In modern environmental and climate science it is necessary to assimilate observational datasets collected over decades with outputs from numerical models, to enable a full understanding of natural systems and their sensitivities. During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, numerical modelling became central to many areas of science from the Bohr model of the atom to the Lorenz model of the atmosphere. In modern science, a great deal of time and effort is devoted to developing, evaluating, comparing and modifying numerical models that help us synthesise our understanding of complex natural systems. Here we provide an assessment of the contribution of past (palaeo) climate modelling to multidisciplinary science and to society by answering the following question: What can palaeoclimate modelling do for you? We provide an assessment of how palaeoclimate modelling can develop in the future to further enhance multidisciplinary research that aims to understand Earth’s evolution, and what this may tell us about the resilience of natural and social systems as we enter the Anthropocene.