Doomsday: the Early Hours

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 16:00

The iconic Doomsday clock has been moved two minutes closer to midnight, symbolizing the growing international threat of nuclear disaster. Find out what led the directors at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to inch the hand closer to this ominous hour, and why – for the first time - they’ve included climate change in their forecast of imminent threats to humanity.

From asteroids to wandering black holes to gamma-ray bursts – the cosmic catastrophes that lurk outside our world. Plus, your chance to design a mission to stop a killer asteroid… some of the nuttier end-of-world prophesies… and, how Hollywood blockbusters get contemporary doomsday scenarios wrong.


  • Kennette Benedict, Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
    Josh Schollmeyer, assistant editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His article “Lights, Camera, Armageddon,” appeared in the January/February 2006 issue.
  • Bruce Betts, Director of Projects, the Planetary Society
  • Phil Plait, astronomer at Sonoma State, and author of
  • David Morrison, scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute
  • Craig Wheeler, astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin and President of the American Astronomical Society