75 years ago, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published at the University of Chicago, launched the Doomsday Clock project. In 1947, the creators of the first American atomic bomb published the first cover with a symbolic image of a dial, the location of the hands on which indicates the proximity to a nuclear catastrophe. The time until midnight is determined with the participation of invited experts, including Nobel laureates, who assess the tension in the international situation and the level of development of nuclear weapons.
The decision to leave the hands of the Clock where they were last year, experts explain that several positive events that happened in 2021 were offset by the continued drift towards nuclear proliferation, the climate crisis and the growth of biological threats.
“The doomsday clock is confidently showing 100 seconds to midnight. But stability is not good news”, - Sharon Squassoni, professor at George Washington University and co-chair of the Bulletin’s Science and Security Council, told The Guardian. “It really reflects our view that we are stuck in a dangerous moment that brings neither stability nor security”.
Among the positive developments of the past year noted by the Council are the decision to extend the US-Russia Bilateral Treaty on Further Mutual Reduction of Deployed Strategic Nuclear Weapons, the resumption of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, and the coming to power of a US administration that has pledged to take steps to reduce emissions. . Negative trends are the continued investment of major powers in their nuclear arsenals, the lack of progress in discussions on the Iranian nuclear issue, and the lack of global action to address the climate emergency. The Board also drew attention to biological threats, the danger of which became especially clear during the Covid-19 pandemic.