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Langsdorf chose a clock to reflect the urgency of the problem: like a countdown, the Clock suggests that destruction will naturally occur unless someone takes action to stop it.[8]

In January 2007, designer Michael Bierut, who was on the Bulletin's Governing Board, redesigned the Clock to give it a more modern feel. In 2009, the Bulletin ceased its print edition and became one of the first print publications in the U.S. to become entirely digital; the Clock is now found as part of the logo on the Bulletin's website. Information about the Doomsday Clock Symposium,[9] a timeline of the Clock's settings,[10] and multimedia shows about the Clock's history and culture[11] can also be found on the Bulletin's website.

The 5th Doomsday Clock Symposium[9] was held on November 14, 2013, in Washington, D.C.; it was a day-long event that was open to the public and featured panelists discussing various issues on the topic "Communicating Catastrophe". There was also an evening event at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in conjunction with the Hirshhorn's current exhibit, "Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950".[12] The panel discussions, held at the American Association for

The Bulletin's Clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age...[7]

Langsdorf chose a

Langsdorf chose a clock to reflect the urgency of the problem: like a countdown, the Clock suggests that destruction will naturally occur unless someone takes action to stop it.[8]

In January

In January 2007, designer Michael Bierut, who was on the Bulletin's Governing Board, redesigned the Clock to give it a more modern feel. In 2009, the Bulletin ceased its print edition and became one of the first print publications in the U.S. to become entirely digital; the Clock is now found as part of the logo on the Bulletin's website. Information about the Doomsday Clock Symposium,[9] a timeline of the Clock's settings,[10] and multimedia shows about the Clock's history and culture[11] can also be found on the Bulletin's website.

The 5th Doomsday Clock Symposium[9] was held on November 14, 2013, in Washington, D.C.; it was a day-long event that was open to the public and featured panelists discussing various issues on the topic "Communicating Catastrophe". There was also an evening event at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in conjunction with the Hirshhorn's current exhibit, "Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950".[12] The panel discussions, held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, were streamed live from the Bulletin's website and can still be viewed there.[13] Reflecting international events dangerous to humankind, the Clock has been adjusted 22 times since its inception in 1947,[14] when it was set to "seven minutes to midnight".

"Midnight" has a deeper meaning to it besides the constant threat of war. There are various things taken into consideration when the scientists from The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decide what Midnight and "global catastrophe" really mean in a particular year. They might include "politics, energy, weapons, diplomacy, and climate science";[15] potential sources of threat include nuclear threats, climate change, bioterrorism, and artificial intelligence.[16] Members of the board judge Midnight by discussing how close they think humanity is to the end of civilization. In 1947, during the Cold War, the Clock was started at seven minutes to midnight.[citation needed]

The Clock's setting is decided without a specified starting time. The Clock is not set and reset in real time as events occur; rather than respond to each and every crisis as it happens, the Science and Security Board meets twice annually to discuss global events in a deliberative manner. The closest nuclear war threat, the The Clock's setting is decided without a specified starting time. The Clock is not set and reset in real time as events occur; rather than respond to each and every crisis as it happens, the Science and Security Board meets twice annually to discuss global events in a deliberative manner. The closest nuclear war threat, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, reached crisis, climax, and resolution before the Clock could be set to reflect that possible doomsday.[citation needed]

Before January 2020, the two tied-for-lowest points for the Doomsday Clock were in 1953, when the Clock was set to two minutes until midnight after the U.S. and the Soviet Union began testing hydrogen bombs, and in 2018, following the failure of world leaders to address tensions relating to nuclear weapons and climate change issues. In other years, the Clock's time has fluctuated from 17 minutes in 1991 to ​2 12 minutes in 2017.[17][18] Discussing the change to ​2 12 minutes in 2017, the first use of a fraction in the Clock's history, Krauss, one of the scientists from the Bulletin, warned that our political leaders must make decisions based on facts, and those facts "must be taken into account if the future of humanity is to be preserved."[15] In an announcement from the Bulletin about the status of the Clock, they went as far to call for action from "wise" public officials and "wise" citizens to make an attempt to steer human life away from catastrophe while we still can.[17]

On January 24, 2018, scientists moved the clock to two minutes to midnight, based on threats greatest in the nuclear realm. The scientists said, of recent moves by North Korea under Kim Jong-Un and the administration of On January 24, 2018, scientists moved the clock to two minutes to midnight, based on threats greatest in the nuclear realm. The scientists said, of recent moves by North Korea under Kim Jong-Un and the administration of Donald Trump in the US: "Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions by both sides have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation".[18]

The clock was left unchanged in 2019 due to the twin threats of nuclear weapons and climate change, and the problem of those threats being "exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger."[4]

On January 23, 2020, the Clock was moved further, to 100 seconds (1 minute 40 seconds) before midnight, meaning that the Clock's status today is the closest to midnight since the Clock's start in 1947. The Bulletin' executive chairman, Jerry Brown, said "the dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder... Climate change just compounds the crisis".[5]

The Doomsday Clock has become a universally recognized metaphor.[19] According to the Bulletin, the Clock attracts more daily visitors to the Bulletin's site than any other feature.[20]

Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute has stated that the "grab bag of threats" currently mixed together by the Clock can induce paralysis. Peopl

Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute has stated that the "grab bag of threats" currently mixed together by the Clock can induce paralysis. People may be more likely to succeed at smaller, incremental challenges; for example, taking steps to prevent the accidental detonation of nuclear weapons was a small but significant step in avoiding nuclear war.[21][22] Alex Barasch in Slate argues that "Putting humanity on a permanent, blanket high-alert isn't helpful when it comes to policy or science", and criticizes the Bulletin for neither explaining nor attempting to quantify their methodology.[20]

Cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker harshly criticized the Doomsday Clock as a political stunt, pointing to the words of its founder that its purpose was "to preserve civilization by scaring men into rationality." He stated that it is inconsistent and not based on any objective indicators of security, using as an example its being farther from midnight in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis than in the "far calmer 2007". He argued it was another example of humanity's tendency toward historical pessimism, and compared it to other predictions of self-destruction that went unfulfilled.[23]

Conservative media often clash against the Bulletin. Keith Payne writes in the National Review that the Clock overestimates the effects of "developments in the areas of nuclear testing and formal arms control".[24] Tristin Hopper in the National Post acknowledges that "there are plenty of things to worry about regarding climate change", but states that climate change isn't in the same league as total nuclear destruction.[25] In addition, some critics accuse the Bulletin of pushing a political agenda.[21][25][26][27]