The fourth and final lecture, entitled Extreme Events, of the Humans and Machines lecture series discusses today’s Doomsayers. There is an extraordinary agreement by both scientists and imaginative writers that technology has outrun our capacity to use it wisely, and threatens catastrophic events, whether by way of nuclear holocaust, greenhouse gas emissions, engineered pandemics, or mass outages. Bearing in mind our duty to those yet unborn, what attitude should we take to the further development of technology in our own life times? Do religious, and non-European philosophies of nature have something important to tell us, or do we have no choice but to rely on the next generation of machines to save us from the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’.
LECTURE SERIES BY ROBERT SKIDELSKY, Emeritus professor, Warwick University, UK
- The Future of Work | APRIL 19, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
- The Quest for Perfectibility | APRIL 24, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
- Transhumanism | MAY 3, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
- Extreme Events | MAY 10, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
Robert Skidelsky is emeritus professor of political economy at Warwick University. His three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes (1983,1992, 2000) won five prizes and his book on the financial crisis – Keynes: The Return of the Master – was published in September 2010. He was made a member of the House of Lords in 1991 (he sits on the crossbenches) and elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994.
Recently, he has written and filmed a series of lectures on the History and Philosophy of Economics which is available as an open online course in partnership with the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
His most recent publications include Money and Government (2018), What’s Wrong with Economics?: A Primer for the Perplexed (2020) and Economic Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control? (2022). He is currently working on a book about automation and the future of work.