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Big Questions For The Future

This series looks at the Oxford Martin School's academics and how their research is making a difference to our global future. The series will be of interest to people who are concerned about the future for the planet, how civilisation will adapt to emerging problems and issues such as climate change, over population, increased urbanisation of populations and the creation of vaccines to fight against future pandemics. The Oxford Martin School academics explain their various research topics in an accessible and thoughtful way and try to find practical solutions to these issues.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons What will buildings of the future look like? There's a lot that we can learn from the past, using modern materials and approaches, that will improve the design and functionality of new buildings. Steve Rayner 20 Aug 2012
2 Creative Commons What will be the pros and cons of city life in the future? As populations increasingly migrate to city centres there are many factors that improve lifestyle - less pollution, fewer road accidents, easier access to medical care. But city infrastructure could do with a rethink says Professor Steve Rayner. Steve Rayner 20 Aug 2012
3 Creative Commons How can we deal with the challenge of 'data overload'? We are reaching a point where computers can no longer cope with the quantity of data collected from cosmological simulations - a problem that will grow, not only in cosmology. Pedro Ferreira 20 Aug 2012
4 Creative Commons Why do we need 'citizen science'? Harnessing the general public to help analyse complex data sets is not only helping scientists with galaxy classification. Pedro Ferreira 20 Aug 2012
5 Creative Commons How can nanotechnology address medical problems? Microscopes with nanometer resolution can test the mechanical properties of cells. Nanoscale 'scaffolds' that mimic the cellular matrix of cells in the body can help regenerate tissue, improve healing mechanisms, and even train the immune system. Sonia Contera 20 Aug 2012
6 Creative Commons What are the primary healthcare issues in resource deprived areas? The healthcare needs of teenagers in India are the focus of a new study by the George Centre for Healthcare Innovation. Robyn Norton 20 Aug 2012
7 Creative Commons Why is biodiversity so important for humanity? The biological diversity of life on earth provides all that is essential to the planet as we know it. But there are pressures on that biodiversity, including changing land use and global warming. Katherine Willis 20 Aug 2012
8 Creative Commons How serious is the threat of a future flu pandemic? Professor Angela McLean, Co-Director, Institute for Emerging Infections advises caution, preparation and fast decision-making in anticipation of the threat of a serious pandemic. Angela McClean 20 Aug 2012
9 Creative Commons How serious is our exposure to dangerous infections? The world has become a safer place because of vaccines but does our increasing connectivity mean the world is getting riskier in terms of our exposure to serious infections? By Professor Adrian Hill, Co-Director, Institute for Vaccine Design. Adrian Hill 20 Aug 2012
10 Creative Commons Can we create vaccines fast enough for a future pandemic? An exploration of how to get from vaccine development to vaccine delivery in time to deal with a health scare such as a fast-moving global pandemic. By Professor Adrian Hill, Co-Director, Institute for Vaccine Design. Adrian Hill 20 Aug 2012
11 Creative Commons How can ideas change the world? Interview with Professsor Ian Goldin, Director, Oxford Martin School. Ian Goldin 20 Aug 2012
12 Creative Commons How can stem cells help in the treatment of cancer? One of the flipsides of ageing is cancer, characterised by cells that do not age. What can stem cell research learn from cancer cells to help prevent the degenerative illnesses associated with ageing? Colin Goding 20 Aug 2012
13 Creative Commons What are stem cells and why are they important for the future of medicine? An explanation of how stem cells could transform medical practice, from treating the diseases of ageing to finding a cure for cancer by Professor Colin Goding, Co-Director, Oxford Stem Cell Institute. Colin Goding 20 Aug 2012