Howie and I have just recorded a snap episode of the 80,000 Hours Podcast about the possible pandemic emerging from China:
I think it's a reasonable summary of the situation as it stood on Sunday, and the many uncertainties that remain.
This virus has recently been attracting discussion on the forum here.
We've almost never done coverage of 'topical' issues like this. It poses obvious risks, like reducing our organisation focus, causing us to write about secondary issues, or giving us a reputation for amateurish commentary.
At the same time, producing good content on current issues is one way to help people learn about 80,000 Hours. Howie and I felt we knew enough to comment sensibly. And an actual pandemic is clearly very much adjacent to our interest in pandemic preparedness — we encourage people to listen to our episodes on pandemic-related careers if they would like to learn more.
Let us know what you think of the episode, and please notify us about any errors so that we can correct them.