[Linkpost] Yet another biosecurity reading list

post by cwbakerlee · 2022-02-03T19:24:40.515Z · EA · GW · 4 comments

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10_UEhNYvGPnHMaqnVk_kk4Vpugvh6d_th5rZ1CMKukU/edit?usp=sharing

The above link leads to a curated list of books, podcasts, articles, and newsletters that I recommend as a starting place for those interested in building a base of knowledge in biosecurity.

It is hardly the first list of its kind: see this list by Tessa Alexanian [EA · GW] or this list by Gregory Lewis, for instance, both of which are valuable resources.

The goal of this list is to present things in my own, slightly different way, hopefully such that it is reasonably concise and friendly to newcomers. I'll try to keep it updated as valuable new content is released and as the field (or my understanding of it) changes. Any feedback is welcome.

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comment by Vaidehi Agarwalla (vaidehi_agarwalla) · 2022-02-03T22:24:26.180Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
  • It would be great to copy the text of the doc into this post! (or signal this is a linkpost, but I think having the text in-post is more helpful).
  • I'd also find it useful to know how specifically you think your list differs from Tessa or Gregory's - you mention it's more concise / friendly to newcomers but it would be helpful to know in what ways - e.g. have you put in more videos or shorter articles or something? I am often forwarding resources to people, so it's helpful to know this kind of info.
Replies from: cwbakerlee
comment by cwbakerlee · 2022-02-04T19:57:32.022Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for the feedback, Vaidehi.

To your first point, I've modified the title to signal that this is a linkpost.

To your second point, this list is more concise in that it's only ~35 items right now, which compares to ~60 in Greg's list and ~90 in Tessa's. It may be more friendly to newcomers in the sense that it may just be less overwhelming due to its brevity, and it includes fewer dense governmental reports and academic papers.

But overall I think different lists will work for different people, and for whatever reason when I made this list this is the presentation that struck me as aesthetically fitting the bill. Other people may disagree about which format is more useful, and my guess is that ultimately they're just complementary.

Replies from: vaidehi_agarwalla
comment by Vaidehi Agarwalla (vaidehi_agarwalla) · 2022-02-04T20:20:17.565Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks Chris! This is helpful.

comment by Edward Tranter (Edward Hayles) · 2022-02-04T19:27:18.549Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for this! Looks great. I was just looking up biosecurity reading lists!

I agree with Vaidehi's comment. On top of this, would it be possible for you to estimate the amount of pages/topic? At Swarthmore EA we roughly consider a page of writing for popular audiences like books, news articles, and blog posts to be ⅖ of a page of academic writing. We've found that this helps us organize and compare readings better, whilst also providing helpful information for readers (i.e. allows them to schedule out a time to complete X articles better based on their reading speed).

So 250 pages, for example, of popular writing would be the equivalent of 100 pages of academic writing. But that’s very rough and obviously varies with font size and so on. Moreover, writings published in blogs or fora are sometimes sufficiently technical and detailed that one can choose to categorize them as academic; doing so is necessarily a judgment call.