The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
Lawrence M. KraussLynn EdenRobert RosnerAlexander GlaserEdward "Rocky" Kolb Leon LedermanRamamurti RajaramanM. V. RamanaElizabeth J. WilsonRichard C. J. SomervilleSivan KarthaJennifer SimsRod Ewing
A careful review of threats leads the Bulletin's Science and Security Board to conclude that the risk of civilization-threatening technological catastrophe remains high, and that the hands of the Doomsday Clock should therefore remain at five minutes to midnight.
Martyl Langsdorf, the artist who created the Doomsday Clock, died on March 26th at the age of 96 in Chicago. Known to many friends and fans simply as Martyl, she was a petite and vivacious woman who had an outsize influence on public consciousness about nuclear weapons through her design of the clock that first graced the cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, and continues to be used today.
Robert SocolowThomas RosenbaumLynn EdenRod EwingAlexander GlaserSivan KarthaEdward "Rocky" Kolb Leon LedermanRamamurti RajaramanM. V. RamanaRobert RosnerJennifer SimsRichard C. J. SomervilleElizabeth J. Wilson
Editor's note: Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists subsequently created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero), to convey threats to humanity and the planet.
I completed missile officer training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas and reported to the new Titan I squadron -- officially known as the 569th Strategic Missile Squadron -- at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho in February 1962. My wife Carol and I departed Sheppard in our new sports car, stopping at the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas along the way.
Over the past 50 years, dozens of articles have appeared in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the Cuban Missile Crisis. And with each passing year, new and relevant information has been reported -- which, for better or worse, has taught readers that the world was closer to full-scale nuclear war than was originally thought.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists concluded in 2007 that climate change poses almost as serious a threat to human survival as nuclear weapons do. Citing both perils in its decision to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin noted:
In July, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held its final hearing to license the world's first facility to enrich uranium on a commercial scale using lasers. For years, experts have warned that laser enrichment, known as SILEX (separation of isotopes by laser excitation), would be particularly good at making highly enriched uranium -- the ingredient needed to make nuclear weapons -- and that a commercial venture could stimulate proliferation.