March 7, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 11

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    Two minutes closer to ‘doomsday’

    Last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand of its “Doomsday Clock” two minutes closer to midnight, marking the third advance in the clock’s time since the end of the Cold War. The Bulletin, originally a group of World War II-era Manhattan Project scientists, created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 as part of its effort to call attention to the possibility of global nuclear devastation. The decision to advance the time on the clock, which Leon Lederman, the Frank L. Sulzberger Professor Emeritus in Physics and the College, had the honor of doing at a press conference in Ida Noyes Hall, was prompted by a growing concern about the security of nuclear weapons material stockpiled around the world and the lack of U.S. support for several global disarmament pacts. The time on the Doomsday Clock now reads seven minutes to midnight––the same time it read at its debut in 1947.