Complementing the BWC Meeting of Experts, the GSPI, together with the Simon Institute for Longterm Governance (SI), invites for an in-person lunch session on the topic of “long-term decision-making in the face of extreme biological risks” on Monday September 6th.

Extreme biological risks – stemming from dual-use research of concern – pose significant threats to societies worldwide. While their likelihood is lower than that of natural pandemics, they are expected to be much deadlier. Their lack of precedent raises questions whether governments, international organizations and civil society are sufficiently aware to prevent an outbreak or mitigate its adverse consequences. Risk perception and preparedness decision-making are a function of individuals’ education, values, and cognition. How to support individuals in their evaluation of risks and decision-making?

This session brings a behavioral lens to the management of extreme biological risks. The Centre for the Study of Existential Risks will provide a primer on extreme biological risks. The Simon Institute for Longterm Governance and the Geneva Science-Policy Interface will present the behavioral science of decision-making in the face of extreme risks. The rest of the session will be interactive, and participants will learn about risk perceptions and decision-making under uncertainty.

Agenda (13:15-14:45)

  • 13:15 – Welcome and introduction to the session – Nicolas Seidler, Executive Director, Geneva Science-Policy Interface (GSPI)
  • 13:20 – Extreme biological risks: a Primer – Lalitha Sundaram, Postdoc, Centre for the Study of Existential Risks (CSER)
  • 13:40 – The behavioral science of extreme risk decision-making – Maxime Stauffer, CEO, Simon Institute for Longterm Governance (SI); Science-policy officer, GSPI
  • 14:00 – Interactive segment on risk prioritization and decision-making under uncertainty – Konrad Seifert, COO, SI
  • 14:35 – Conclusion – Nicolas Seidler


Geneva Press Club – to arrive at the venue as fast as possible, use this map, not Google.

We will provide an online viewing link to those signed up to see the presentations. We are working to make the interactive segment accessible online, too.

A brown bag lunch will be provided.

Sign up required here.