Two-Day Conference, Sept. 26 & 27

Free and Open to the Public, Everyone Welcome

View the 2017 event photos

Video will be available after the conference on the Dawn or Doom YouTube Channel

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 directed by Purdue CIO and Oesterle Professor of Information Technology, Gerry McCartney, 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.

Quentin Hardy

Quentin Hardy

Head Editor at Google Cloud and previous Deputy Technology Editor at The New York Times. Hardy will discuss how problems of alternative facts and “fake news” were inherent due to the internet providing the opportunity for an infinite amount of copy.

Nicholas Thompson

Nicholas Thompson

Editor-in-Chief at WIRED magazine and previous editor of The New Yorker’s digital platforms. Thompson will discuss the ever-changing frontier of business and technology, science and design - and how to keep the digital revolution human-centric.

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

2017 Winners


Kelly Torolski, First Year Engineering - "Finding Lead Protein Disulfide Isomerase Inhibitors For Glioma Treatments"

Abigail Hancock, Industrial Engineering - "Novel Simulation of Controlled and Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Device "

Saeid Alzahrani, Aviation Technology - "BRAQâ„¢ Small Unmanned Aerial vehicle (sUAV) "


Matthew Pharris, Biomedical Engineering - "A Rule-based Model of the CaMKII Holoenzyme"

Jacob Torres, MET - "Air Filtration and the Purdue Biowall"

Samuel Prather, Breeding & Genetics - "Assessing Antioxidant Levels in Commercial Relevant Temperate Germplasm"

People's Choice

Claudio Freitas, Engineering Education - " Inclusive pedagogy in designing engineering classroom in the Azraq refugee camp"

Learn more about the contest

2017 Winners

Grand Prize

Jose Moreno "Follies in Biohacking: The Transhumanist Perspective"

"I love how this essay masterfully weaves a broader narrative as well as a personal story into the author’s experience at Dawn or Doom,"
Louise Metsakis, Motherboard

"I didn’t figure the author would reveal the he was already experimenting with chip implants. But there we were. I’m not sure if I’m more unsettled by Moreno's experience or Michael Bess’ lecture,"
Dave Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier

2nd place

Prasanna Advaith Janakiraman "Genetocracy: Rule by the Genetically Modified"

"Was it doom to think we're going to be ruled by an ear of GMO corn or dawn to think that genetically modified offspring could be infused with more compassion? I don’t know. But I don’t mind wrestling with it in this paper. I'm just as torn as I was when I heard Michael Bess,”
Dave Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier

"This piece concisely and accurately captures the concerns associated with CRISPR, one of the most exciting technologies of our generation,"
Louise Metsakis, Motherboard

3rd place

Jordyn Lukomski "Virtual Ethics: Questions to Ask as We Enter a New Virtual Era"

"It can be hard to write a compelling opener for an essay about technology—but the author here nails it. Great, relatable way to start an essay about ethics,"
Louise Metsakis, Motherboard

"The first graf tripped me up — the story never explains what "DO IT FOR THE EEVEE!" means — but after this was an otherwise good conference write-up on an interesting topic. It had decent structure, presented thought-provoking ideas from the session quite well (I appreciated the details of people endangering themselves while playing Pokemon — what a great illustrative example), and was highly readable."
Dave Mosher, Business Insider

Honorable Mention

Jessica Merzdorf "The hard and challenging thing: Why space travel matters in the 21st century"

"This write-up rose above the rest as a piece of journalism you'd want to see from a conference. It had sound logical structure, was highly readable (e.g. short paragraphs and provocative quotes), and leaned on the speaker's choicest statements to capture the thrust of — and most noteworthy information from — an interesting session. I also appreciated how the author interviewed the speaker afterward to follow up on and clarify certain points of the talk,"
Dave Mosher, Business Insider

David O'Neil "Google Editor Delivers Lecture on Fake News and the Cloud"

"As a think-ier story from a conference, this piece was quite nice. It captured the essence of the talk and the speaker's points/voice through good use of direct quotes. Clearer and/or more frequent attribution could have strengthened this article, however, as it is difficult to tell the speaker's voice/beliefs apart from those of the writer's."
Dave Mosher, Business Insider

Dawn or Doom’17, the Purdue English Department and West Lafayette Public Library present our first annual “Big Read,” a celebration designed to link Purdue and Greater Lafayette readers.

Join the Dawn or Doom’17 panel discussion “Designing Worlds”

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

Krannert School of Management's Business Information Center (BIAC) and Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) are joining together to offer a unique opportunity to Purdue's full time undergraduate and Master's students to work on a real-world data analytics problem faced by CISCO, utilizing a dataset provided by the company. Interdisciplinary student teams will analyze the dataset to come up with recommendations. The top eight teams will present their findings to a panel of judges consisting of senior executives. Compete for prize money totaling $6000.00!

2017 Winning Team:

Kime Consulting - 2017 Winning Data Dive Team

KIME Consulting - Chung Tang, Krannert School of Management, Qi Meng , College of Science, Ruoxuan Zhao, Krannert School of Management and Xin Wei , College of Health and Human Sciences.

You Tube video of all of the teams sharing business insights into a real-world data analytics problem faced by CISCO: Dawn or Doom 2017 InterdisciplinaryData Dive in IT/Analytics

More Information

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Data Dive Rules

Data Dive Course in Blackboard (Participants Only)

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Data Dive Judges


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