Questions to consider
- What bioweapons programs currently exist?
- What have they historically done?
- What strengths/weaknesses do the biological weapons convention have?
- What have they achieved recently, and what are they neglecting which EAs could support?
- How concerned are you about biorisks, and why?
- How are we more/less vulnerable to biorisks now than we have been previously?
- Reasons we might be more vulnerable:
- There is more travel, which allows for the spread of dangerous pathogens.
- We are more densely populated.
- Reasons we might be less vulnerable:
- We have better medicine.
- We have better hygiene.
As this is an optional week, the readings are a looser summary. Therefore, you're encouraged to go research other information on this topic! Start with the articles that most interest you, and read as much as you can from there.
- Preventing catastrophic pandemics (80,000 Hours / Arden Koehler and Benjamin Hilton, 2020-2022) (article - 10 mins / narration - 25 mins)
- Existential Risks and Cost-Effective Biosecurity (Piers Millett and Andrew Snyder-Beattie, 2017) (paper - 32 mins)
- How likely is it that biological agents will be used deliberately to cause widespread harm? (Thomas V. Inglesby and David A. Relman, 2016) (paper - 14 mins)
- Improving Security through International Biosafety Norms (UPMC Center for Health Security, 2016) (report - 22 mins)
- Pathogens as Weapons: The International Security Implications of Biological Warfare (Gregory Koblentz, 2004) (paper - 60 mins)
- Enhancing Global Security through Infections Disease Threat Reduction (Jaime Yassif, Arthy Santhakumar, and Nigel Lightfoot, 2013) (paper - 80 mins)
- The articles included in this topic are a selection from this rough reading list written by Gregory Lewis. Feel free to dig deeper into that list.