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Course title

The Precipice Reading Group


24 January – 3 March 2021

Time zone


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Applications to this course have closed

Humanity stands at a precipice.

Our species could survive for millions of generations — enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice; to reach new heights of flourishing. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, gaining the power to destroy ourselves, without the wisdom to ensure we won’t. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pandemics and unaligned artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it may soon be too late.

The Precipice explores the science behind the risks we face. It puts them in the context of the greater story of humanity: showing how ending these risks is among the most pressing moral issues of our time. And it points the way forward, to the actions and strategies we can take today to safeguard humanity’s future.

This reading group will read The Precipice over 8 weeks, and will require about 2 hours of time per week: 1 hour for reading and 1 hour for discussion. Participants will be placed into cohorts of 4-6 people (including a facilitator), which will meet weekly for structured discussions about each chapter.