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The Cambridge Centre For The Study Of Existential Risk

GIRODET DE ROUCY-TRIOSON, Anne-Louis
Scene of the Flood
 c. 1806
 
“The earth will be struck by calamities of all kinds (in addition to plague and famine which will be wide-spread). Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

“God will strike in an unprecedented way. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

“Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His wrath upon them and no one will be able to escape so many afflictions together. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

“The chiefs, the leaders of the people of God have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has bedimmed their intelligence. They have become wandering stars which the old devil will drag along with his tail to make them perish. God will allow the old serpent to cause divisions among those who reign in every society and in every family. Physical and moral agonies will be suffered. God will abandon mankind to itself and will send punishments which will follow one after the other for more than thirty-five years. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

“The Society of men is on the eve of the most terrible scourges and of gravest events. Mankind must expect to be ruled with an iron rod and to drink from the chalice of the wrath of God. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

“Water and fire will give the earth's globe convulsions and terrible earthquakes which will swallow up mountains, cities, etc... Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879) 

“At the first blow of His thundering sword, the mountains and all Nature will tremble in terror, for the disorders and crimes of men have pierced the vault of the heavens. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk


Many scientists are concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole. Such dangers have been suggested from progress in AI, from developments in biotechnology and artificial life, from nanotechnology, and from possible extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change. The seriousness of these risks is difficult to assess, but that in itself seems a cause for concern, given how much is at stake. (For a brief introduction to these issues, see our Resources page.)

The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) — a joint initiative between a philosopher, a scientist, and a software entrepreneur — was founded on the conviction that these issues require a great deal more scientific investigation than they presently receive. CSER is a multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the study and mitigation of risks of this kind.

Our goal is to steer a small fraction of Cambridge’s great intellectual resources, and of the reputation built on its past and present scientific pre-eminence, to the task of ensuring that our own species has a long-term future. (In the process, we hope to make it a little more certain that we humans will be around to celebrate the University’s own millennium, now less than two centuries hence.)

CSER is now hosted within Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), under the management of Dr. Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh. We are currently funded by a seed donation from founder Jaan Tallinn, and are seeking sources of funding for a number of planned research projects. We welcome enquiries and offers of support — please see our News & Contact page for contact details and a sign-up link for our new mailing list, CSER News.

HP, MJR & JT
July 2013


Co-founders

Huw Price
Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, Cambridge

Martin Rees
Emeritus Professor of Cosmology & Astrophysics, Cambridge

Jaan Tallinn
Co-founder of Skype


Cambridge advisors

David Cleevely
Founding Director, Centre for Science and Policy

Tim Crane
Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy

Partha Dasgupta
Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics

Robert Doubleday
Executive Director, Centre for Science and Policy

Hermann Hauser
Co-founder, Amadeus Capital Partners

Stephen Hawking
Director of Research, DAMTP; former Lucasian Professor of Physics

Jane Heal
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy

Sean Holden
Senior Lecturer, Computing Laboratory; Fellow of Trinity College

Adrian Kent
Reader in Quantum Physics, DAMTP; Distinguished Visiting Research Chair, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Susan Owens
Professor of Environment and Policy and Professorial Fellow of Newnham College

David Spiegelhalter
Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk

William Sutherland
Miriam Rothschild Professor of Conservation Biology; Emeritus Professor of Philosophy

Adrian Weller
Director, Cambridge in America


External advisors

Margaret Boden
Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex

Nick Bostrom
Professor of Philosophy, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford

David Chalmers
Professor of Philosophy, NYU & ANU

George M Church
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Doyne Farmer
Co-Director, Complexity Economics, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Oxford

Alison Gopnik
Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy, UC Berkeley

Robert May
Professor of Zoology, Oxford; Fellow of Merton College; past President of the Royal Society

Dana Scott
Emeritus Professor of Computer Science, Philosophy & Mathematical Logic, Carnegie Mellon University

Murray Shanahan
Professor of Cognitive Robotics, Imperial College, London

Max Tegmark
Professor of Physics, MIT

Jonathan B Wiener
Professor of Law, Environmental Policy & Public Policy, Duke University



MARIA OF THE CROSS,
Victim of Jesus nee MELANIE CALVAT,
Shepherdess of La Salette
"I protest highly against a different text, which people may dare publish after my death. I protest once more against the very false statements of all those who dare say and write First that I embroidered the Secret; second, against those who state that the Queen Mother did not say to transmit the Secret to all her people." Melanie

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Voices will be heard in the air. Men will beat their heads against walls, call for their death, and on another side death will be their torment. Blood will flow on all sides. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

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“In the year 1864, Lucifer together with a large number of demons will be unloosed from hell Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)

The demons of the air together with the Antichrist will perform great wonders on earth and in the atmosphere, and men will become more and more perverted. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept.…