Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: The Long View

21 March 2024, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

The book cover on the left and the author on the right

Join Richard Fisher for the paperback launch of his book 'The Long View: Why We Need to Transform How the World Sees Time'

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students






Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, Wilkins building
UCL, Gower Street, London
United Kingdom

Humans are unique in their ability to understand time, able to comprehend the past and future like no other species. Yet modern-day technology and capitalism have supercharged our short-termist tendencies and trapped us in the present, at the mercy of reactive politics, quarterly business targets and 24-hour news cycles.

It wasn’t always so. In medieval times, craftsmen worked on cathedrals that would be unfinished in their lifetime. Indigenous leaders fostered intergenerational reciprocity. And in the early twentieth century, writers dreamed of worlds thousands of years hence. Now, as we face long-term challenges on an unprecedented scale, how do we recapture that far-sighted vision?

Richard Fisher takes us from the boardrooms of Japan – home to some of the world’s oldest businesses – to an Australian laboratory where an experiment started a century ago is still going strong. He examines the psychological biases that discourage the long view, and talks to the growing number of people from the worlds of philosophy, technology, science and the arts who are exploring smart ways to overcome them. How can we learn to widen our perception of time and honour our obligations to the lives of those not yet born?

The evening will start with a presentation of the book by the author Richard Fisher (UCL Science & Technology Studies), followed by a conversation with him and Jack Stilgoe (UCL Science & Technology Studies) about the theme of the book, long term thinking, and its relevance to Science and Technology Studies. The evening will close with a short Q&A and a drinks reception.

About the Speaker

Richard Fisher

at UCL Dept of Science & Technology Studies / BBC

Richard Fisher is the author of The Long View: Why We Need To Transform How The World Sees Time. He is a writer and editor for BBC.com Features, where he works on the website BBC Future, and he teaches a module on UCL's Science Communication MSc about digital skills and trends. He is a trustee of the Science Media Centre in London, and from 2019-20 was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.