A Science of Global Risk
TWCF Number
Project Duration
December 1 / 2019
- November 30 / 2022
Core Funding Area
Other Charitable Purposes
Amount Awarded

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Professor Lord Martin Rees
Institution The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge

Can an integrated science of global risk safeguard humanity’s long-term future?

Global risks are those whose impact cannot be contained in individual regions or industries. Examples include pandemics, biodiversity loss, and the malicious use of artificial intelligence. While some research and policy communities focus on specific global risks, such as climate change or nuclear war, such risks will not emerge in isolation. There remains a need to study this class of risks as a whole.

A Science of Global Risk (SGR) aims to develop an interdisciplinary research effort to analyze emerging global risks and develop new solutions for managing them. The project will be led by a research team based at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. Working with a global network of collaborators, they will build on the success of the pilot project Managing Extreme Technological Risk.

Achieving meaningful action requires a complex level of collaboration and coordination from scientists, policy-makers, developers, and other stakeholders worldwide. Directed by Lord Martin Rees, the project will develop the basis for a science of global risk that is methodologically rigorous and creative, focused on risk management and policy formation, and accessible to a diverse community of stakeholders across academia, industry, government and civil society. The project consists of three interwoven strands:

  1. Forecasting and Modeling Global Risk will create new tools to forecast global risks and model interconnections between them, giving insight into how such risks emerge and how they can be managed.
  2. Designing Practical Solutions for the Management of Global Risk will focus on the collaborative creation of practical policy proposals for the management of global risks.
  3. Growing the User Community for the Science of Global Risk will foster a diverse set of global stakeholders focused on managing risk.

The project will result in a series of high-profile academic papers, policy reports, two books, and a range of media outputs for broader public engagement. These outputs will support engagement with interdisciplinary academic expertise, relevant policy communities, research leaders and industry

Project Resources
Global agriculture is poised to benefit from the rapid advance and diffusion of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. AI in agriculture c...
Undoubtedly, many of the most pressing problems of our age relate to changes in human population. Population growth and demographic transition...
Abstract Many have claimed that climate change is an imminent threat to humanity, but there is no way to verify such claims. This is concernin...
Opinions expressed on this page, or any media linked to it, do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. does not control the content of external links.
Related Blog Post
SOI podcast Existential risk
Existential Risk with Lord Martin Rees, Dr. Paul Ingram, and Dr. Lara Mani (podcast)
Experts discuss threats to civilization and life on Earth, from nuclear weapons to natural disasters, and also share what offers a sense of hope — for the future of humanity and for the planet.

Read More
Person doing research
Projects &
Explore the projects we’ve funded. We’ve awarded hundreds of grants to researchers and institutions worldwide.

Projects & Resources