The theme of Grand Challenges is at the heart of the Institute’s programme and is the shared core of our new consortial degrees; Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. The lectures offer a distinctive range of interdisciplinary perspectives on pressing societal questions and are open to all: undergraduates, postgraduates, all staff members and the wider Keele community.
Although science and technology may offer the potential for progress and advancement in various spheres of existence and experience, there are threats to our global habitat that endanger basic human needs. These influence life chances and opportunities and how we organise and live in our communities. The priorities we choose and the ways we seek to deliver them, will shape our futures.
Over the coming decades we must meet the demands of an expanding global population; the increased production of more nutritious and safer food, the accommodation of migration and population movements and the provision of safe and sustainable cities. The social and environmental effects and impacts of climate change must be managed and mitigated and the world’s resources equitably and peacefully distributed. We grapple with the challenges presented by technology and its impact on human interaction and relationships, as well as the bio-security issues from new and emerging infections in both humans and animals.
These are just some examples of complex questions and grand challenges which confront local, national, regional and global communities. They are beyond the scope of a single academic discipline or area of research expertise to map and provide solutions. These grand challenges will require creative and innovative interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration to suggest and predict possible resolutions.