April 15, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of the
Tohuku earthquake and tsunami, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists pushed the symbolic
Clock one minute closer to midnight last January, to reflect the world's lack of progress with battling climate change and nuclear weapons.
To address this concern, the
Foundation, which funds science research, is organizing a second world conference called Coping with Future Catastrophes to be held most likely in
United Arab Emirates
The first conference took place last December in the US Virgin Islands and brought together a prestigious panel of scientists to identify the greatest threats to the Earth. Such threats include acts of bioterrorism and high-energy chain-reactions.
The conference included
, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at
, Professor of Biology and Mathematics at
, Professor of Physics at
Arizona State University
, who also serves as co-chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' board of sponsors, stated that, "The major challenge...in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth… without further damaging the climate ... and risking further spread of nuclear weapons..."
"We need to identify the greatest threats to our Earth," Minsky summarized, "but we also need to prioritize them."
The list of prioritized threats, assembled at the first conference will be refined at the second conference, and will host a larger panel of international scientists. "We intend to cast a wider global net,"
remarked, "and cover a wider range of fields including bio and genetic engineering."
The goal of this second conference however is to also begin the process of setting up a non-governmental agency to monitor the list and work on preventative measures.