Hawking: Threats to human survival likely from new science

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Theoretical Physicist Professor Stephen Hawking sits on stage ahead of the announcement of the Stephen Hawking medal for science, 'Starmus' on December 16, 2015 in London, England. The new award for science communication is in honor of Professor Stephen Hawking and recognises the work of those helping to promote public awareness of science through music, arts and cinema. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

LONDON — Physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that new technologies will likely bring about “new ways things can go wrong” for human survival.

When asked how the world will end, Hawking said that increasingly, most of the threats humanity faces come from progress made in science and technology. He says they include nuclear war, catastrophic global warming and genetically engineered viruses.

The University of Cambridge professor added that a disaster on Earth — a “near certainty” in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years— will not spell the end of humanity because by that time humans are likely to have spread out into space.

Hawking made the comments while recording the BBC’s annual Reith Lectures on Jan. 7. His lecture will be broadcast on Jan. 26 and Feb.2.