No physicist will ever tell you that the chance of something occuring is zero. There may be a greater chance of them eating the moon with a plastic fork, but the odds are never zero.
Hence when physists working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland were asked about the chances of their device creating mini-black holes that would destroy the earth (and possibly the universe), the answer can never be zero. It is just very, very, very, very unlikely.
Hence this kind of risk is pretty low on the agenda of Dr Steve Myers, the head of accelerators and technology at CERN. Dr Myers is much more worried about the risks involved in managing a US$9 billion device that is essentially a massive prototype - CERN will never build another one quite like it - and that has already proven to be prone to very expensive problems.
In this, my first article for CPA Australia's InTheBlack magazine, I spoke to Dr Myers about the risks involved in managing a project like the Large Hadron Collider, and the lessons that can be taken away by anyone involved in risk management.