Skip to content

Clarissa Rios Rojas | CSER

"...As citizens, we need to observe the decisions that our political leaders are taking and evaluate them step by step so in the future we can have an informed vote..."
April 13, 2020
Kirsten Gronlund


Clarissa Rios Rojas | CSER

Research Associate

What advice do you have for people coping with this crisis?

To stay informed by following the social media of the World Health Organization and their own governments. In addition, they can also join different initiatives such as Skype a Scientist, the bot to answer questions about COVID19 from the young scientists in the USA, or follow blogs in your own language that belong to trustful sources (for example the bulletin made by the scientists at Ekpa’palek in Latin America).

What do we need to do to be prepared for future pandemics?

As citizens, we need to observe the decisions that our political leaders are taking and evaluate them step by step so in the future we can have an informed vote. We need leaders that work not only on mitigating but on preventing future pandemics.
As scientists, we need to publish our results it in open sources so collaboration and sharing of information can happen faster and more efficiently.
As advisors of policymakers, we need to learn how to communicate uncertainty and interact with experts from other disciplines.
As politicians, we need to listen to scientists and to experts in economics, law and even citizens if we want to make better decisions.

What can we learn from COVID-19 about other catastrophic risks like nuclear war, AI, etc?

That we definitely need more research in the science of global risks.
Those governments should put in place cautionary monitoring of different types of risks and develop a system that can manage surprises in a resilient, flexible, and immediate way.
Risk management should be always part of the process of monitoring these risks and should include close supervising and protocols for strict containment of potential hazard.
Governments or international entities should create a plan of action for what to do in case of catastrophic risks, this can be done by leveraging on the research performed at institutions such as CSER, FHI, CFI, FHI, etc.

What can we learn from COVID-19 about how to make humanity more resilient in general?

Behavioural studies are very important and especially behavioural economics since it seems that the economic factor is crucial when taking government decision in relation to pandemics.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I am a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and I am happy to answer any further questions and I am interested in building bridges of future collaborations. I am particularly interested in how understanding global risks can make our governments take better decisions.

This content was first published at on April 13, 2020.

About the Future of Life Institute

The Future of Life Institute (FLI) is a global non-profit with a team of 20+ full-time staff operating across the US and Europe. FLI has been working to steer the development of transformative technologies towards benefitting life and away from extreme large-scale risks since its founding in 2014. Find out more about our mission or explore our work.

Our content

Related content

Other posts about 

If you enjoyed this content, you also might also be interested in:

Yi Zeng | Chinese Academy of Sciences/BAAI

"...we are tightly interconnected not only with each other, but also with the environment, and we are only a portion of the ecosystem. Continuous efforts should be made to make sure our connections to each other and the environment are in positive and sustainable ways..."
April 29, 2020

Anthony Aguirre | UC Santa Cruz

"...I suggest we try very, very hard to think of some way to provide a reward system for tragedies averted, and not just for bravely persevering through them (as important and noble as that is) when they occur..."
April 20, 2020

Emilia Javorsky | FLI

"...Prevention as the only path to a good outcome is at the core of each of the catastrophic risks, and it's my hope that a silver lining of COVID-19 will be renewed interest, efforts and resources in risk mitigation and safety engineering..."
April 20, 2020

Huw Price | University of Cambridge/CSER

"...There's something structural here that we need to fix, or find ways to work around..."
April 20, 2020

Sign up for the Future of Life Institute newsletter

Join 40,000+ others receiving periodic updates on our work and cause areas.
cloudmagnifiercrossarrow-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram