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What would a taskforce designed to minimise biorisk look like?

by Jordan_Warner1 min read1st Nov 20201 comment

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Biosecurity
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This is just a hypothetical (for now), but I think it's an interesting idea to consider, if only because it would be a great science fiction premise.

Imagine that we wanted to set up an organisation to reduce biorisk, most likely focused on near-term future misuses of synthetic biology. Obviously X-risk would be the most important thing to minimise, but to be on the safe side this hypothetical organisation would aim to prevent any use of bioweapons or accidental release of pathogens, and might also be involved in containment and treatment if one does get out into the world, although ideally they'd prevent that.

I'd prefer an international organisation under the WHO or UN, but an organisation within the US Department of Defence or another national government seems more likely to me.

In the ideal world this organisation would have a massive budget and all the resources and experts they need. In the real world they've probably got a tiny budget and aren't really taken seriously unless a terrible tragedy happen, so suggestions for the highest impact interventions in this scenario would be very interesting.

Where would they even begin looking?

What skills would be needed?

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1 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 2:57 PM

I assume there are many biorisk "taskforces" that already exist (between the UN and various national governments), or at least organizations that perform some of the functions you mention.

For example, the UN's Office for Disarmament Affairs has bioweapons as an "area of focus". I don't know what actual work they do, but they probably employ people who know a lot about bioweapons and at least monitor global bioweapons development to some extent. (I know exactly nothing about this area, though, so I could be wrong.)