The Great Acceleration

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The Great Acceleration




Described as ‘The Great Acceleration’, the past fifty years of human endeavour has set a blistering pace of technological progress and discovery that has changed our world irreversibly.

This remarkable new science series tells the fascinating story of one of the most dramatic chapters of human history. Across six one-hour episodes, the series examines major advances in the fields of space exploration, computing, energy, resources, Earth science and our understanding of the evolution of life itself.

Since 1970, the world population has more than doubled to nearly 8 billion, with many developing nations now chasing a western lifestyle of excess consumption. As food production and water resources become increasingly stretched and waste piles high, the scientific challenge has been finding ways to make more from less. A new focus on sustainability and efficiency has produced clever solutions that promise to transform our throw-away society to a circular economy - where reusing and recycling are key components to future productivity.

As satellites image every corner of Earth from space, a new perspective of our planet has emerged, where oceans, land, ice and atmosphere are interconnected. Charting some of the biggest changes in geological history the new field of earth system science has been piecing together the extraordinary influence of humankind on our natural world and attempting to understand how it may shape our uncertain future.

Even our knowledge of life on Earth has been rewritten, with discoveries of major missing links in evolution finally uncovered. With breakthrough genetic technologies, scientists have taken the ultimate step in mastering evolution - with the creation of a new synthetic species never before seen on Earth. Armed with the code of DNA and the power of computing, we can finally send life at the speed of light.

Featuring expert commentary from scientists at the top of their field - such as geneticist Craig Venter and Nobel Prize winner Barry Barish, who provide first-hand accounts about some of the biggest moments in science, like the discovery of dark energy and gravitational waves, the creation of a new synthetic species and innovative solutions that may save the future of human civilisation.

The Great Acceleration is an unmissable account of our extraordinary changing world over the last fifty years and how new innovations can guide us into a more sustainable future. The next fifty years is sure to be a breathtaking journey.

Presenterless version available.