A Global Village
Issue 7

Note from the Editor

Neave O'Clery, Imperial College

Remember when the year 2000 was a mythical distant future? This editor vividly recalls the thought of the millennium year as an impossibly remote and futuristic reality.

Now, more than a decade later, much of what was once the backbone of sci-fi films has become a reality. In fact, what was once life on earth seems to have morphed into a double life – an interconnected dual existence on earth and in the cyber-sphere. We have developed an insatiable thirst for information: communication is instant – and we demand access to any and all data, at any time.

A sphere of anonymous guises, free speech and free reign offers many things – it promotes creativity and unfetered expression of opinion, but also has the potential for reckless slander and crimes committed under a thick veil of anonymity. Prof. Chris Hankin and Andrew Burton delve into this brave new world, and the associated security and ownership issues posed by massive data creation and assimilation.

This exponential growth in technology has contributed to an atmosphere heaving in CO2 – but will science be able to bring us back from the brink? Dr. Michelle Moram tells us that next generation LEDs could significantly increase the energy efficiency of lighting sources, assisting in the reduction of CO2 emissions resulting from electricity generation. Palang Bumroongsakulsawat looks at artificial photosynthesis and asks, can we turn excess CO2 into energy in a similar manner to plants?

Fast-forward 100,000 years: what will remain of life today on earth? Philip de Grouchy and John O’Neill ask how can we store – and importantly signpost – toxic radioactive materials for a future civilisation?

In a time of rapid change, nothing is certain, and little is foreseeable.
This issue of A Global Village looks at some of the emerging challenges of a generation racing to keep up. 

Neave O'Clery is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of A Global Village

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