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Every so often, Seth Baum heads out to meet Inés García, a video director and actress, at her Manhattan apartment. While he’s there, he helps out in whatever way he can — holding a microphone for hours on end, carrying heavy equipment and running to the local computer store to get an extra memory card for the camera.

This is not Baum’s day job.

Baum is a global catastrophic risk researcher who evaluates the risks posed by events that could lead to the end of humanity. He is affiliated with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and is co-founder of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, a think tank he started in 2011 when he noticed the void in interdisciplinary research on global catastrophes.

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