January 28, 2013

Doomsday: five minutes to midnight

Posted: January 28, 2013
Five minutes to midnight.
We are five minutes to doomsday according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Photo by: flickr/kojotomoto

Each year the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sets the Doomsday Clock, which "gauges the state of existential global threats to civilization."

ASU Foundation Professor Lawrence Krauss, in the School of Space and Earth Exploration and the Department of Physics, and director of the ASU Origins Project, also happens to be the co-chair of the bulletin's Board of Sponsors. He explained the Doomsday Clock in a recent Future Tense article, titled “How Close Are We to Doomsday?”

For 2013 the Doomsday Clock will remain at five minutes to midnight. The subjective process of setting the clock was originally based on the threat of nuclear weapons to mankind. Today, however, it also includes the growing possibility of destructive biotechnology and the threat of climate change. 

There are countless crucial variable that are considered when setting the clock (security, infrastructure, state of nuclear arsenal, etc). Yet, nowadays, the public generally remains uninvolved in the debate.

"But now a looming crisis may finally force renewed public discussion on our nuclear weapons arsenal, and on the role it plays in our national security infrastructure," Krauss says.

To read Krauss' entire article, visit the link below. 

Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation, and Slate magazine that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society. The Future Tense channel at Slate features multiple blog posts daily and several full-length articles weekly.

Article source:
Slate magazine


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Alicia Fremling, alicia.fremling@asu.edu
Future Tense