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February 2017

Biological Extinction (Invite only workshop)

February 27 - March 1

Workshop on Biological Extinction jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and held at the Vatican. The proceedings are available here. The Chair of our Management Committee, Sir Partha Dasgupta, was one of the organisers and presented on the workshop's 'Goals and Objectives' and the 'Summary and Conclusions'. He also spoke about Why We Are in the Sixth Extinction and What It Means to Humanity, while our co-founder Lord Martin Rees spoke about 'Extinction: What…

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March 2017

Artificial Intelligence, Decision Theory, and Severe Uncertainty (Workshop)

March 17 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Old Combination Room, Trinity College, Trinity College
Cambridge, CB2 1TQ United Kingdom
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On March 17, a workshop on artificial intelligence, decision theory and severe uncertainty was held at the University of Cambridge, with the following talks: Arif Ahmed (Cambridge) - Rationality and Future Discounting Richard Bradley (LSE) - Deciding with Confidence Catrin Campbell-Moore (Bristol) - Risk Avoidance Can't be Accurate Huw Price and Yang Liu (Cambridge) - Heart of DARCness Bernhard Salow (Cambridge) - TBC The workshop ran from the Old Combination Room, at Trinity College. The workshop ran from 9am until shortly after 5pm…

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Eighth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention: Where Next? (Invitation only workshop)

March 21 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
United Kingdom + Google Map

There are three versions of this report: for audiences familiar with the Biological Weapons Convention; with additional background material for those less familiar with the Biological Weapons Convention; and a summary version. WORKSHOP REPORT v1a WORKSHOP REPORT v 1b WORKSHOP REPORT v 1c Led by Catherine Rhodes, Academic Project Manager, CSER and Malcolm Dando, Bradford Disarmament Research Centre While there was potential to make progress in several areas, the Eighth Review Conference failed to move things forward,…

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Developing a Research Agenda and Methodologies for Extreme Bio-Risks (Invitation only Workshop)

March 22 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
United Kingdom + Google Map

Led by Lalitha Sundaram, Researcher on Bio-risk Analysis at CSER and Piers Millet, Senior Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) focuses on the understanding, management and mitigation of risks from emerging technologies and human activity, which threaten humanity’s survival, even if only with very low probability. We are particularly interested in areas in which our work can provide significant added value, e.g. risks that are understudied at present, or…

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April 2017

Risk & the Culture of Science (Invitation only workshop)

April 29 - April 30
Trinity College, Cambridge,
Cambridge , CB2 1TQ United Kingdom
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Many scientists have expressed concern about potential catastrophic risks associated with powerful new technologies. But expressing concern is one thing, identifying serious candidates another. By definition, such risks will be novel, rare and difficult to study; data will be scarce, speculation necessary. This pushes us to the fringes of science, the realm of ‘mavericks’ and the unconventional – often a hostile and uncomfortable place. Scientists value consensus, at least about the big issues. Catastrophic risk is both a big issue and…

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May 2017

Climate Ethics and Climate Economics: Risk, Uncertainty and Catastrophe Scenarios (Invitation only workshop)

May 9 @ 8:00 am - May 10 @ 5:00 pm
United Kingdom + Google Map

Scholars have warned that there is an uncertain chance of runaway climate change that could devastate the planet. At least since Hans Jonas’s The Imperative of Responsibility, some have argued that even low-probability existential risks should be treated in a fundamentally different way. How should we act when we believe that there is a chance of a catastrophe, but cannot make reliable probability estimates? How much should we worry about worst-case scenarios? What should we do when experts disagree about…

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