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On the Future: Prospects for Humanity Hardcover – October 16, 2018

4.3 out of 5 stars 72 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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"When politics seems impossible, it is sometimes good to take the long view. Astronomer Martin Rees’s On the Future offers a cosmological perspective on the present state of the world. Brexit seems a bit less all-or-nothing when set against the prospect of post-human space travel."---David Runciman, The Guardian

"Overall, this is a wise and humane overview of the challenges we all face, with much practical guidance about how best to tackle these in terms of responsible scientific and technological innocation related to deeper human values."---David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

"[A] condensed masterpiece of analysis and observation."---Jonathan Power, New York Journal of Books

"Fortunately for Rees, the symptoms of his anxiety appear to be an exceptionally clear head and a capable grasp of the big picture. His sense of cosmic wonder shines through brilliantly in the book’s later chapters. Explanations of complex subjects like the Large Hadron Collider and the ongoing search for exoplanets benefit from his crisp, precise prose. . . . Rees is a seasoned science communicator, and in so far as his job is to get more and more people interested in the field, the book’s short length and approachable style is a shrewd move that will open a wormhole to the big questions for the curious."---Louie Conway, Vanity Fair

"The importance of science in society has no greater spokesperson than Lord Martin Rees.", The Economist

"Rees shows us an optimistic yet realistic way of contemplating what is to come, as long as we broaden our thinking and realise that we’re all on this crowded planet together."---Sandra Kropa, BBC Sky at Night Magazine

"Rees is hardly the first to issue a stern warning about what lies ahead if complacency and consumerism rule, but his lucid, well-reasoned explanation of the stakes and inimitable prose lift this manifesto above the rest. An impassioned call to action from one of the world's foremost scientists. A book to be read by anyone on Earth who cares about its future.", Kirkus, starred review

"By no means merely a happiness pill, Martin Rees's On the Future: Prospects for Humanity nonetheless encourages the reader to think beyond the new norms of diminished and collapsing expectations. . . . This is less a book than a set of goggles that provides the reader a glimpse of a wider spectrum of possibility than would otherwise be visible."---Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Education

"[Hawking and Rees] offer brisk, lucid peeks into the future of science and of humanity. They evince a profound faith in science’s power to demystify nature and bend it to our ends."---John Horgan, Wall Street Journal

"Short in extent but wide in range: from redesigning genes, through the likelihood of human-induced climate change, to the possibility of encounters with alien intelligence in the Universe. [On the Future]’s overall theme is that Earth’s growing population will flourish only if science and technology are deployed with ‘wisdom.’"---Andrew Robinson, Science

Review

“For anyone who wants to consider the choices we have in our future and the implications of those choices, this is the book to read. Rees is a clear thinker and graceful writer, and he expresses an encouraging optimism about the future, if we can avoid some of our current species-limiting behaviors. Rees’s projections are grounded in today’s scientific knowledge and a scientist’s sense of probability and presented with a deep sense of humility.”―Rush D. Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former U.S. Representative from New Jersey

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
72 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2019
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Top international reviews

happichappi
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting perspective
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 30, 2018
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Cymru
5.0 out of 5 stars The way ahead!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prospects for humanity
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2018
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Jose Luis Pinheiro
5.0 out of 5 stars Vision and clarity
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2019
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Mrs. Frances D. Dickens
5.0 out of 5 stars It’s a great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2019
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Dr. Johnspud
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 25, 2018
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Graham Spicer
5.0 out of 5 stars Importance of public awareness to influence global changes before it’s too late
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2018
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David Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars On time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2019
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not a happy customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2019
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Enzio Abaeterno
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, however ...
Reviewed in Germany on February 22, 2019
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4UTX9
4.0 out of 5 stars Produkt gut Lieferraung grauselig
Reviewed in Germany on December 10, 2018
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Ryan D.
3.0 out of 5 stars Very light summaries of broad range of topics
Reviewed in Canada on October 10, 2019
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Guy Isabelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Parfait
Reviewed in Canada on December 2, 2018
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Donald McEachren
5.0 out of 5 stars What superior intelligence can tell us about almost everything.
Reviewed in Canada on July 14, 2019
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