Martin Rees reflects on his life and career in this Sunday Times interview:
"In your new book, On the Future, you address biotechnology, robotics, cyber technology and AI. How will we all be living in the future?
Students in the 1960s and 1970s personalised their rooms with books, records and pictures. And many of us have gone on amassing them. In the current era of e-books and streaming, I wonder whether sentiment about homes will become weaker — though the injustice that's eroding a sense of "place" is austerity, coupled with escalating house prices. This means today's students will be forced into more peripatetic and less secure lives than my generation were. Robots will do not only factory jobs, but routine legal work, computer coding, radiography and other white-collar jobs. But some jobs are too "non-routine" to be delegated to robots: gardening and plumbing, for instance."
"What is your favourite UK building?
Ely Cathedral. This glorious building, constructed with primitive technology by masons who knew they wouldn't live to see it finished, still inspires us almost a millennium later. It's shameful that, despite far wider horizons, we can't plan even 30 years ahead."