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Turn Back the Clock Press Kit

ICONIC DOOMSDAY CLOCK IS THE FOCUS OF THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, CHICAGO’S NEWEST EXHIBIT

Turn Back the Clock details history and enduring relevance of the Doomsday Clock and the organization behind it

CHICAGO, Ill. (June, 2017)—The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s (MSI) new temporary exhibit, Turn Back the Clock, explores the history and enduring relevance of “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’” iconic Doomsday clock, one of the most important and provocative symbols of the 20th century. Within the exhibit, guests will find the Clock’s 70-year history woven into three distinct parts: the dawn of the nuclear age, how the Clock serves as a metaphor for the global challenges we face today, and the potential applications of 21st century emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and new biotechnologies.

“We believe this exhibit is a dynamic way to tell—and show—our guests not only how scientific discoveries and application have continuously had an impact on our world, but also the importance of active dialogue as a result of those discoveries,” said Dr. Patricia Ward, director of science exhibitions at the Museum of Science and Industry. “While the gravity of the Clock’s influential factors are sobering, we want guests to understand that agency, communication and collaboration among scientists, policy makers and ordinary citizens can help and has helped to set the Clock further away from midnight. We look forward to the conversations this exhibit will undoubtedly create.”

Turn Back the Clock was created in partnership with the “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”, based at the University of Chicago, and reflects the importance of ongoing public awareness and engagement in the critical issues captured in the movement of the Clock’s minute hand.  The Doomsday Clock, a symbol created by this group of scientists and policy experts, indicates and assesses existential risks to society, with a particular focus on nuclear risk and climate change. In January 2017, the Clock’s move forward to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight captured global attention, further emphasizing why this symbol matters now more than ever.

“We are delighted to partner with MSI to debut Turn Back the Clock, which marks the Clock’s 70th anniversary,” said Rachel Bronson, executive director, the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.” “We hope that by bringing the story of the Clock and the ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ to life in such a dynamic way, people will be motivated to use their distinct voices and talents to create a safer and healthier planet, much as our predecessors tried to do.”  

As guests explore Turn Back the Clock, they will learn about the significance of the Doomsday Clock and how it has evolved over the last 70 years to include newer risks that we face today. Through compelling personal stories, interactive media, artifacts and models, guests will:

Interact with a digital representation of the Clock through time, offering a snapshot of the science, policy and culture at that moment.

Learn how the atomic age extended into pop culture, including inspiring comic book series, music, and films.

Walk through a visual, historic timeline of the nuclear age.

Learn about various diplomatic and policy efforts that have caused the Clock to move forward or backwards throughout time, such as the 2016 Paris Agreement addressing global climate change and the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the U.S. and former Soviet Union.

See examples of how scientists and world leaders have persevered in efforts to hold open discussions and debates, which have led to significant international treaties and agreements, reductions in nuclear weapons and policy change, including correspondences between Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan.

Turn Back the Clock opens May 26, 2017 and runs through early 2018. The exhibit is included in Museum Entry ($18 for adults and $11 for kids ages 3-11). For tickets, visit www.msichicago.org or call 773-684-1414. 

About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414.

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Turn Back the Clock Press Kit for Download

Turn Back the Clock Press Release (PDF)Turn Back the Clock Calendar Alert (PDF)

 

 

 

Press Photos

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As guests explore Turn Back the Clock, they will learn about the significance of the Doomsday Clock and how it has evolved over the last 70 years. 

   [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

See the 1947 issue of "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" when they debuted the Doomsday Clock.

[J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Guests can interact with a voting vitrine that asks them about their experience on engaging with their policymakers.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Guests can learn how the atomic age extended into pop culture, including inspiring comic book series, music, and films—and toys, like this 1950s-era Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Guests can see artifacts, such as this graphite brick from Chicago Pile 1 in 1942.

  [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

This reproduction of a letter from Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt advises the president of the possibility that an atomic bomb could be created. 

   [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Images presented here are for the express use for promoting the Museum of Science and Industry. All images must be properly credited. Images may not be reproduced by third parties without express written permission from the Museum of Science and Industry.