"We are very different from all previous species, and we have the power to endure. We also have the power to destroy ourselves." — Lord Martin Rees Ryan Lash/TED hide caption

toggle caption Ryan Lash/TED

TED Radio Hour

Lord Martin Rees: How Can We Ensure Our Survival As A Species?

Astronomer and cosmologist Lord Martin Rees asks whether our species will endure despite the many existential threats we face.

Listen Loading… 7:45
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/466049421/466437188" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A simulation shows gravitational waves coming from two black holes as they spiral in together. S. Ossokine , A. Buonanno (MPI for Gravitational Physics)/W. Benger (Airborne Hydro Mapping GmbH) hide caption

toggle caption S. Ossokine , A. Buonanno (MPI for Gravitational Physics)/W. Benger (Airborne Hydro Mapping GmbH)

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks at a panel discussion on the search for life beyond Earth at NASA headquarters in 2014. Joel Kowsky/NASA hide caption

toggle caption Joel Kowsky/NASA

Luxembourg City, the capital of Luxembourg — shown here in 2012 — mixes the medieval and the modern. The tiny European nation is making a serious bid for the futuristic, too. Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images

(Left) Bob Ebeling in his home in Brigham City, Utah. (Right) The Challenger lifts off on Jan. 28, 1986, from a launchpad at Kennedy Space Center, 73 seconds before an explosion killed its crew of seven. (Left) Howard Berkes/NPR; (Right) Bob Pearson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption (Left) Howard Berkes/NPR; (Right) Bob Pearson/AFP/Getty Images

A view from Earth of a slender crescent moon in close proximity to the two brightest planets in the sky, Venus and Jupiter. Justin Lane/epa/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Justin Lane/epa/Corbis

A NASA team has attached nearly all of the hexagonal segments that will together make the primary mirror for the James Webb Space Telescope (pictured are practice segments). Chris Gunn/NASA hide caption

toggle caption Chris Gunn/NASA

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor