Technology risks and the survival of humanity: Is emerging technology more likely to destroy human civilisation or to radically enhance it?
The next ExtroBritannia event is scheduled for Saturday the 14th of June 2008, 2pm-4pm. Venue: Room 539 (fifth floor), Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX. The event is free and everyone’s welcome.
This meeting previews and summarises some of the discussions that will be taking place in July at the (four day long) conference "Global Catastrophic Risks" that will be taking place in Oxford in July.
This is arguably the single most important topic that can ever be discussed!
Risks worthy of review include:
*) Runaway greenhouse effects and other drastic climate change - vs possible geo-engineering solutions and new, cleaner, sources of energy
*) Nuclear wars provoked by catastrophic nuclear terrorism
*) Supervolcanoes - potentially tamed by future super-strong nanomaterials
*) A global pandemic of some horrible new disease
*) Hazards from comets and asteroids
*) The emergence of malevolent super-AI - vs the chance that super-AI will allow us to find better solutions to our existential risks
Speakers who will lead the discussion include:
Julian Snape - looking at technology risks and solutions from the point of view of both nanotechnology and possible collisions from NEOs (Near Earth Objects - comets and asteroids)
John Dinsdale - looking at technology risks and solutions around Global Warming, Peak Energy (fossil fuel,nuclear) and EROEI (energy return on energy invested)
Join the debate!
Birkbeck College - Room 539, 5th floor, Main Building, Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square), London WC1E 7HX - MAP
The nearest tube station is Russell Square. Come out of the tube station and turn left, to walk west along Bernard St. Cross over Herbrand St then Woburn Place and keep walking westwards, on the north side of the square. Cross Bedford Way, and turn right into Thornhaugh St, then immediately left to enter Torrington Square through the pedestrian-only courtyard outside SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies). Veer right and you'll see the main entrance to Birkbeck College on the left as you walk up Torrington Square. Take the lift to the 5th floor and follow the signs to room 539.
Discussion is likely to continue after the event in a nearby pub, for those who are able to stay. There's also the option of joining some of the UKTA regulars for drinks/lunch beforehand, starting c. 12.30, in "The Friend At Hand" pub which is situated behind Russell Square tube station on Herbrand Street. If it's your first ExtroBritannia look out for a copy of Ending Aging on display on our table.
Keep an eye on our mailing list for updates.