In the mid 1970’s I heard a bureaucrat [Bob Lansdowne] argue that social change came from shifts in compassion or compulsion-he was discussing our relationship with Indonesia and argued that compassion was in short supply. He was suggesting that huge disparities in income and wealth in an increasingly open and global environment were a recipe for instability and conflict–and that we should be afraid of the consequences of failing to address it. His concern is even more relevant today.
In many professions gender inequality is evident by the lack of female leadership at top levels. This is in part attributed to the divergence during mid career progression when women are likely to begin having families. Would the gender inequality debate be flipped on it’s head if men were the ones who got pregnant?
The recent discovery of water on Mars has brought into perspective that a manned mission may contaminate the results of any discovery of life. Perchlorates and cosmic radiation are still barriers to a lengthy mission. Is it more important to have realistic expectations of Mars or a vision of solving problems to which we do not yet have answers?