Martin Rees

Crucial to science education is hands-on involvement: showing, not just telling; real experiments and field trips and not just 'virtual reality.'Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Education, Science, Reality

Issues relating to global health and sustainability must stay high on the agenda if we are to cope with an ageing and ever-increasing population, with growing pressure on resources, and with rising global temperatures. The risks and dangers need to be assessed and then confronted.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Health, Risks, Pressure

If we ever established contact with intelligent life on another world, there would be barriers to communication. First, they would be many light years away, so signals would take many years to reach them: there would be no scope for quick repartee. There might be an IQ gap.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Life, Communication, Light

Ironically, it is only when disaster strikes that the shuttle makes the headlines. Its routine flights attracted less media interest than unmanned probes to the planets or the images from the Hubble Telescope. The fate of Columbia (like that of Challenger in 1986) reminded us that space is still a hazardous environment.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Space, Media, Fate

Everything, however complicated - breaking waves, migrating birds, and tropical forests - is made of atoms and obeys the equations of quantum physics. But even if those equations could be solved, they wouldn't offer the enlightenment that scientists seek. Each science has its own autonomous concepts and laws.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Science, Birds, Waves

The extreme sophistication of modern technology - wonderful though its benefits are - is, ironically, an impediment to engaging young people with basics: with learning how things work.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Work, Technology, Learning

Maybe the search for life shouldn't restrict attention to planets like Earth. Science fiction writers have other ideas: balloon-like creatures floating in the dense atmospheres of planets such as Jupiter, swarms of intelligent insects, nano-scale robots and more.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Life, Science, Space

Space and time may have a structure as intricate as the fauna of a rich ecosystem, but on a scale far larger than the horizon of our observations.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Time, Space, May

To most people in the U.K., indeed throughout Western Europe, space exploration is primarily perceived as 'what NASA does'. This perception is - in many respects - a valid one. Superpower rivalry during the Cold War ramped up U.S. and Soviet space efforts to a scale that Western Europe had no motive to match.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote War, Perception, Space

There are at least as many galaxies in our observable universe as there are stars in our galaxy.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Stars, Universe, Galaxy

Collective human actions are transforming, even ravaging, the biosphere - perhaps irreversibly - through global warming and loss of biodiversity.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Loss, Global Warming, Human

Scientists surely have a special responsibility. It is their ideas that form the basis of new technology. They should not be indifferent to the fruits of their ideas. They should forgo experiments that are risky or unethical.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Technology, Responsibility

The scientific community should work as hard as possible to address major issues that affect our everyday lives such as climate change, infectious diseases and counterterrorism; in particular, 'clean energy' research deserves far higher priority. And science and technology are the prime routes to tackling these issues.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Work, Change, Technology

During the 20th century, we came to understand that the essence of all substances - their colour, texture, hardness and so forth - is set by their structure, on scales far smaller even than a microscope can see. Everything on Earth is made of atoms, which are, especially in living things, combined together in intricate molecular assemblages.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Together, Earth, Living

The stupendous time spans of the evolutionary past are now part of common culture (though maybe not in the United States Bible Belt, nor in parts of the Islamic world). Most people are at ease with the idea that our present biosphere is the outcome of four billion years of Darwinian evolution.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Time, Culture, Past

From the growth of the Internet through to the mapping of the human genome and our understanding of the human brain, the more we understand, the more there seems to be for us to explore.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Growth, Brain, Internet

There's now, for the first time, a huge gulf between the artefacts of our everyday life and what even a single expert, let alone the average child, can comprehend. The gadgets that now pervade young people's lives, iPhones and suchlike, are baffling 'black boxes' - pure magic to most people.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Life, Time, Alone

We do not fully understand the consequences of rising populations and increasing energy consumption on the interwoven fabric of atmosphere, water, land and life.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Life, Water, Energy

Some things, like the orbits of the planets, can be calculated far into the future. But that's atypical. In most contexts, there is a limit. Even the most fine-grained computation can only forecast British weather a few days ahead. There are limits to what can ever be learned about the future, however powerful computers become.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Future, Weather, Computers

We need to broaden our sympathies both in space and time - and perceive ourselves as part of a long heritage, and stewards for an immense future.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Time, Future, Space

To ensure continuing prosperity in the global economy, nothing is more important than the development and application of knowledge and skills.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Knowledge, Important

Devastation could arise insidiously, rather than suddenly, through unsustainable pressure on energy supplies, food, water and other natural resources. Indeed, these pressures are the prime 'threats without enemies' that confront us.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Food, Water, Energy

Whether it is to reduce our carbon-dioxide emissions or to prepare for when the coal and oil run out, we have to continue to seek out new energy sources.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Energy, New, Prepare

There is an ever-widening gap between what science allows and what we should actually do. There are many doors science can open that should be kept closed, on prudential or ethical grounds.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Science, Doors, Ethical

Not even the most secular among us can fail to be uplifted by Christianity's architectural legacy - the great cathedrals. These immense and glorious buildings were erected in an era of constricted horizons, both in time and in space.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Time, Great, Space

Some global hazards are insidious. They stem from pressure on energy supplies, food, water and other natural resources. And they will be aggravated as the population rises to a projected nine billion by mid-century, and by the effects of climate change. An 'ecological shock' could irreversibly degrade our environment.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Change, Food, Water

The bedrock nature of space and time and the unification of cosmos and quantum are surely among science's great 'open frontiers.' These are parts of the intellectual map where we're still groping for the truth - where, in the fashion of ancient cartographers, we must still inscribe 'here be dragons.'Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Nature, Time, Truth

We know too little about how life began on Earth to lay confident odds. It may have involved a fluke so rare that it happened only once in the entire galaxy. On the other hand, it may have been almost inevitable, given the right environment.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Life, May, Earth

It's often better to read first-rate science fiction than second-rate science - it's far more stimulating, and perhaps no more likely to be wrong.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Science, Better, Wrong

There are strong reasons for believing that space goes on beyond the limits of our observational horizon. There are strong reasons because if you look in opposite directions, conditions are the same to within one part in 100,000. So if we are part of some finite structure then, if the gradient is so shallow, it is likely to go on much further.Martin Rees

0 likes view quote Strong, Space, Limits
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