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Michael Dello-Iacovo | Preparing for the unimaginable

Illustration of an asteroid in a galaxy

What keeps me up at night is the possibility of an existential risk that we still haven’t thought of, perhaps because it hasn’t happened in recorded human history.

Michael Dello-Iacovo

Do you lie awake at night worrying about volcano eruptions, asteroid impacts, global pandemics, evil robots, or nuclear warfare? Have you spared a moment to consider that there might be existential threats humans can’t even imagine? If anything positive comes out of COVID-19, it’s that we will have better disease control protocols and public health around the world – but also that we might use this unexpected event to think about how we can prepare for future unprecedented events. What can we do today to prepare for the unimaginable?

Michael Dello-Iacovo is a PhD candidate in space science at UNSW Engineering. His research looks at off-Earth exploration, mining and asteroid impact risk. Michael has an interest in morality and ethics, and hosts the podcast Morality is Hard.

A UNSW Centre for Ideas and Grand Challenges program collaboration.

Illustrations designed by Juune Lee. Filmed and edited by Paper Moose. Footage filmed at the EPICentre, a UNSW research centre located at the Art & Design campus.