World leaders warned of existential risks in new report

phys.org | 2/3/2017 | Staff
Emzah92 (Posted by) Level 3
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World leaders must do more to limit risk of global catastrophes, according to a report by Oxford academics launched at the Finnish Embassy in London today.

The report was carried out by the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), which is part of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University.

FHI - Studies - Risk - Director - Professor

The FHI studies existential risk, which is defined by its director, Professor Nick Bostrom, as a risk "where an adverse outcome would either annihilate Earth-originating intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential".

Three of the most pressing possible existential risks for humanity are pandemics, extreme climate change, and nuclear war.

Report - Researchers - Experts - Fields - Others

So for this report, researchers interviewed experts in these fields and others. Based on these interviews, they have laid out three steps that could reduce these existential risks.

First, the report highlights the importance of regional and global cooperation in planning for pandemics, and putting more effort into planning for extreme diseases.

Ebola - Zika - Crises - Pandemics - Responsibility

'As the Ebola and Zika crises showed, managing pandemics is a global responsibility,' says lead author Sebastian Farquhar. 'But too much planning is still national, and little attention is paid to worst-case scenarios including risks from deliberately engineered pathogens.'

Piers Millett, a biosecurity expert at the Future...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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