World authority on astrophysics, Sir Martin Rees, takes us on a journey through all the things which could wipe out mankind in the near future. From asteroids to disease to scientific discoveries gone wrong (from nanobots to the large Hadron collider) these are scenarios from disaster movies, analysed with a serious scientific eye. Some of these things definitely won't happen, some genuinely might – this is one book you won't be able to put down and which you'll never forget.
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Sir Martin is no doom merchant ... His prognostications, written in laymen's language, are all the more chilling for the reasonable tone in which they are expressed - Sunday Telegraph
Alarming, certainly, but alarmist never - Rees delivers his terrible prophecies with donnish understatement - The Evening Standard
One of the most provocative and unsettling books I have read for many years ... That a scientist so distinguished as Rees should air these fierce anxieties is a sign that something is amiss - Daily Telegraph
It matters that one should understand the provenance of this important and disturbing book. It is not another futurological diatribe saying that the end is nigh, but a lucid, calm, profoundly well-informed work by a distinguished scientist, whose humanity - evidenced by a serious ethical commitment and a quiet sense of humour- balances the dispassionate logic with which he surveys his subject: the multitude of threats facing humanity in the twenty-first century from error and terror in the nuclear, biological and environmental spheres - Literary Review
Rees does the maths of risk beautifully, as well as explaining the vital importance of understanding the fragility and cosmic smallness of the human present... The odds are small, but the risks are staggering, and that is Rees's excellent point in this thought-provoking book - Sunday Times
About the Author
Sir Martin Rees FRS is the most eminent cosmologist in Britain, the Astronomer Royal and Professor at Cambridge. He lives in Cambridge.