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Lunch Discussion: ​​Planetary Defense and Existential Risk

October 6, 2022

12:30 pm - 1:15 pm

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WCC; 3018 Classroom

Major asteroid impacts are one of a handful of catastrophes—alongside nuclear war, engineered pandemics, and risks related to advanced artificial intelligence—that, if they occurred, have the potential to radically reshape humanity’s future or end life as we know it.


NASA invests in defending Earth from asteroid impacts: last week, it crashed a small spacecraft into an asteroid in what it called “the world’s first planetary defense technology demonstration.”


How worried should we be about other kinds of existential catastrophes?  How much should we as a society invest to prevent them?  Could reducing the risk of these catastrophic events be among the best ways we can help others today?


Please join HLS Effective Altruism for a conversation about existential risks and the kinds of technologies, policies, and institutions that might be able to help reduce them.


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About us: HLS Effective Altruism is a community of law students interested in using evidence and careful reasoning to take actions to confront the world’s most pressing problems, including extreme poverty and existential risks from emerging technologies. Our events are open to all members of the Harvard community. Learn more and join our mailing list by visiting


If you or an event participant require disability-related accommodations for any event at HLS, please contact Accessibility Services at or 617-495-8773 in advance of the event. 

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October 6, 2022, 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm

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