan, writer, producer, and director of Cosmos

“On the Future is a very important book that should be widely read and acted upon. Martin Rees combines his deep scientific insights and compassion for humanity’s welfare to address, in clear and elegant prose, the major issues facing human civilization today, some of which are not now commonly considered. Whether or not you agree with all the points he makes, you must take them very seriously indeed.”―Roger Penrose, author of Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe 

"On the Future, by a leading senior scientist and written in a charming and crystalline style, provides the kind of wisdom humanity most needs to make our way on through the twenty-first century."―Edward O. Wilson, professor emeritus, Harvard University

About New Profiles of the Future

In the original Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible, Arthur C. Clarke presented a grounded but optimistic series of speculations on where technology and culture were taking the human species. It was a roadmap for countless scholars, innovators, and scientists over the last half-century. Many of its predictions hold up remarkably well. Take a look at the chart from the back of the original edition:

Along with the World-Making Visionaries series, we're organizing the Extended Pause, a public collaborative act of cultural imagination during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as last summer's SDFutures youth workshops.

These projects will result in a new podcast series, documentary film, and publication—inspired by Clarke's vision but updated for our times.

For more information, please contact us at