EA Updates for April 2020

by DavidNash5 min read1st May 20202 comments


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EA London Updates


If you're interested in finding out about events as they are posted, you can stay up to date with the EA Online Events Facebook group, and EA Events Google calendar.

Talks -  Long-term Futures from Acute Crises
When: 25th April - 16th May
Three-week global online workshop with daily talks, including Anders Sandberg, Max Tegmark and Sam Hilton

Talk - Founders Pledge
When: Friday 1st May
Sam Carter and Johannes Ackva will give an overview of Founders Pledge and its approach to identifying the most impactful giving opportunities

Talk - Catherine Hollander and Olivia Larsen
When: Friday 1st May
As part of the women in EA seminar series, Catherine and Olivia will be talking about their work at GiveWell

Talks - Virtual Evidence Weeks
When: 7th - 28th May
Five talks on using evidence in global development, with speakers from IDInsight, DFID, Evidence Action and J-PAL

Weekly Icebreakers
When: Thursday 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th May
Weekly icebreakers for people interested in EA. There are a series of discussion prompts which will range from social and fun to more serious EA topics

Q&A with Caroline Teti
When: Friday 8th May
Q&A with Caroline Teti, Director of Recipient Advocacy at GiveDirectly and previously worked at Evidence Action as a senior programme manager

EA Virtual Boardgame Social
When: Friday 8th May
EA Cambridge is running a virtual boardgame social

EA for Christians
When: Saturday 9th May
An online conference for Christians interested in EA

Talk - Ending Factory Farming
When: Tuesday 12th May
The Humane League’s President David Coman-Hidy will discuss why farm animal protection is an important cause area and how THL is attempting to bring about institutional reforms

EAGx Berlin 2020 (virtual)
When: 12th-14th June
Europe’s annual Effective Altruism Global X (EAGx) conference



• Clearer Thinking have released an intrinsic values test to help work out what your core values are

• Giving What We Can are looking for leadership suggestions, including self nominations

• The Centre for Effective Altruism with a review of 2019 and their plans for 2020

• Michelle Hutchinson discussing what the most common questions to get as an 80,000 Hours career advisor are

• 80,000 Hours with a post clarifying what career services they will and wont provide

• Anonymous contributors on "How should the effective altruism community think about diversity?"

• Women and Non-Binary Altruism Mentorship (WANBAM) will open up a second application round for mentees in May

• EA Student Career Mentoring has been started to offer advice and support to recent graduates and students when planning careers

• Michael Aird has created a list of lists of open research questions related to effective altruism

• Founders Pledge are piloting a new programme to match entrepreneurs with potentially impactful charities

• Charity Entrepreneurship with their research agenda for 2020

• 80,000 Hours annual review for 2019

• Giving Games with their impact report for 2019

• The Happier Lives Institute with a summary of their progress so far and plans for 2020

• EA Organisation updates for March 2020

• Ishaan Guptasarma on what it's like to work at Charity Entrepreneurship


• Open Phil have made 36 grants recently with a total value of $35,921,000.

  • $11,210,000 - Biosecurity and pandemic preparedness
    • $6,000,000 - Nuclear Threat Initiative
  • $10,606,000 - Scientific research
  • $7,704,000 - Potential risks from advanced AI
  • $2,939,000 - Global development
  • $2,663,000 - Farmed animal welfare
  • $375,000 - Center for Applied Rationality
  • $350,000 - Criminal justice reform
  • $75,000 - The Roots of Progress

• The EA Animal Welfare Fund has paid out $671,000 to 16 organisations

• The EA Meta Fund has paid out $522,000 to 6 organisations

• You can use EA Funds to support organisations that work on improving government policy and healthcare systems to better prepare for the next pandemic

• Fast Grants was set up last month to make science funding decisions within 48 hours and has already committed $18,000,000 to awardees

• GiveWell have made 3 grants in response to Covid-19, with $450,000 going to projects run by Development Media International, IDinsight, and Yale professor Mushfiq Mobarak

Global Development

• Devex looking at who is funding Covid-19 responses, with more than 1,500 initiatives and $15,800,000,000,000 (15.8 trillion) worth of investment

• The UK has pledged $410,000,000 a year, for the next five years, to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

• The Life You Can Save with an overview of how their recommended charities are responding to Covid-19

• Rachel Strohm on using markets and donor support to mitigate the economic effects of coronavirus in African countries

• Martin Ravallion on policies for poorer countries responding to Covid-19

• RECOVR - a new research hub for researchers and decision-makers working to document or learn about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries

• Think Global Health with articles on how different countries are responding to Covid-19

• Twenty Global Engagement Networks have been launched by UK Research and Innovation to tackle global challenges, including disaster resilience, water management and violence reduction

• UK Collaborative for Development Research has published best practice guidance to prevent and tackle harm and abuse across the international development research sector

• Aron Mill, Sahil Shah and Max Carpendale on a potential food crisis caused by cascading risks from Covid-19 and locusts

Animal Welfare

• Lewis Bollard with a research note about COVID-19’s impact on animals

• An E-book looking at how animal consumption is affecting global health and biosecurity

• Animal Charity Evaluators have released their 2020 goals

• Daniela R. Waldhorn with a post on how Covid-19 is affecting animals used for human consumption

• Claire looking at timelines for animal product alternatives - "When can I eat meat again?"


• John Halstead has a post looking at the probabilities of extreme global warming

• There is a new effective environmentalism directory to help find people to network and collaborate with 

Improving Institutional Decision Making

• The Centre for Science and Policy is delivering a series of virtual seminars in May and June, looking at the latest research that has the potential to inform decisions taken by policy makers

• Ian David Moss with a guide on how donors and philanthropic institutions could make smarter decisions during a global health crisis 

• The Science, Policy and Pandemic podcast series is looking at what basis governments are making current decisions, how much confidence we can have in the knowledge models are producing, and how to manage the uncertainties

• Garrett Ward Richards on the intersection between evidence based policy making and effective altruism


• 80,000 Hours podcast with Greg Lewis on Covid-19 and reducing global catastrophic risks

• Oxford University starts clinical tests for a vaccine against COVID-19

• A new Ebola case has been discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after 52 days without a positive diagnosis

• Bill Gates looking at the scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19

• A profile in Nature about the leader of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Artificial Intelligence

• Miles Brundage, Shahar Avin, Jasmine Wang, Haydn Belfield, and Gretchen Krueger with a report that suggests various steps that different stakeholders can take to make it easier to verify claims made about AI systems and their associated development processes

• Brian Tse and Li Hui have created a report on AI governance in 2019, with contributions from 50 global experts

• Carina Prunkl and Jess Whittlestone with a paper looking at more nuanced ways of researching AI ethics beyond near vs long term

Existential Risks

• An article in Nature on how a small nuclear war would transform the planet

• Interview with Dr. Catherine Rhodes, the Executive Director for the Centre for the Study of Existential Risks

• The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk with a 4 month report on their activities

• The Future of Life Institute is seeking nominations for the Future of Life Award, a $50,000 prize given to an individual who, without receiving much recognition at the time, has helped make today dramatically better than it may otherwise have been

• John Halstead with a post looking at the possible lessons to learn from 2 mass extinction events during the Pangean era


• Sam Hilton with a post looking at how policy makers can respond to Covid-19 with a long term perspective

• Simon Beard interviewed on BBC Radio 4 about 'long-term cathedral thinking' and 'cathedral projects'

• Australian Member of Parliament Andrew Leigh interviews Toby Ord on longtermism

• David Althaus and Tobias Baumann with a post on reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors

• 80,000 Hours with policy and research recommendations from The Precipice

• A J Jacobs interviewing Toby Ord about The Precipice

• The Centre for Homelessness Impact with a new publication gathering the insights of government, academia and the third sector to present new evidence-based strategies to end homelessness

• A post from the Campbell Collaboration on why a World Education Organisation would be useful and could lead to more evidence based practices in global education

• Canadian Member of Parliament Nathaniel Erskine-Smith interviews Peter Singer on global poverty and animal rights

• Nuno Sempere has started a newsletter focused on forecasting

• Very Bad Wizards podcast with Peter Singer

• Michael Plant and Peter Singer with an article on Covid-19

Good News Roundup

• The Democratic Republic of Congo is on track to pass its first law on the rights of people with disabilities

• Leo Braack of the Malaria Consortium with an article on how malaria elimination is progressing in Southeast Asia

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