Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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Group.png Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists  
(Non-profitWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.png
Formation1945
InterestsNuclear weapon, Nuclear war, WW3
MembershipHans M. Kristensen
Created the Doomsday Clock illustrating the danger of nuclear war

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nonprofit organization concerning science and global security issues resulting from accelerating technological advances that have negative consequences for humanity. The Bulletin publishes content at both a free-access website and a bi-monthly, nontechnical academic journal.

History

The organization has been publishing continuously since 1945, when it was founded by former Manhattan Project scientists as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago immediately following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The organization is also the keeper of the internationally recognized Doomsday Clock, the time of which is announced each January. In the 1950s, the Bulletin was involved in the formation of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, annual conferences of scientists concerned about nuclear proliferation, and, more broadly, the role of science in modern society.

Purpose

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists began as an emergency action undertaken by scientists who saw urgent need for an immediate educational program about atomic weapons. The intention was to educate fellow scientists about the relationship between their world of science and the world of national and international politics. A second was to help the American people understand what nuclear energy and its possible applications to war meant. The Bulletin contributors believed the atom bomb would only be the first of many dangers. The aim of the Bulletin was to carry out the long, sustained effort of educating people about the realities of the scientific age.

Doomsday Clock

Once the Soviet Union developed atomic weapons, the concern surrounding the world's destruction was a great fear of the scientists working on the Bulletin. The proximity of nuclear devastation was a popular interest and, as a result, Bulletin co-editor Hyman Goldsmith asked landscape artist Martyl Langsdorf to create a cover for the June 1947 magazine.

"Founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, 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 Doomsday Clock is set every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 11 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technologies in other domains."[1]

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