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 of organizations working on global catastrophic risk / existential risk. (We use different terms but mean largely the same things with the terms.) CSER, FLI, and GCRI are all relatively new organizations, but I look forward to us growing together, along with FHI and the many other established GCR organizations, some of which can be found listed in GCRI’s organization directory. We will also be interacting with colleagues at the upcoming Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting in Denver, where we will be hosting another GCR session, as we do every year at SRA.

As always, thank you for your interest in our work. We welcome any comments, questions, and criticisms you may have.

Seth Baum, Executive Director

GCR News Summaries

Robert de Neufville’s latest news summaries are available here: GCR News Summary October 2014; GCR News Summary September/August 2014. As always, these summarize recent events across the breadth of GCR topics.

GCR At Society for Risk Analysis 2014 Annual Meeting

Once again GCRI is hosting a series of GCR talks at the Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting, which will take place 7-10 December in Denver. The GCR symposium will be Tuesday 9 December, 10:30-12:00, Plaza 1, Session T2-A, chaired by Tony Barrett. Talks will be by Tony Barrett; Bruce Tonn and Dori Stiefel; and Dave Denkenberger and Joshua Pearce. For details please see GCRI’s SRA 2014 Annual Meeting page.

Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

Seth Baum will speak at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 8-9 December 2014 at the Hofburg Palace, hosted by the Austria Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. Baum will present fundamentals of nuclear war risk to a global audience of diplomats and activists.

Nuclear War Risk Workshop

Seth Baum and Tony Barrett participated in a workshop on the probability of nuclear war, sponsored by the Global Challenges Foundation and hosted at Oxford University by the Future of Humanity Institute. (Barrett joined via Skype.) Other participants included Martin Hellman of Stanford and several FHI researchers.

New Column in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Seth Baum has started a new monthly column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His first article, The lesson of Lake Toba, explains what the great Toba supervolcano eruption 75,000 years ago teaches us about the importance of global catastrophic risk reduction today.

New Book: Feeding Everyone No Matter What

Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe by David Denkenberger of GCRI and Joshua Pearce of Michigan Tech is expected to go on sale 20 November 2014. Check out Denkenberger discussing the book in a C-Realm Radiant Sun podcast.

New Article At IEET

Seth Baum has a short article Planetary boundaries and global catastrophic risk online at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. The article summarizes Baum’s new paper Integrating the planetary boundaries and global catastrophic risk paradigms co-authored with Itsuki Handoh of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto.

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Seth Baum is Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute.
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