Apocalypse When? The History of the Doomsday Clock


| August 31, 2000


Apocalypse When? The History of the Doomsday Clock, Mike Moore,
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

The famous 'Doomsday clock,' (now a permanent fixture on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' website) first appeared on the cover of the June 1947 issue of the magazine set at seven minutes to midnight, as a way to dramatically gauge the risks of nuclear war. It now stands at nine minutes of midnight. Martyl, the artist who created the clock and wife to physicist Alexander Langsdorf, used the final quadrant of an analog clock face to 'to symbolize urgency.' She wanted to show the potential for our own demolition, and the choice of seven minutes to the hour, she said was based on design. 'Since that first cover, the hands of the Doomsday Clock have been moved 16 times. To read more about the events that influenced the Board's decision to move the hands closer to--or farther from--midnight, simply click on the settings below... to see when the minute hand has been moved - and why. -- Sara V. Buckwitz
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