It’s not just ordinary people who are worried about nuclear war and other doomsday scenarios – Nobel Prize winners are too, according to the Times Higher Education Supplement.
In a survey of 50 Nobel laureates, climate change was seen as the biggest threat – with nuclear weapons in second place – and one laureate suggested humans need to become a ‘multi planet species’.
Speaking to the THES, the unnamed Nobel winner said that humanity faces, ‘several low probability but quite existential threats to humanity, including pandemics, nuclear war and artificial intelligence.’
But there is an answer, the Nobel laureate suggested – leave Earth.
The Nobel winner wrote, ‘The ultimate insurance policy is to make humanity a multiplanet species. And science obviously has a big role to play in that.’
The comments echo Professor Stephen Hawking’s warning earlier this year that the human race is doomed – unless we find a way to escape our planet and live elsewhere within the next 200 year.
Professor Hawking said, ‘When we have reached similar crises in our history, there has usually been somewhere else to colonise. Columbus did it in 1492 when he discovered the New World. But now there is no new world. No Utopia around the corner.
‘We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds.
‘The Earth is under threat from so many areas that it is difficult for me to be positive.’
‘It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.’
Professor Hawking said that he hoped that tiny spaceships propelled by beams of light could reach Alpha Centauri within his audience’s lifetime.