Virtual Tour: Turn Back the Clock

President Barack Obama, New START and reducing carbon emissions

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Russian President Dimitry Medvedev (right)

In January 2010, the Doomsday Clock turned back one full minute.

“We are poised to bend the arc of history toward a world free of nuclear weapons," declared the Bulletin.

This optimism stemmed from progress made in 2009 on two fronts: reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles and stricter limits on global carbon emissions to combat climate change.

Over a two-year period, U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and diplomats from both countries negotiated a treaty that reduced nuclear weapons. Also in 2009, leaders from 115 countries came together at the UN Climate Change Conference Copenhagen and resolved to reduce carbon emissions and prevent global temperatures fro rising by more than two degrees Celsius.

These areas of progress inspired the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board to move the Clock from five to six minutes to midnight.

“What matters most is that this is a win-win situation. No one stands to lose from this agreement. I believe that this is a typical feature of our cooperation—both parties have won. And taking into account this victory of ours, the entire world community has won.

“What matters most is that this is a win-win situation. No one stands to lose from this agreement. I believe that this is a typical feature of our cooperation—both parties have won. And taking into account this victory of ours, the entire world community has won,” said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.

The New START Treaty between the U.S. and Russia limited each side to 1,500 nuclear warheads and provided new verification methods. It was entered into force in 2011.

This artifact is featured in our virtual Turn Back the Clock tour. Take the tour to learn more about the history of the Doomsday Clock and discover how you, today, can help “turn back the Clock.” Start here

As the coronavirus crisis shows, we need science now more than ever.

The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent, nonprofit media organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.

Share: 

Take the virtual tour

This artifact is featured in our virtual Turn Back the Clock tour, based on an all-ages exhibit presented by the Bulletin at the Museum of Science and Industry from 2017 to 2019. Enter the tour to learn more about the history of the Doomsday Clock and what it says about evolving threats to humanity. See why Doomsday Clock matters more than ever and discover how you, today, can help “turn back the Clock.”

MORE TOUR ARTIFACTS

LATEST STORIES

Receive Email
Updates