September Newsletter: AI, Nuclear War, and News Projects

Dear friends,

I’m delighted to announce three new funded projects. Two of them are for risk modeling, on artificial intelligence and nuclear war. These follow directly from our established nuclear war and emerging technologies research projects. The third is for covering current events across the breadth of global catastrophic risk topics. This follows directly from our news summaries. It is an honor to be recognized for our work and to have the opportunity to expand it. Please stay tuned as these projects unfold.

As always, thank you …

Read More »

June Newsletter: The Winter-Safe Deterrence Controversy

Dear friends,

The last few months have gone well for GCRI. We have several new papers out, two new student affiliates, and some projects in the works that I hope to announce in an upcoming newsletter. Meanwhile, I’d like to share with you about a little controversy we recently found ourselves in.

The controversy surrounds a new research paper of mine titled Winter-safe deterrence: The risk of nuclear winter and its challenge to deterrence. The essence of winter-safe deterrence is to seek options for deterrence that would …

Read More »

February Newsletter: New Directions For GCRI

Dear friends,

I am delighted to announce important changes in GCRI’s identity and direction. GCRI is now just over three years old. In these years we have learned a lot about how we can best contribute to the issue of global catastrophic risk. Initially, GCRI aimed to lead a large global catastrophic risk community while also performing original research. This aim is captured in GCRI’s original mission statement, to help mobilize the world’s intellectual and professional resources to meet humanity’s gravest threats.

Our community building has been …

Read More »

January Newsletter: Vienna Conference on Nuclear Weapons

Dear friends,

In December, I had the honor of speaking at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, hosted by the Austrian Foreign Ministry in the lavish Hofburg Palace. The audience was 1,000 people representing 158 national governments plus leading nuclear weapons NGOs, experts, and members of the media.

My talk “What is the risk of nuclear war?” presented core themes from the risk analysis of nuclear war. I explained that each of us is, on average, more likely to die from nuclear war …

Read More »

November Newsletter: Visiting Colleagues

Dear friends,

Over the last two months, I have had the good fortune to be able to visit three close groups of colleagues: the Centre for Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, and the Future of Life Institute in Boston, which has ties to MIT and Harvard. All three organizations are doing great work—work that nicely complements what we at GCRI have been doing. I think the foundations are being laid for a productive and successful community …

Read More »

Summer Newsletter: New Publications

Dear friends,

There have been a number of interesting new publications coming out of the GCR research community recently, both from GCRI and elsewhere. They cover a range of topics, from environmental risks to artificial intelligence to refuges for protecting against unknown threats. For your interest, I’m putting a summary of the publications down at the bottom of the newsletter. These are good times for GCR research, and they are about to get better next year when the Futures special issue comes out. That is, assuming …

Read More »

May Newsletter: Report From The United Nations

This was sent via email on 13 May. Click here to subscribe to the email newsletter.

Dear friends,

Last month I gave two talks at the United Nations. The first was a small meeting of experts from the P5, i.e. the permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, UK, and USA. I presented new research on nuclear winter risk. The second was at the big annual meeting for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). I presented the paper Analyzing and reducing the risks of inadvertent …

Read More »

March-April 2014 Newsletter

Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce the call for papers for a new special issue of the journal Futures titled Confronting Future Catastrophic Threats To Humanity. I will be co-editing this together with my colleague Bruce Tonn of the University of Tennessee. Over the years, Futures has probably published more research on global catastrophic risk than any other journal, including a special issue on human extinction that Tonn co-edited in 2009. It is an honor to be working with Tonn and Futures on a new …

Read More »

January-February 2014 Newsletter

Dear friends,

2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for the GCR community. It is encouraging that GCR is getting increasing attention, and that leaders of the GCR community are getting increasing recognition for our work. I personally have been honored by several prestigious speaking opportunities and a full profile in a new Scientific American Blogs article Evaluating the Risk of Events That Could End Civilization. The speaking opportunities will send me flying around the world in March, for events in Stockholm and Tokyo. …

Read More »

November-December 2013 Newsletter

Dear friends,

GCRI is actively shifting its focus towards activities related to our four GCR synthesis research topics: integrated assessment, interaction effects, research priorities, and response options. Some other activities, including online lectures, will pause as the shift proceeds. We expect that increased attention to the synthesis topics will help us prioritize further work on the most important GCR issues. I look forward to sharing more details when they are ready for public distribution. Please contact me if you would like to discuss privately.

Meanwhile, Robert de …

Read More »