Ed ConwayNov 9, 2023
The Future of Crucial Materials
A Discussion with Ed Conway
Sand, salt, iron, copper, oil, and lithium. These fundamental materials have created empires, razed civilizations, and fed our ingenuity and greed for thousands of years. Without them, our modern world would not exist, and the battle to control them will determine our future.
The fiber-optic cables that weave the World Wide Web, the copper veins of our electric grids, the silicon chips and lithium batteries that power our phones and cars: though it can feel like we now live in a weightless world of information—what Ed Conway, author of Material World: The Six Raw Materials That Shape Modern Civilization (Knopf, 2023)--calls “the ethereal world”—our twenty-first-century lives are still very much rooted in the material. Listen to him in conversation with Owen Bennett-Jones.
Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press.