Washington Man is the only creature that knows it’s going to die, and atomic scientists are the only professionals who measure the amount of time before man annihilates himself. But there is good news from those scientists: Humanity inched away from Armageddon on Thursday morning. The Doomsday Clock was set back one minute, from 11:55 to 11:54, reversing a precipitous slide toward midnight, the zero hour, ultimate self-destruction.
The clock was reset to reflect a “more hopeful state of world affairs,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced at the New York Academy of Sciences and over a live feed on the Internet. Forty policymakers, scientists and Nobel laureates on the board of the Bulletin — an online magazine that covers threats to humanity — decided to move the clock after spirited debates about current trends in science and politics.
This is the 19th time the clock has moved in 63 years. The creators of the Manhattan Project wound up the symbolic device in 1947 to remind the world of the consequence of abusing nuclear power.