Welcome to the Existential Risk Association!

An existential risk is a risk that threatens the destruction of humanity’s longterm potential. The association will explore some of the risks facing humanity and the solutions that can be implemented in decreasing the likelihood of these risks. Students from all fields of study are welcome and encouraged to join, no matter what you are studying there is always an avenue for benefiting the future of life. This is the first semester of the association so no prerequisite knowledge is required and one of the main goals will be to bring everyone up to the same level of understanding so as to build a community where people can discuss and explore this ideas. More information below. Do not feel shy and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

What

An association committed to educating students on the threats of existential risk and on providing a space for students to learn more about these risks and different solutions for decreasing their likelihood.

Why

These are incredibly important topics for every individual on the planet and we have the opportunity here at the university to guide our studies and future careers along a path that can be of benefit in reducing these risks.

How

Holding summary lectures on different topics, topic related projects, inviting guest speakers, book/paper club, community for conversation, providing info towards further resources.

Aim

To educate a wider populace on the risks, possible solutions to these risks, and to encourage students to focus their effort on preventing these risks by directing their education and careers down a beneficial route.

Themes

There shall be five main themes covered over the duration of the semester: Existential Risk Overview, Nuclear Weapons, Biotechnology, Ecological Collapse, Artificial Intelligence.

General Activity Plan

There is a general activity plan for the semester which is split into a selection of 2week blocks: Introduction, Existential Risk Overview, Nuclear Weapons, Biotechnology, Ecological Collapse & Artificial Intelligence. There is no pressure to attend all of these events, people are encouraged to come whenever and to whatever they wish! And are welcome to drop in only for a single event!

SUMMARY LECTURES

Each theme will be introduced by a presentation summarising the theme’s main issues, historical context, and a general summary of the risk. These lectures will be followed by a Q&A, general discussion, and fika.

RESEARCH PAPERS

Each theme will have a relevant research paper which members can read and discuss in the week following the Summary Lecture.

MINI PROJECTS

Each theme, when suitable, will have an associated mini project that will allow members a more practical hands on understanding of the relevant risk and will allow them to deepen their knowledge beyond the theoretical.

Example Project: Biotechnology – DIY CRISPR

There are consumer kits available for individuals to engage in the use of CRISPR DNA modifying biotechnology. This project will give members a practical hands on understanding of this technology and the seeming ease of modifying the genetic code underlying organisms on this planet.

GUEST LECTURER

When scheduling permits a guest lecturer will be incorporated into the theme, to further elucidate real life research taking place in relation to the topic.

Schedule

The dates and location for events will be updated here as the semester progresses, along with relevant event postings on Facebook.

Week 36 & 37: Introduction Lecture – 18:00 – 19:30, Thursday 16th September, Andromeda Lecture Room, Lund Observatory

Week 38 & 39: Existential Risk Overview

Week 40 & 41: Nuclear Weapons

Week 42 & 44: Biotechnology

Week 45 & 46: Ecological Collapse

Week 47 & 48: Artificial Intelligence

Week 49 & 50: Semester Overview/Party

People

We currently have four founding members of the association: Oisin, Jacob, Mariam, & Sam. Spanning four countries, we are all interested in the ways that we can help nudge humanity towards a positive future and are all presently engaged in different fields of study and work. We look forward to meeting and getting to know future members!

Contact

Email: existentialrisklund@gmail.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/existentialrisklund