My interests and activities are broad, but all revolve around the theme of making the world (universe(s)?) a better place. I am an interdisciplinary (or transdisciplinary) researcher working across a wide range of fields in natural and social science, engineering, philosophy, and policy. My primary focus is global catastrophic risk, meaning risk of events that could destroy global human civilization, such as climate change or nuclear war. I also work in astrobiology, which is the study of life in the universe. My research aims to inform major social decisions through careful attention to their impacts on the world and the universe(s), to fundamental ethics principles, and to the people and institutions involved in the decisions.
I am Co-Founder (with Tony Barrett) and Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. I am also affiliated with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and the Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. I also write a column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. I live in New York City.
Contact: seth [at] gcrinstitute.org
Other Info: CV * photos * Twitter * Facebook * LinkedIn * Google Scholar * Academia.edu * ResearchGate * SSRN
9 Jan 2017: The recent US election has left a lot to contemplate. Some reflections are in my new Bulletin article What Trump means for global catastrophic risk, and follow-up interviews in Quartz, The Next Chapter radio show, and the NonProphets podcast, plus coverage in Elite Daily. I also have an article in Nautilus, Space colonization and the meaning of life. Finally, I'm featured in a two-part series on mass extinction in the podcast The Adventures of Memento Mori: Part 1 * Part 2.
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Futures Journal Issue:
Confronting Future Catastrophic Threats to Humanity, co-edited with Bruce E. Tonn, featuring articles from Melanie Randle, Eckersley, Andy Majot, Roman Yampolskiy, Milan Cirkovic, Miles Brundage, Nick Beckstead, Seth Baum, David Denkenberger, Jacob Haqq-Misra, and Joshua Pearce.
Some Recent Publications:
* Space colonization and the meaning of life, in Nautilus (online)
* What Trump means for global catastrophic risk, in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (online)
* Should we let uploaded brains take over the world?, in Scientific American Blogs (online)
* Tackling near and far AI threats at once, in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (online)
* On the promotion of safe and socially beneficial artificial intelligence, in AI & Society (academic)
* Alternative foods as a solution to to global food supply catastrophes, with Dave Denkenberger and Joshua Pearce, in Solutions (academic)
* A model of pathways to artificial superintelligence catastrophe for risk and decision analysis, with Tony Barrett, in Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence (academic)
* The ethics of outer space: A consequentialist perspective, in book The Ethics of Space Exploration (academic)
* The most extreme risks: Global catastrophes, with Tony Barrett, in book The Gower Handbook of Extreme Risk (academic)
* Winter-safe deterrence: The risk of nuclear winter and its challenge to deterrence, in Contemporary Security Policy (academic) shortlisted for Bernard Brodie Prize
* The party at the end Of the world, in book Tales from Spaceship Earth: Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Short Story Collection, Volume 1 (fiction)
Upcoming Conferences & Events:
11-15 December 2016, San Diego. Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting. I won't be attending, but GCRI will host its usual SRA GCR sessions.
27-29 March 2017, Los Angeles. UCLA Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences colloquium
5-6 May 2017, New Haven, CT. Yale workshop on Policy Levers for Great Power Peace
7-8 September 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden. Workshop "Existential risk to humanity" at Gothenburg Centre for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology
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About this site: This site is kindly hosted by Manoj Thomas. The formatting of this site was adapted from W3C's Starting with HTML + CSS page.Created 15 Jun 2007 * Updated 9 Jan 2017