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The Lightning Round Tournament

Cross-posted on Metaculus: Pandemics.

Metaculus goes head-to-head with infectious disease experts in the COVID-19 Expert Survey

We're excited to inform you that Metaculus will be participating in COVID-19 Expert Surveys, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Your skills will be compared to the forecasting ability of infectious disease experts!

Each week we will be launching up to 8 questions in which the community will have 30 hours to lock in their predictions.

Researchers will concurrently distribute the same questions to some of the worlds leading infectious disease experts.

The resulting Metaculus predictions (your predictions!) and expert forecasts will be gathered into a weekly report that is sent to the CDC.

Previous surveys issued by our UMass collaborators can be found here. These surveys have appeared on FiveThirtyEight and The Economist.

The Lightning Round Tournament

To bring additional attention to the questions, we're hosting the Lightning Round Tournament.

The questions that will be posted for a brief period will require your lighting responses. We are therefore launching the tournament for the relevant questions to encourage you to be both quick and accurate.

So, in addition to the reputation benefits and the opportunity to inform the CDC, we will be awarding prizes to the tournaments top predictors. The top 15 forecasters for each 3 week period will be awarded Metaculus merchandise. The following prizes will be awarded to the users with the highest number of points when all the questions from that period resolve:

  • Metaculus hoodies will be awarded to the top 15 forecasters after the first 3 rounds (hoodies will likely look like this)

  • Metaculus-themed water bottles will be awarded to the top 15 forecasters for the 4th to 6th rounds

  • ... & potentially more, equally enticing rewards to come!

Other equally enticing offerings will be available for future rounds!

For an apples-to-apples comparison to expert forecasts, the community will only have 30 hours to view and lock in their predictions.

Each week, content for the question will become available on Monday at 10AM EST (4PM CEST) and will close on Tuesday at 4PM EST (22:00 CEST).

Below is a list of the questions that will be part of the tournament. If you don't want to miss out, click on each question and set a reminder now!

The number of weeks for which the tournament runs will be determined by the needs of our UMass collaborators and the end date of the tournament will be when the final question resolves.


Terms and conditions

  • Sponsors reserve the right to modify the terms of the contest, such as the contest end-date.
  • Sponsors reserve the right to cancel or modify this Contest in the event that an insufficient number of entries are received.
  • This Contest shall be construed in accordance with U.S. law. All Federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Winners are required to pay all applicable taxes on the prize and Metaculus assumes no liability for such taxes.
  • Void where prohibited by law. Metaculus reserves the right to refuse to award any Prize if doing so violates any applicable laws.
  • All decisions of the judges are final and the selection of Winners is at the sole and absolute discretion of Metaculus.