Abstract: Founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists who “could not remain aloof to the consequences of their work,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists aimed to chronicle the dawn of the nuclear age through the words of the men and women who built the atomic bomb. In 1947, Bulletin supporters—including a veritable Who’s Who of nuclear physics, from Einstein and Fermi to Szilard and Oppenheimer—expanded their four-page newsletter into a magazine that featured a minimalist clock, ticking toward the midnight of nuclear Armageddon, on its cover. More than 70 years later, the now-famous Doomsday Clock is set each January to reflect the world’s security situation. That event is now covered by thousands of media outlets around the world, and today’s Bulletin is hardly your grandfather’s niche magazine. It has become a global multimedia platform that deals with a host of manmade threats to civilization—from nuclear weapons to climate change and on to a host of emerging technologies—and reaches a worldwide digital audience of millions each year.
Speaker bio: John Mecklin is the editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Miller-McCune (since renamed Pacific Standard), an award-winning national magazine that focuses on research-based solutions to major policy problems, and the top editor of High Country News, a nationally acclaimed magazine that reports on the politics, environment, and culture of the American West. Writers working at his direction have won many major journalism prizes, including the George Polk Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors certificate, and the Sidney Hillman Award for social justice journalism. Beyond his columns for the magazines he has edited, Mecklin’s writing has been published by Foreign Policy, The Columbia Journalism Review, and the Reuters international news service, among other media outlets. Before his magazine work, Mecklin was an investigative newspaper reporter and covered the Persian Gulf War from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He holds a master in public administration degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.