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Sputnik : COVID-19 :: Space Race : Pandemic Preparedness?

by jared_m1 min read13th Mar 2020No comments



As someone whose donations are geared toward public health and who is accepting a new role at an academic medical system, I'm eager to hear what others think we can productively do to make this spring a "Sputnik moment." In the U.S., the 1957 launch of Sputnik is understood to have shocked the country into the Space Race - driving many brilliant people (the mathematicians in Hidden Figures, young people across North America) into STEM fields to help bridge technical gaps.

In a collaborative rather than competitive sense, the seemingly superior response of South Korea and other countries might provide a similar healthy shock to most Western nations. Relevant articles on 80,000 Hours and elsewhere are well-positioned to gain new readership, as "social distancing" is leading concerned citizens to binge-consume global health articles and podcasts.

I'd be happy to dedicate several hours/week this spring and some relatively modest financial support to generating new audiences for EA causes and career paths. Another EA who has worked in Latin America, for example, and I have talked about raising and contributing money to translate a few key 80,000 Hours articles into Spanish -- as countries across the Western Hemisphere confront the pandemic and economic turmoil. What do others think we should all do to "not let the crisis go to waste?" Grateful for and looking forward to your clever ideas.

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