Wisdom requires competence, creativity, continual learning from experience and compassion. History is important because ideas, people and events from the past provide moral perspective. They help us to distinguish between the desirable and the deplorable. The idealism that filled the hearts of the Pilgrim Fathers is something to be cherished rather than squashed in a mire of cynicism and broken dreams. Dr Johnson wisely observed that 'Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better'. Change is inconvenient and disconcerting. The cosy calm of the status quo can be extremely seductive, but this comfort zone can only create contentment. Quality communication requires quality people and for this reason it is difficult to escape David Mercer's support for lifelong learning and education so that people are truly empowered to cope with change. Science prepares the playing field, ethics determine the rules of the game. A moral society must acknowledge the importance of scientific and technological progress.