The UCLA’s Garrick Institute held its first colloquium on Catastrophic And Existential Risk from March 27-29, with the opening keynote being delivered by CSER’s Executive Director Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, and a lecture being given by CSER’s Catherine Rhodes. Ó hÉigeartaigh gave an overview of recent global progress in the field of existential risk, and presented some of the challenges for traditional risk analysis posed by risks of global catastrophic magnitude. Dr Rhodes spoke on risk management in systems of international governance, in particular outlining challenges associate with the governance of biological weapons. CSER adviser Professor Jonathan Wiener also spoke on psychological, political and policy challenges associated with rare or unprecedented risks of global catastrophic scale.
The Colloquium represented a welcome coming-together of communities doing leading work on quantitative risk assessment across risks of different scales, leaders in global risk areas such as nuclear war and bioterrorism, and the growing community of academic and research specialists in global catastrophic and existential risk as a class of risk. Alongside CSER, Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, the Foresight Institute, and the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute were also represented We thank the Garrick Institute for organising and leading on the colloquium. A report or edited volume may be produced on the basis of the talks and workshop sessions.