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 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]

Other Info: CV * photos * Twitter * Facebook * LinkedIn * Google Scholar * * ResearchGate * SSRN

24 Oct 2016: My Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists column is back with an article Tackling near and far AI threats at once. Also a new article Should we let uploaded brains take over the world? in Scientific American Blogs. I spoke at Story Collider in Brooklyn on 18 October at a pre-Halloween event with a "fear" theme; my talk was about my experience with the winter-safe deterrence debate. My paper On the promotion of safe and socially beneficial artificial intelligence has been accepted at AI & Society. I'm interviewed in the Kickass News podcast 7 October episode about artificial intelligence and the NonProphets podcast 22 October episode about forecasting and global catastrophic risk.
Click here for old updates

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:
* 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:
9 November 2016, New York City. YHouse YCafé Consciousness Club
19 November 2016, New York City. Nerd Nite
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
7-8 September 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden. Workshop "Existential risk to humanity" at Gothenburg Centre for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology
Click here for old events

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 7 Nov 2016