Humans occupy more ecological niches than any other species on the planet because of our superlative ability compared to other animals, to adapt to the environment. Since the 21st Century is delivering new technologies that are transforming our environment in unprecedented ways, it follows that the human brain, and thus our minds, could also be undergoing unprecedented changes. The current screen lifestyle is creating an environment that could change how we process information, the degree to which we take risks, how we socialise and empathise with others and even, how we view our own identity. But, at the same time, we also have unprecedented opportunities for shaping an environment to enable each individual to realise their full potential as never before.
Baroness Greenfield is a scientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords. She is Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology and Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind, leading a multidisciplinary team investigating the physiology of the brain and its implications for understanding human behaviour, work and society. Through her radio and TV programmes, public lectures and numerous books, Baroness Greenfield has done much to popularize science. Her books include Brain Story (BBC, 2000) which accompanied the TV series of the same name, The Private Life of the Brain (Penguin 2000) and her latest book, ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century (Sceptre, 2008).