How to Spend a Trillion Dollars by Rowan Hooper

How to Spend a Trillion Dollars

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 at 11am BST

Rowan Hooper is an editor and podcast host at New Scientist magazine where he has spent almost 15 years covering all aspects of science.

He has a PhD in evolutionary biology and worked as a biologist in Japan for five years, before joining the Japan Times in Tokyo, and later taking up a fellowship at Trinity College Dublin.

A trillion dollars is an unimaginably large sum, yet it's only around one per cent of world GDP, and about the valuation of Google, Microsoft or Amazon.

It's a much smaller sum than the world found to bail out its banks in 2008 or deal with Covid-19. Within this book, Rowan explores fascinating options for how the money could be spent.

How to spend a trillion dollars suggests that the money could achieve one of the following. Which would you choose?

Would you set out to help the people that need it most, curing all diseases or ending global poverty?

Perhaps you’d opt for probing the nature of reality like never before with a massive particle collider, or exploring the solar system?

Advance technology through building quantum computers, or developing artificial intelligence?

Or would you save the world by reversing climate change, transitioning the world to clean energy, refreezing the melting Arctic, or launching a new sustainable agricultural revolution?

How to Spend a Trillion Dollars is the ultimate thought experiment but it is also a call to arms: these are all things we could do if we put our minds to it - and our money.