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80s Revival!

Introducing the very appropriately named Stanford engineering Professor Emeritus Martin Hellman, this month’s Harbinger of Doom!

About fifteen years after Hellman became convinced of impending destruction, he began punching numbers to calculate the probability of such a catastrophe based on events focused around the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. According to Hellman’s numbers, the risk of a person not living out his or her natural life because of nuclear war is at least 10 percent.

Determining such a risk seems a little like predicting the future, but Hellman is confident about his numbers. He justifies his probability by breaking down a catastrophe into a sequence of smaller failures, incorporating expert opinions, examining history and estimating within a range of numbers.

Read all about Professor Emeritus Hellman here.

And for your nuclear Armageddon flashback pleasure, some 80s nostalgia from the BBC News Magazine’s reader comments. Was Avy’s mum right? Is Frankie Goes to Hollywood scarier than nuclear war? Post a comment below…

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