Seth Baum's Home Page

My interests and activities are broad, but all revolve around the theme of making the world (universe(s)?) a better place. I conduct research that combines science, engineering, and ethics to assess what, given present circumstances and particular ethical frameworks, might be the best thing(s) for us to be doing. I also help organize academic and professional communities to advance work on these topics.

I am Co-Founder (with Tony Barrett) and Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, a Research Scientst at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Co-Founder and Co-Lead of the Osomocene Productions video production company, and an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. I recently completed a PhD in Pennsylvania State University's Geography Department and a post-doctoral fellowship with Penn State Geography and Columbia University's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.

CV: click here (pdf)

Contact info: seth [at]

Networking: Facebook * LinkedIn * Twitter * Google Scholar * Society for Risk Analysis
At present I am particularly interested in networking with people who are or would like to be working on any aspect of global catastrophic risk.

Photos: click here

7 Mar 2014: I have two new articles at The Huffington Post: Best And Worst Case Scenarios for Ukraine Crisis: World Peace And Nuclear War and The Central Library Plan Deserves an Educated Public Debate. I am profiled in an article Evaluating the Risk of Events That Could End Civilization by Naveena Sadasivam, published at Scientific American blogs. And I will be speaking at a few upcoming events of note, detailed below.
Click here for old updates

Upcoming Conferences & Events:
1 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 17 March 2014, Stockholm.
2 Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, 24 March 2014, Tokyo.
3 UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee, 28 April-9 May 2014, New York City.
4 Catastrophe Risk Modelling and Data Management, 18-20 June, Miami
Society for Risk Analysis, 7-10 December 2014, Denver.

Event Details:

1 The event is Emerging technologies and the future of humanity, hosted by the Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences). My talk, "The great downside dilemma for risky emerging technologies", will be loosely based on themes in my recent paper Double catastrophe: Intermittent stratospheric geoengineering induced by societal collapse.

2 The event is The Futurability Initiatives International Symposium 2014: What humanity in nature ought to be? (Japanese version), hosted by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature. My talk, "The convergence of anthropocentric and ecocentric values towards global catastrophic risk reduction", will relate themes in environmental ethics and global catastrophic risk.

3 The event is the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. I'll be speaking in a session tentatively titled "Accidental apocalypse: Probabilistic approaches to accidental nuclear war and human survival", hosted by People for Nuclear Disarmament. I'll be presenting my recent paper Analyzing and reducing the risks of inadvertent nuclear war between the United States and Russia.

4 The event is Catastrophe Risk Modelling and Data Management, a conference for (re)insurance and related sectors. I will give a talk "Global Catastrophic Risk And The Limits Of Insurability". This is a new area for me, relating GCR to the most closely related for-profit private sector industry.

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Created 15 Jun 2007 * Updated 7 Mar 2014