The Bulletin, stewards of the Doomsday Clock, will announce at 10:00 a.m. EST/1500 GMT, January 23, 2024 whether the clock needs to be changed. What will this mean for our planet?
What is the Doomsday Clock?
The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic timepiece maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, showcasing how close they believe humanity is to a global catastrophe. It uses the imagery of midnight, symbolising destruction and the countdown to zero of a nuclear explosion, to convey the urgency of threats facing humanity.
Although it sounds scary, the is a purpose of the Clock is informative; its key purposes include;
- Warning the public about the existential dangers posed by our own inventions, primarily nuclear weapons and climate change.
- Advocating for action to mitigate these threats and ensure a safer future for humanity.
The history of the Doomsday Clock
It was created in 1947 by scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, shortly after the development of the atomic bomb. Initially focused on nuclear threats, but expanded to include climate change in 2007 and other existential threats.
As of January 19, 2024, the Doomsday Clock is 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been. This setting is mainly due to the escalating war in Ukraine and the rising dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation.
The actual update for the Doomsday Clock in 2024 already happened
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists maintains the Clock and traditionally announces the new setting in November of the previous year, along with a detailed statement explaining the rationale behind the change.
This January, the guardians of the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, will unveil the 2024 setting through a virtual news conference.
This symbolic timepiece ticks closer to midnight as humanity teeters on the brink of self-destruction. The Science and Security Board (SASB), aided by the wisdom of 9 Nobel Laureates, weighs the world’s fate before setting the Clock.
Those who will be in attendance include;
- Bill Nye: Science educator, engineer, TV personality.
- Rachel Bronson: President & CEO, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
- Daniel Holz: Chair, SASB, University of Chicago Physics Prof.
- Asha George: SASB member, Biodefense Commission exec. director.
- Alexander Glaser: SASB member, Princeton University professor.
- Herb Lin: SASB member, Stanford University cyber policy expert.
- Ambuj Sagar: SASB member, IIT Delhi professor.
- Doomsday Clock Update Panel: Bill Nye, Rachel Bronson, Daniel Holz (Chair).
- Science & Security Experts: George, Glaser, Lin, Sagar.
- Prominent Voices on Global Threats: Nye, Bronson, Holz, George.
The Clock isn’t just an announcer of doom; it’s an alarm urging us to find solutions. It calls for united action against the pressing, artificial threats that hold midnight in their grasp. Can we collectively push the hands away from annihilation? The answer lies in our hands, and the Clock marks the countdown.
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