“Doomsday Clock” minute hand to move again?

By | January 21, 2015

… January 22, 2015 Daybook & News Advisory …

Climate Change and Nuclear Tensions to be Cited by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – NEWS ADVISORY – The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will host a live international news conference at 11 a.m. EST/1600 GMT on January 22, 2015 to announce the recent decision of its Science and Security Board as to whether or not the minute hand of the historic “Doomsday Clock” will be adjusted.

The last time the Doomsday Clock minute hand moved was in January 2012, when the Clock’s minute hand was pushed ahead one minute from six to five minutes before midnight. Climate change and increasing concerns about nuclear weapons are the main factors influencing the decision about any additional adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock.

News event speakers will include: 

  • Kennette Benedict, executive director, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 
  • Sivan Kartha, member, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; senior scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute, where he is co-leader of an institute-wide theme “Managing Climate Risks”
  • Sharon Squassoni, member, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and director and senior fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she has directed the Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS since 2010
  • Richard Somerville, member, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; distinguished professor emeritus and research professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego 

Key  trends influencing the Doomsday Clock deliberations to be announced on January 22 include: evidence of accelerating climate change coupled with inadequate international action to greenhouse gas emission as conveyed in the November 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Lima, Peru; and nuclear modernization programs in the United States, Russia, and other states, as well as the stalled reduction of  nuclear warheads in Russian and US arsenals.

TO SEE THE ANNOUNCEMENT:  Go to https://thebulletin.org on the Web as of 10:55 a.m. EST/1555 GMT on January 22, 2015.

TO PARTICIPATE IN PERSON: You can attend the Doomsday Clock news event on January 22, 2015, 11 a.m. EST/1600 GMT at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue, Washington, D.C. Attendance will be limited to credentialed members of the news media.  For security reasons, all attendees must RSVP in advance by contacting Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266, or [email protected].

CAN’T PARTICIPATE IN PERSON? Reporters in the U.S. who are unable to attend the live news event in person can listen to the proceedings over a live, phone-based, one-way phone feed on January 22, 2015 at 11 a.m. EST/1600 GMT by dialing 1 (877) 418-4267. Toll free lines are available for callers in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.  Callers in the UK may use 080 823 890 64. Callers in Germany may use 0800 664 7650. Callers in France may use 0805 1022 07. Callers in Japan may use 0066 33 1330 94.  Reporters from others countries may use 412-858-4600 to connect to the live news event. Callers should ask to be connected to the “Doomsday Clock” news event. No questions will be taken over the one-way phone feed. A streaming audio recording of the news event will be available later on January 22, 2015 at http://www.thebulletin.org.

CONTACTS: Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266, or [email protected] and Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 or [email protected].


Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of 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.The decision to move the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made by the Bulletin's Board of Directors in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 17 Nobel Laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences.

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