Crowd-Forecasting the Covid-19 Pandemic

Some time ago I started working on a crowd-forecasting app for my PhD (code). The app allows experts and non-experts to make predictions for the future trajectory of Covid-19. We use this app to submit case and death forecasts for Germany and Poland to the German and Polish Forecast Hub (as part of a pre-registered research project on short-term forecasting). So far this has proved to be surprisingly successful. According to our own evaluation, a crowd of around … more

Giving Tuesday – Maximize the Effect of Your Donations

two Euro banknotes

Every year on the 1st of December, facebook matches millions of Dollars in donations. If you, for example, donate $20, facebook will put another $20 on top (at least for the first donations).

The event starts on Tuesday, December 1st at 8.00am EST (that is 14.00 in Berlin and 13.00 in London). The entire thing will probably only last seconds, so it is important to donate exactly at 8.00am EST.

This is an excellent opportunity to double the amount of … more

Who Should Get a Vaccine and When?

Announcements of early coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs have inspired new hope this may be the beginning of the end of Covid-19. Developing a vaccine is one thing. How best to distribute a vaccine is a whole different question – with some difficult ethical questions.

The large scale distribution of a vaccine is an an incredible logistic task. Sure, things have become easier since the 19th century. Back then people transported a cowpox ‘vaccine’ over the Atlantic by creating a chain of … more

Replication Markets for Covid-19 Preprints

white microscope on top of black table

ReplicationMarkets is launching another project – this time users are asked to predict and bet on the success of preprint papers on Covid-19. The process is simple: there is survey period (ending soon) and a market period (going until November 18th). During the survey period you are asked to make predictions like “How likely is this paper to get published in a journal with” or “How many citations will this paper get within a year” (4 items in total). During … more

How the Virus Spreads

Visualization of the coronavirus causing COVID-19

El PaĆ­s published an article with very nice visualizations of how the coronavirus spreads via aerosols. It’s a light and informative read. Main takeaways:

  • The main risk is spending prolonged time periods with an infected person in an unventilated rooms
  • (Ordinary) masks only help little in this scenario once the air is saturated with aerosols. Good ventilation and shortening the time spend together is most important.
  • Masks help during shorter encounters and if distance cannot be maintained.
  • Speaking (and