Apocalypse When? The History of the Doomsday Clock

Apocalypse When? The History of the Doomsday
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.
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