Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The Bulletin equips the public, policymakers, and scientists with the information needed to reduce man-made threats
to our existence.
At our core, the Bulletin is a media organization, publishing a free-access website and a bimonthly magazine. But we are much more. The Bulletin’s website, iconic Doomsday Clock, and regular events help advance actionable ideas at a time when technology is outpacing our ability to control it. The Bulletin focuses on three main areas: nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. What connects these topics is a driving belief that because humans created them, we can control them.
The Bulletin is an independent, nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization. We gather the most informed and influential voices tracking man-made threats and bring their innovative thinking to a global audience. We apply intellectual rigor to the conversation and do not shrink from alarming truths.
The Bulletin has many audiences: the general public, which will ultimately benefit or suffer from scientific breakthroughs; policymakers, whose duty is to harness those breakthroughs for good; and the scientists themselves, who produce those technological advances and thus bear a special responsibility. Our community is international, with half of our website visitors coming from outside the United States. It is also young. Half are under the age of 35.
We promise to be understandable and influential: We provide lucid facts and commentary that are accessible to the public, policymakers, and scientists. We move people to action. We make appropriate use of our Doomsday Clock to help the public quickly grasp the jeopardy they are in. The Clock is an educational tool and is often how both children and adults are introduced to our mission.
We promise to be vigilant: We maintain worldwide surveillance on the evolution of already-identified threats as well as emerging dangers that may not be on our readers’ radar.
We promise to be solution-oriented: We are an early-warning system, but we are also determined to inject hope into the conversation by offering achievable actions. We are not a debating society; we strive to fix problems.
We promise to be fair-minded: We are not partisan; we believe that government policies must be based on facts, not ideology. We have one prejudice: We are opposed to extinction.
The Bulletin began as an emergency action, created by scientists who saw an immediate need for a public reckoning in the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One mission was to urge fellow scientists to help shape national and international policy. A second mission was to help the public understand what the bombings meant for humanity.
These scientists anticipated that the atom bomb would be “only the first of many dangerous presents from the Pandora’s Box of modern science.” They were all too correct. Humanity now faces additional threats from greenhouse gases, cyber attacks, and the misuse of genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.
The Bulletin’s Doomsday Clock serves as a vivid symbol of these multiplying perils, its hands showing how close to extinction we are. With the energy of words and ideas, we seek to motivate our audience to acknowledge emerging threats, manage their dangers and turn back the hands of the Doomsday Clock.
Message from the President and CEO
I am frequently reminded that the research we publish and the discussions we generate are not for the faint of heart. Nuclear proliferation, the effects of climate change, and the unnamed ethical challenges that we may face from disruptive technologies are serious, sobering, and real.
And yet, I am grateful and encouraged by the heart and intelligence of the growing numbers of followers, readers, and supporters of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. With your gifts and your engagement, you confirm that we’re up to the challenges we face—as dire and urgent as they are. In extending my appreciation to all who stand with us, I assure you that we’re as determined as you are to reduce these terrible risks.