Two-Day Conference, Sept. 26 & 27

Free and Open to the Public, Everyone Welcome

What is Dawn or Doom?


Now in its fourth year, Dawn or Doom enables open-minded and thoughtful consideration of the potential risks and rewards posed by rapid, disruptive and seemingly continuous technological change that may be moving faster than our ability to understand it. The conference on Purdue’s West Lafayette, Ind., campus Sept. 26 and 27, 2017, is free and open to the public. Dawn or Doom '17 is hosted by Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) and Purdue Convocations with the generous assistance of corporate sponsors.

Since it began in 2014, Dawn or Doom has annually brought together experts on topics ranging from surveillance drones and living on Mars to genetically modified foods and genetically personalized medicine. The two-day conference now attracts over 5,000 people who interact with expert speakers in weighing questions ranging from serious to entertaining. Are GMO animals safe to eat? Are emojis a new language? When will artificial intelligences surpass human intelligence? If they do, does that spell our doom? Can an AI have a sense of humor? What’s the future of work? What will it mean when networked vehicles, appliances and other devices surround us pervasively and persistently? Is privacy even possible anymore?

Archives from past Dawn or Doom events, complete with recorded discussions, can be viewed from the Past Events section under the About category.

We hope you’ll join us this year.



Why Dawn or Doom?


Characterized by Purdue President Mitch Daniels as the perfect place for a conference like Dawn or Doom, Purdue University is a top public research institution committed to pursuing scientific discoveries, engineered solutions and creative use of technology driven by faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward. Dawn or Doom intentionally presents diverse viewpoints, with not only engineers and computer scientists presenting, but also writers, philosophers, business leaders and policy experts. The conference brings together internationally known authorities and stars from Purdue’s large constellation of researchers focused on innovations that will transform lives.

Featured Speakers

Dr.Robb Fraley

Robb Fraley

Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto, Ph.D. in microbiology and biochemistry, and World Food Prize Laureate. Fraley will discuss the valuable role of innovation for farmers as well as innovation’s role in supporting food security and agriculture sustainability around the globe.

Michael Bess

Michael Bess

Chancellor’s Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and Author of Our Grandchildren Redesigned, which discusses emerging biotechnologies and the powerful impact they will have on our body and mind.

Tom Bradicich

Tom Bradicich

Vice President and General Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Bradicich will discuss developing the technological infrastructure needed to enable an "internet of things" and the deployment of networked devices, including autonomous vehicles.

Concurrent Events and Tracks


Art exhibit from the Dublin Institute of Technology featuring innovative art and design informed by vision and sensibility to help individuals and society see the world in new and different ways – Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries

Student Design Exhibit “Design Good Now” Worldwide Challenge to redesign objects, products, and environments for people with disabilities to make them more accessible and approachable for the everyday use in their life. – Patti and Rusty Rueff Galleries

Student research symposium – Krannert Drawing Room

Details about the poster session


Student writing contest

Again this year, Purdue’s future technology conference Dawn or Doom is offering a student writing contest.

Students who enter will be asked to attend one or more presentations at Dawn or Doom '17 and write a journalistic nonfiction piece related to a presentation.

The Dawn or Doom '17 presentations will be held September 26-27, in Stewart Center.

Learn more about the contest

The "Big Read" book for 2017-2018 is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Join the Dawn or Doom ‘17 discussion - "Designing Worlds in Science and Fiction"

Learn more about the "Big Read".

Reflecting upon the evolution of science and technology over the past century, we find controversies that once shrouded major achievements to be relevant as scientists today struggle to bridge the gap between academia and the general public. At the 2017 ESE Symposium, we seek to facilitate a discussion on shifting paradigms and sustainability goals in an increasingly complex socio-technological context.

Learn more about the symposium


Registration and Social Media