Deafness at Doomsday

Global leaders routinely ignore the views of scientists in many areas of policymaking, and this threatens global security. “Scientists’ voices are crucial in the debates over the global challenges of climate change, nuclear proliferation and the potential creation of new and deadly pathogens,” writes Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicist at Arizona State University. Nine countries have stockpiled as many as 20,000 nuclear weapons, he notes, and proliferation continues. Ignoring sound advice from the National Academy of Sciences on the technical preconditions for an international test ban treaty or flaws in the US ballistic missile defense program is costly and dangerous. Frustration is immense over the potential for doom with unchecked genetic engineering, climate change or standoffs between nuclear powers. “Will biologists be heard only if their work spawns new biotechnologies that could be weaponized?” he questions. Politicians reflect and model social behavior, and no one should be surprised if scientists, desperate to sound alarms in the din of shallow debate, try extreme measures. – YaleGlobal

Deafness at Doomsday

Global leaders ignore informed advice from scientists on climate change, nuclear proliferation, genetic engineering and more – a threat for global security
Lawrence M. Krauss
Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lawrence M. Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University, is the author, most recently, of “A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing.” He is also co-chairman of sponsors for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which offers the Doomsday Clock.

Copyright © 2013 The New York Times Company

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