Announcing the Biosecurity Forecasting Tournament

Metaculus
2 min readJun 9, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the Institute for Progress, Guarding Against Pandemics, and Metaculus are launching the Biosecurity Forecasting Tournament, a multi-year competition designed to deliver trustworthy and actionable forecasts on biological risks to public health policymakers.

This tournament will combine probabilistic forecasts from both biosecurity experts and experienced forecasters on a range of short- and long-term questions that are considered critical for biosecurity. By giving more weight to forecasters with proven track records of forecasting accuracy, this tournament aims to generate an accurate picture of future COVID-like risks. Forecasts will help inform public health experts’ decision making as they allocate resources to the highest-impact interventions.

David Manheim, Head of Biosecurity Policy at Guarding Against Pandemics, explains: “Policymakers and experts all have a need for decision-relevant data about risks in order to invest intelligently in preventing future pandemics. We’re excited to see this tournament, and think it will be a useful supplement to experts’ understanding, and a critical tool for ensuring the public is aware of the risks. If we’re proactive, COVID-19 could be the last pandemic, but only by understanding current risks and protecting against them can we make that a reality.”

“We’re excited to partner with IFP and GAP to bring probabilistic forecasting to bear on policy questions that can support future pandemic preparedness efforts,” said Metaculus CEO Gaia Dempsey. “And we appreciate, as always, the insights and collaboration of the forecasting community as we work on critical issues in biosecurity.”

This first-of-its kind quantitative biosecurity forecasting initiative will reward forecasting accuracy with a $25,000 prize pool provided by Guarding Against Pandemics. Round 1 of the tournament begins today, with new questions released on June 16th, 23rd, and 30th. The Biosecurity Forecasting Tournament is open to the public. To participate and to learn more, explore the tournament here.

Metaculus is an online forecasting platform and aggregation engine working to improve human reasoning and coordination on topics of global importance. By bringing together an international community and keeping score for thousands of forecasters, Metaculus is able to deliver machine learning-optimized aggregate predictions that help partners set priorities and make decisions.

The Institute for Progress is a non-partisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to accelerating scientific, technological, and industrial progress while safeguarding humanity’s future.

Guarding Against Pandemics advocates for public investments to prevent the next pandemic. GAP was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate global catastrophic biological risks.

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