Responsible Biorisk Reduction

First application round closed:

We closed the first application round on Friday 21st of February.

Confirmations will be sent on Sunday 22nd. Very limited space for further participants will be available.

Feel free to apply until Friday, February 28th 2020.


Global Catastrophic Biological Risk (GCBR) prevention is an important cause in the EA long-termist framework. Careless actions in this field, however, might result in negative outcomes. This makes many aspiring EAs with excellent personal fit for this area eager to contribute, but equally hesitant. For those people we want to start and foster the discussion regarding best practices and robustly good research in GCBR by hosting a 1½-day workshop in Oxford. We will invite senior biosecurity experts and provide space for in-depth conversations.

Major Goal and Relevant Topics During the Workshop

Develop, communicate and establish a responsible, cautious and supportive culture for EAs around contributing to the delicate area of GCBR reduction.

  • Map the current biosecurity space
  • Understand what defines ‘robustly good’ in the context of GCBR reduction
  • Develop concrete, focused and actionable ways of contributing to GCBR reduction
  • Provide follow-up actions for participants and the EA biosecurity community as a whole

Workshop Details

  • Weekend workshop in Oxford, 2nd of May, Friday evening – Sunday noon
  • 20–25 participants, European audience
  • Speakers: Jaime Yassif (NTI), Cassidy Nelson (FHI), Piers Millett (FHI, WHO)
  • Depending on funding situation: Free / ticket fee (80–150€) / mini-stipends

What is the Impact Logic of the Project and how to Measure it?

By jointly developing guidance documents for EAs on how to address research questions in GCBR, we want to remove major burdens for motivated EAs to engage responsibly. This potentially unlocks significant human capital. Potential metrics include:

  • Survey of hesitancy & prudence regarding, and engagement in GCBR-projects
  • Number of concrete, focused and actionable ways of contributing to the field
  • Number of follow-up events (workshops, calls, meet-ups, …)
  • Resonance of the EA community to the results (e.g. on the EA Forum)

Who Are We?

Jasper Götting: Infection Biology PhD student, Hanover Medical School. Founded two EA student groups and hosted a wide variety of workshops and talks.

Jonas Sandbrink: Medical student, University of Oxford. Engaged in infectious disease research. Founder of EA Münster, organised discussion rounds and speaker events in Oxford.

Max Schons: Infectious disease researcher, University of Cologne. Studied medicine in Cologne / Vienna / Stanford, co-founded the Network for Effective Altruism Germany, organised multiple EA workshops in Germany and the US.

Application Form

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