The world we've created is governed these days by two unquestioned principles: commodify and dominate. And it's chewing up the resources that used to belong to every occupant of the planet. It's the opposite of the philosophy that what we do as individuals we do for the good of the whole, and, indeed, there is no separation between the individual and the whole.
Two things terrified Peter Hamilton as a child: a disaster overcoming his family, and polio. Remnants of that fear and the relief at being vaccinated triggered an emotional connection when he saw an early version of the film about scientist Jonas Salk's struggle to find a vaccine to stop polio in the 1950s.