What is this doomsday clock that predicts the end of the world?

To decide on a clock advance, a “Science and Security Council” meets twice a year. It is then for him to “discuss world events” and redefine the displayed time accordingly if necessary. This group is made up of scientists and experts who share their knowledge of nuclear and climate science. specialists who “consult their colleagues in a wide range of disciplines and also seek the advice of the Bulletin’s committee of sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel Laureates”.

Set in 1947 at 11:53 p.m., 7 minutes before midnight and the Apocalypse, the clock has since been changed 24 times. It should be noted that depending on the international context, the final deadline has sometimes been delayed, with the hands moving back (in 1991, we were 17 minutes from midnight). The current trend, however, is not one of optimism. We note that the most notable modification dates back to 2020 when, for the first time, the clock fell below the two-minute mark, stopping just 100 seconds from midnight.

Is it a tool at the service of a political or ideological project with alarmist overtones, as denounced by the most critical voices? the Newsletter totally denies it: “Ensuring the survival of our societies and of the human species is not a political agenda”decides the NGO. “Cooperating with other countries to gain control over extremely dangerous technologies should not involve partisan politics. If the scientists involved in the project criticize current policies on nuclear weapons and climate change, it is because these policies increase the possibility of self-destruction”explain the officials.

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