Results 1–20 of 65 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Rees of Ludlow

Space Science and Technology - Question for Short Debate (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, the Americans committed 4% of the federal Budget to Apollo. Had that level of spend been sustained, there would have been footprints on Mars by now. But once that race against the Russians was won, there was no imperative to sustain that massive effort, so Apollo remains, half a century later, the high point of manned spaceflight. However, space activity has burgeoned. We depend...

Space Science and Technology - Question for Short Debate (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, the Americans committed 4% of the federal Budget to Apollo. Had that level of spend been sustained, there would have been footprints on Mars by now. But once that race against the Russians was won, there was no imperative to sustain that massive effort, so Apollo remains, half a century later, the high point of manned spaceflight. However, space activity has burgeoned. We depend...

Policy-making: Future Generations’ Interests - Motion to Take Note (20 Jun 2019)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, we should indeed be grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for inspiring this debate. Young people in this country face the future with foreboding as well as hope. They confront radical disruption to the nature of work, unequal opportunities and social fragmentation. However, my remarks will focus on concerns that are more global: environmental degradation, unchecked climate change...

Climate Change - Motion to Take Note (24 Jan 2019)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, climate science is intricate, but despite the uncertainties it offers two messages that most agree on. First, even within the next decade or two, regional disruptions to weather patterns and more extreme weather will aggravate pressures on food and water and enhance migration pressure. Secondly, under a global “business as usual” scenario we cannot rule out, later in the...

Artificial Intelligence (Select Committee Report) - Motion to Take Note (19 Nov 2018)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I add my appreciation of this timely and balanced report and welcome the chance to debate it here today. Machine learning, enabled by the ever-increasing number-crunching power of computers, is a potentially stupendous break- through. It allows machines to gain expertise, not just in game playing but in recognising faces, translating between languages, managing networks, and so...

Terrorism: Emergency Communications - Question for Short Debate (5 Jul 2018)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I contribute to this debate with diffidence. Others speak with far greater authority and have had direct experience of and responsibility for dealing with terrorist incidents, or, more generally, with infrastructure failures that could cause disruption and social breakdown. I pay tribute to the commitment of the noble Lord, Lord Harris, to these issues. He has emphasised...

University Admissions: Equality - Question (7 Jun 2018)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, the topic of this debate is in the context of Oxbridge, but we should surely see the issue as a broader one. A good degree has become a prerequisite for many jobs for which it was not needed in the past. In consequence, a degree is crucial for social mobility. Eighteen year-olds who have been unlucky or ill advised in their schooling or come from deprived backgrounds do not have a...

Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill - Committee (1st Day) (9 May 2018)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, we should welcome these attempts to clarify the wording of the Bill, but I suspect that it is a more or less hopeless task to agree on it. I am surprised that the noble Lord, Lord Borwick, did not want to change, “does not need to be monitored”, because that is a subjective question. For example, if you are in a taxi, are you happy if no driver is there? If you are flying in a...

Museums and Galleries - Question for Short Debate (23 Jan 2018)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, we should indeed be grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, for his long-standing commitment to this area. It is a privilege to participate in this debate. I declare an interest as a former trustee of the British Museum and a current member of the Science Museum’s fundraising trust. I am based at Cambridge University, which is fortunate to have several outstanding museums; these...

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (Science and Technology Report) - Motion to Take Note (20 Dec 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I add my appreciation to the noble Earl, Lord Selbourne, and his committee for their balanced report, particularly for its emphasis on the need for testing and innovation, combined with cautionary concerns about the downsides of autonomous vehicles. The public focus is on levels 4 and 5—fully self-driving road cars—and whether they would be safer than human drivers or not in...

Education and Society - Motion to Take Note (8 Dec 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, it is a privilege to offer a few brief comments from the perspective of an academic scientist. Today’s young people will live in a world ever more dependent on technology and ever more vulnerable to its failures or misdirection. Choices on how science is applied are not just for scientists to make, but for wide democratic debate to rise above sloganising all citizens need enough...

Future of Work - Motion to Take Note (12 Oct 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, the big social and economic question is: will this new machine age be like earlier disruptive technologies, or is it really different this time in terms of job creation? Machines will take over more and more of the work entailed in manufacturing and retail distribution. Moreover, AI can take over many white-collar jobs: routine legal work, routine accountancy, medical diagnostics,...

Digital Understanding - Motion to Take Note (7 Sep 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I join other speakers in congratulating the noble Baroness, Lady Lane-Fox, on this debate. Our lives have been hugely enriched by consumer electronics and by web-based services that are free or very cheap. Indeed, during a decade where many people’s real wages have fallen, the main reason why they may enjoy greater subjective well-being is the consumer surplus offered by the ever...

Brexit: Environment and Climate Change - Motion to Take Note (23 Mar 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I should first crave the House’s indulgence for my delayed arrival this afternoon, and I apologise to the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, for missing the first few minutes of his speech. As his excellent report makes clear, we learn a great deal about the earth’s climate and environment by monitoring it from space, and I should like to comment on the highly sophisticated pan-European...

End of Life Care - Question for Short Debate (14 Mar 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I add my thanks to the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, for introducing this debate with such authority on an issue of inescapable relevance to us all. We already have some options. We can ask not to be resuscitated if we have heart failure; we can decline invasive cancer treatment. We can legally formalise such wishes via an advance decision to refuse treatment, or via lasting powers...

Assisted Dying - Question for Short Debate (6 Mar 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, even with the best palliative care, some will survive beyond the stage where they feel life is worth living. That is why 300 people a year with terminal illnesses commit suicide and why the lives of loved ones are sometimes ended in ways that are, strictly, illegal. Those acts may not result in prosecution, but a shadow of criminality hangs over them and adds to the grief of those...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (1 Mar 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I support this amendment. As a former member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, I particularly endorse the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, and the noble Earl, Lord Selborne, about the current—and rather weak—state of many of the nuclear activities in this country. It is clear that the Euratom issue has been, as it were, caught in the slipstream of the EU...

Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (6th Day) (25 Jan 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I fully endorse the amendment and the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Patten. I am from a different university but it has entirely similar concerns. I work in a small department where all of the last five faculty appointments were of people from outside the UK. Crucially, we depend upon being attractive to these people but it has been much harder to persuade them to accept positions...

Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (6th Day) (25 Jan 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I support the amendment. I do not have much to add to the eloquent comments that have been made by the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, and other speakers. I would like to express bafflement that we are still banging on about this issue, which surely has been a compelling argument for more than two years. In the time of the coalition there was already discussion about this but the...

Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (11 Jan 2017)

Lord Rees of Ludlow: My Lords, I support these amendments, in particular for the reasons stated by the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, regarding mature learners. However, there are of course many other reasons to expect that part-time learning will be a larger part of the higher education system in future. One other reason is distance learning—so-called MOOCs, and so on—which will have an important role in...


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