How do they set the Doomsday Clock?

How do they set the Doomsday Clock? Insult My Intelligence

Tim Dowling interviews Rachel Bronson the CEO of the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists, the organisation in charge of setting the Doomsday Clock. They discuss the Doomsday Clock's history and origins and how it has changed in the last 75 years. They also question whether the current time of 100 seconds to midnight is where it should be.

Show Notes

Doomsday Clock at the 2022 announcement by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Doomsday Clock 2022

In this episode Tim Dowling talks with Rachel Bronson the CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about the Doomsday Clock, which is now set every year to represent how close humanity is to the end. Rachel Bronson is also the head of the Science and Security Board that decides where to set the clock each year. Bronson has previously served as senior fellow and director of Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York as well as senior fellow for international security affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affair.

The Doomsday Clock was first created back in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in response to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The clock was designed to represent how close humanity was to be wiped out due to the existential threat of nuclear weapons. 

Tim asks Rachel about the history of the Doomsday Clock and how it was designed. They also discuss what threat the clock is trying to measure and how different threats have emerged over the last 75 years.

There are criticisms leveled against the clock. Some argue it puts people in a constant state of fear and leaves society unable to actually address the issue we face. Rachel Bronson argues that the opposite is true and the Doomsday Clock is very useful as a tool to inspire more conversation and debate and the current situation.

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