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.—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 2018, the Clock’s move forward to two 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. For tickets, visit www.msichicago.org or call 773-684-1414.