BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS
THE MISSION OF THE BULLETIN IS TO EDUCATE CITIZENS ABOUT GLOBAL SECURITY ISSUES, ESPECIALLY THE CONTINUING DANGERS POSED BY NUCLEAR AND OTHER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONThe following was retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/US/9806/11/doomsday/#1
History of the Doomsday Clock
In 1947 -- two years after the United States used nuclear weapons against Japan in World War II -- the Doomsday Clock was set at seven minutes to midnight.
Since then, the clock has been moved both forward and backward, 15 times in all, reflecting international tensions and the developments of the nuclear age.
The closest it ever came to "doomsday" was in 1953, not long after both the United States and the Soviet Union both tested hydrogen bombs. In that year, the clock read two minutes until midnight.
The nuclear scientists were breathing just a little easier by 1991 when the clock was pushed back to its farthest point so far -- 17 minutes until midnight -- because the United States and the Soviet Union signed the long-stalled Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and announced further unilateral cuts in tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.
The adjustment to the current setting -- 14 minutes until midnight -- was made in 1995 for a variety of reasons, including:
• Delays in implementing START II.
• Delays in ratifying other chemical and biological weapons agreements.
• A boom in arms trading throughout the world.
• The stockpiling of more than a thousand tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium, much of it under inadequate security.
The Doomsday Clock first began ticking beneath a monument at the University of Chicago where nuclear energy was born in 1941 during the Manhattan Project.
The atomic scientists who founded the Bulletin -- and created the clock -- did so in hopes of ensuring that nuclear weapons were never again used in war.The following was retrieved from: http://www.thebulletin.org/web_only_content/gallery.htm#
2002 "Doomsday Clock press conference
On February 27, 2002 the Bulletin announced it was resetting the Doomsday clock to seven minutes to midnight. Here is a webcast of that event.The following was retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/US/9806/11/doomsday.chic/
Some significant dates in the history of the Doomsday Clock