I really enjoyed listening to this week’s podcast. I thought an interesting point was raised that I had not previously thought of in regards to space exploration. Martin Rees made the point that space exploration endeavours should, at this point, be left to the private sector rather than the public sector. He claimed that the private sector has sufficient enough resources and can afford the elevated level of risks associated with space exploration and research. I wholeheartedly agree with this point as there are so many pressing issues on this Earth that need to be addressed. Now, I do certainly acknowledge that space exploration has helped to address certain problems and to advance the quality of human life. However, I think that projects that involve exploration of things beyond our solar system and beyond the scope of being able to directly help human life should not be given public funding - especially when there are ample private sectors in these fields. It is also interesting that many people suggest that we should do Mars exploration as a way of preparing for a future in which Earth is no longer habitable. However, in the podcast, Martin seems to suggest that it is very unlikely that we will ever be able to colonize Mars.
In the interview, Martin briefly talked about nuclear energy and he also talked about the importance of prominent people’s impact on climate change efforts. If I were interviewing him, I would like to reconcile these two topics into a question about Bill Gates’ recent efforts to make nuclear energy safer. In a recent documentary titled Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, it takes a look at the way in which Bill Gates has been trying to redesign nuclear reactors to make nuclear energy safer, cleaner, cheaper, and more accessible as an alternative to traditional fossil fuels. I would be curious to hear Martin’s thoughts on this project and how he thinks it can/cannot impact the climate change crisis in a significant manner.