July Newsletter: Summer Talks and Presentations

Integrated Assessment

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum gave a talk on “Integrated Assessment of Global Catastrophic Risk and Artificial Intelligence” at the Cambridge University Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) on June 28. Dr. Baum will also participate in a Tech2025 workshop on future AI risk on July 11 in New York City.

GCRI Director of Research Tony Barrett gave a talk on integrated assessment, nuclear war, AI, and risk reduction opportunities at an Effective Altruism DC event on global catastrophic risks on June 17.

Artificial Intelligence

GCRI Associate …

Read More »

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: Trump and Global Catastrophic Risk

GCRI Executive Director Seth Baum has a new article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on what Donald Trump’s election means for global catastrophic risk, which has been covered in Quartz and Elite Daily. Baum writes that the fact that Trump will have the authority to launch nuclear weapons should particularly concern us, given his tendency to behave erratically, Trump’s election also has implications for the prospect of conflict with Russia and China, the stability of the global world order, the survival of democracy in the US, and our …

Read More »

GCR News Summary August/September 2016

EU Parliament in Strasbourg image courtesy of  David Iliff under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license

By Matthijs Maas

In the early hours of September 9, North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test, its biggest ever at an estimated 10 kilotons. The test, which was first detected as a magnitude 5.3-earthquake, was condemned by the UN Security Council, as well as leaders from across the world. In a statement, North Korea said it had tested a “nuclear warhead… standardized to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets”. …

Read More »

GCR News Summary May 2016

President Obama and Prime Minister Abe at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial image courtesy of Pete Souza/The White House

President Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, just a little more than one month after Secretary of State John Kerry became the highest ranking US official to visit the city where the US detonated a nuclear weapon at the end of World War II. Obama laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, but did not apologize for the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. …

Read More »

December Newsletter: A Focus On Solutions

Dear friends,

This holiday season, please consider supporting the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. You can donate online or contact me for further information. At this time, GCRI’s success is limited mainly by its available funding. And nothing beats giving the gift of protection from global catastrophe.

In my view, what’s ultimately important is not the risks themselves but the actions we can take to reduce them. A risk could be very large, but if we can’t do anything about it, then we should focus on something else. …

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 »

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 »