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Reith 2005: The Triumph of Technology - Technology will determine the future of the human race

Updated Thursday, 14th September 2006

In the first of his Reith Lectures series, Lord Alec Broers suggests that technology will determine the future of the human race. Do our experts agree?

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The Lecture
Lord Broers begins his argument that technology will determine the future of the human race by looking back four thousand years to the successful development of stone age technology and the impact it had on humankind.

He then moves forward to the present day to lament the lack of understanding of technology and failure to appreciate its importance that has led the general public to regard the safety bicycle as Britain’s greatest invention.

Clusterbombs [Image: televiseus under CC-BY-NC-SA licence] Creative commons image Icon televiseus via Flickr under Creative-Commons license
'...except for weaponry...' Clusterbombs [Image: televiseus under CC-BY-NC-SA licence]

Communication technology is just one of the areas he draws upon to demonstrate the impact of technology on modern society, arguing that ‘most new technologies, with the exception of those associated with weaponry, have had hugely beneficial effects for most people’ and that their influences will ‘increase as time passes’.

Our Experts' Responses

You can listen to the lecture in full, or read a transcript, on the BBC Radio 4 website

First broadcast: Wednesday 6 Apr 2005 on BBC Radio 4

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