What Is The Doomsday Clock?

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will reveal humanity’s fate once again, deciding whether the Doomsday Clock needs to be moved closer to, or further away from midnight.

Only hours in the last quarter before midnight are shown on the clock’s face to reflect the urgency of impending catastrophes.

Every January for the past 75 years, scientists have been keeping track of how likely the annihilation of humankind is. The clock is currently set at 100 seconds to midnight, where it has been for the last three years. 

Artist Martyl Langsdorf was commissioned by co-editor Hyman Goldsmith to come up with a design for the June 1947 cover, that would ‘frighten men into rationality’, according to Eugene Rabinowitch, the first editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, who died in 1973. But after listening to scientists who had worked on creating the bomb, she sensed their need for urgency, so the clock was drawn to reflect that humanity did not have much time left under nuclear weapons.