It’s designed to warn the public about how close the apocalypse is, and now scientists are getting ready to reveal whether or not the Doomsday Clock will change this year.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is hosting a live conference at 15:00 GMT today, where they’ll announce whether the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock will be adjusted.
In a statement about the conference, the organisation explained: “The decision is made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board in consultation with the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel Laureates.”
The Doomsday Clock did not move in 2019, and was last set forward in January 2018.
At that time, the clock moved by 30 seconds, to two minutes before midnight – the closest it has been to apocalypse since 1953.
The Doomsday Clock was created by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, and is designed to warn the public about how close we are to destroying the world with dangerous technologies.
When it was first created, the greatest danger to humanity came from nuclear weapons – particularly from the prospect of a nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union.
However, in 2007, catastrophic disruptions from climate change also started being considered by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
In the early days, Eugene Rabinowitch, the Editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decided when the minute hand should be moved, explaining his logic in the Bulletin’s pages.
However, when Mr Rabinowitch died in 1973, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board took over the responsibility, and has since met twice a year to discuss whether the clock needs to be reset.
The board is made up of scientist and other experts with a range of knowledge in nuclear technology and climate science.
However, the group regularly seeks the views of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 13 Novel Laureates.
While the clock hands are currently at their closet of 2 minutes to midnight, they were at their furthest back in 1991.
That year, the US and Soviet Union signed a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, prompting the Bulletin to set the clock hand to 17 minutes to midnight.
Today’s conference will take place at 15:00 GMT.
Mirror Online will be bringing you the biggest announcements as they happen, so make sure you check back in then.
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