Research Manager @ ALLFED - Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters
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Professional bio // Long bio

"The essential thing was to save the greatest possible number of persons from dying and being doomed to unending separation. And to do this there was only one resource: to fight the plague. There was nothing admirable about this attitude; it was merely logical." - Albert Camus, The Plague

Altruism is the rational response to an irrational world.


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Interesting post. Just a quick comment on the effectiveness of "research and dissemination" and "Spreading “we’re all in this together” frames" type interventions. These sound similar to interventions that policymakers try time and again in response to disasters because they're intuitive, despite the fact that they don't work very well or at all.

The source I linked describes a comparison of interventions for pandemic response in the general public, so it's not directly applicable, but I worry a similar issue may be at hand here. The interventions aimed at changing minds generally have negligible effects, especially compared to other interventions such as providing social support and tapping into individuals’ behavioral skills and habits as well as removing practical obstacles to behavior.

I don't know what the equivalent on the "nuclear war prevention" area is of these other interventions that work well for pandemic response, but I do worry that the "knowledge and beliefs" type interventions proposed would also be negligible like they are in this other field.

A new paper on this came out recently: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00146-024-01930-2

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this resource Sam, and again I can't thank you enough for your support in helping us launch our policy org ORCG, we quite probably could not have done it without you.

if this space was closer to my grantmaking, I'd be excited to fund a fully neutral study into these questions.

Here's hoping that the new set of studies on this funded by FLI (~$4 million) will shed light on the issue within the next few years.


True, not only outreach but also sufficient engagement/retention is needed in order to reliably increase the ratio.

That's correct. Artificial intelligence and engineered pandemics are just given as examples of things that may fall under the category of threats from emerging technologies.

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