These monthly posts originated as the "Updates" section of the EA Newsletter. Organizations submit their own updates, which we edit for clarity.
Job listings that these organizations highlighted (as well as a couple of other impactful jobs) are at the top of this post. Some of the jobs have extremely pressing deadlines.
You can see previous updates on the "EA Organization Updates (monthly series)" topic page, or in our repository of past newsletters. Notice that there’s also an “org update” tag, where you can find more news and updates that are not part of this consolidated series.
The organizations are in alphabetical order, starting with R this month.
Consider also exploring jobs listed on “Job listing (open).”
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
- Director (Cambridge, apply by 16 October)
- Research Associate in Risks from Global Systems (Cambridge, apply by 16 October)
Effective Ventures Operations
- Immigration Specialist (Remote / Oxford)
- Operations Associate - Salesforce Admin (Remote / Oxford)
- Operations Associate - Intercom Contractor (Remote / Oxford)
- Senior Bookkeeper / Accountant (Remote / Oxford)
- Finance Associate (Remote / Oxford)
- Senior Researchers and Senior Research Associates (Remote / Oakland, CA)
- Content Editors (Remote / Oakland, CA)
Nuclear Acid Observatory at MIT Media Lab is hiring for a research scientist (Boston, MA)
Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) | bio is hiring for a Senior Program Officer / Senior Director, Global Biological Policy and Programs (Washington, D.C.)
- Executive Assistant, Biosecurity & Pandemic Preparedness (Remote, US working hours)
- Program Operations Assistant, Global Health & Wellbeing (Remote, US working hours)
- Grants Associate, Longtermist Grantmaking (Remote)
These are in alphabetical order, starting with R-Z and then continuing from the top.
Rethink Priorities (RP)
- Rethink Priorities is co-sponsoring the Animal & Vegan Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC from October 20 to 23. Researcher Holly Elmore will give a presentation about wild animal birth control at the Summit.
- The Survey Team is launching EA Pulse—a large, monthly survey of the US population aimed at measuring and understanding public perceptions of effective altruism and EA-aligned cause areas. The Survey Team intends to 1) track changes in responses to key questions relevant to EA and longtermism over time and 2) run ad hoc questions requested by EA organizations. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (ideally by October 20) if you would like to request either type of these questions.
The organization’s new Special Projects Program helps to start promising EA initiatives by providing fiscal sponsorship and full-service operational support—including, but not limited to hiring, finance, event planning, and communications. There are various ways to get involved: join the Special Projects team, share lessons learned if you have experience with project incubation, or apply to have your project sponsored. Please reach out by submitting an Expression of Interest form.
This month, 80,000 Hours made some changes to its career reviews:
- New career review: Should you go to law school in the US to have a high-impact career?
- Updated career review: Journalism
- New audio version: Founder of new projects tackling top problems
In podcast news, Rob Wiblin interviewed Sharon Hewitt Rawlette on why pleasure and pain are the only things that intrinsically matter on The 80,000 Hours Podcast, and Kuhan Jeyapragasan on effective altruism university groups on 80k After Hours.
ALLFED - Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters
ALLFED, LEEP, GiveWell, and various other EA orgs feature on this recent profile of Effective Altruism in the Dutch newspaper De Groene Amsterdammer:
ALLFED wants humanity to be spared the fate of the dinosaurs. And this is a more pressing issue than you think. Take, for example, volcanic eruptions: as late as 1815, the eruption of the Tambora in the then Dutch East Indies darkened large parts of the earth, resulting in crop failures and starvation in Europe. Calculations also show that after a major nuclear war between, for example, the US and Russia, the earth could cool down dramatically. In either case, soot or sulfate particles will rise so high that sunlight is blocked for a long time, after which crops fail. And because we don't yet know how to prevent volcanic eruptions – and the threat of nuclear war is not going away anytime soon – it makes a lot of sense to think about feeding the world in emergencies.
The problem is, no government in the world dares to tackle this issue. That's why ALLFED has started to map out all the methods by which humanity can adjust food production in weeks to months to avoid a famine.
Animal Charity Evaluators
ACE is excited to announce Stien van der Ploeg as its new Executive Director. Stien brings over 15 years of experience with nonprofit organizations, advocating for various causes in multiple countries. ACE is confident in Stien’s strategic vision and her knowledge of the intersecting areas of effective altruism and animal advocacy. They look forward to seeing ACE’s influence and effectiveness grow under her leadership.
Centre for Effective Altruism
Rob Gledhill has taken a role as the new head of CEA’s Groups Team. Rob was previously the Community Building Grants Program Manager, where he supports and funds city and national groups in key locations. He will continue this role alongside the Head of Groups Team role.
We’ve also recently made three new hires:
- Jake McKinnon - University Group Coordinator
- Joris Pijpers - University Groups Support Associate
- Amarins Veringa - incoming Groups Associate, supporting city and national groups (starting in mid-October)
Jake previously ran Stanford EA, and worked on community building projects in California and Massachusetts. Joris previously ran Positive Impact Society Erasmus and is co-organizing EAGxRotterdam, and Amarins is currently wrapping up her work as co-director of EA Netherlands.
Group organizers can go to this page to learn who your main CEA contact person is based on your type of group.
Conclusions from the EA Criticism and Redteaming Contest (Online Team)
The EA Criticism and Red Teaming Contest has wrapped up, awarding $120,000 in prizes to 31 (out of 341) submissions. The criticisms highlighted a number of flaws in existing work and suggested many improvements.
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER)
Martin Rees published a new book, If Science is to Save Us, arguing that science needs to be governed by international and longtermist norms.
Paul Ingram talked about the threat of nuclear war and hopes of disarmament on the Voices of War podcast.
Lara Mani discussed the threat from large volcanic eruptions on the BBC World Services Newsday programme.
Shahar Avin talked about the governance of AI on the Inside View podcast.
Alex McLaughlin published a review of Moralizing Hope by Daniel Moellendorf in the journal Ethics, Policy & Environment.
Sponsored charity elections for high schools
The Charity Elections program has reached a new milestone and opened applications for the 2022-23 school year. Giving What We Can (GWWC) is offering funding for 20+ high schools to run charity elections this year in the expanded program.
In a charity election, a high school’s students vote on which of three charities they’d like to receive up to $2,000 in sponsored funds. The program is meant to promote youth voice and civic engagement while furthering Giving What We Can’s mission of creating a culture where people are inspired to give more, and give more effectively. It starts conversations and inspires reflection and critical thinking, as seen in participants’ testimonials.
You also have several opportunities to make an impact:
- If you refer a school that successfully runs an election, we will give $100 to any charity of your choosing among GWWC’s recommendations. Just ask them to list your name and email on the second page of the application.
- You can also help us make calls to schools as a Charity Elections ambassador; please contact email@example.com if you are interested.
To learn more about applying, visit the Charity Elections website.
Effective Ventures (EV)
EV published a post about its recent rebrand, explaining its structure and relationship with EV Operations. (EV is the federation of projects which includes CEA, 80,000 Hours, and Giving What We Can; EV Operations provides the operational support for these projects.)
In honor of Back To School season, Faunalytics has produced three new resources:
- A blog that gives ideas on high-impact animal-focused research projects for graduate students.
- A brand new factsheet on how to be a more effective vegan advocate, created in partnership with the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy.
- A roundtable discussion about studying animal issues in a postsecondary context.
Faunalytics hosted a remote symposium, Fauna Connections, for animal advocates on September 8th and all sessions are available on their YouTube channel in a playlist.
The organization has also updated their research library with articles on topics including bringing animals into AI ethics and how emergency approval for COVID-19 vaccines used alternatives to animal testing and upheld efficacy.
Fish Welfare Initiative
Fish Welfare Initiative recently published two new posts about their work:
- Updates on their farmer work, in which 74 fish farms in Andhra Pradesh India are implementing higher welfare practices.
- Updates on their corporate work, in which Fipola, a large and growing online meat seller, committed to improving fish welfare. You can learn about all of FWI’s partners, corporate and otherwise, on their updated Partners Page.
FWI also continues investing heavily in improving its welfare standard. They are expecting to publish Version 2 by the end of the year.
They were also honored to be the recipient of a $250,000 grant from Open Philanthropy.
Founders Pledge has launched its Global Catastrophic Risks Fund (or “GCR Fund”), a philanthropic co-funding vehicle that will identify and fund interventions to reduce the largest known risks to humanity today. Seed funding for the Global Catastrophic Risks Fund has been provided via the FTX Future Fund Regranting Program.
FP also published a cause area report on air pollution in which researcher Tom Barnes lays out the problem and identifies several relevant “impact multipliers” – heuristics that can be used to evaluate organizations working on the problem. FP researcher Rosie Bettle published a blog post describing FP’s cautious use of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
Finally, FP researcher Vadim Albinsky published a well-received post on the EA Forum discussing his research on the Easterlin Paradox and the relationship between economic growth and subjective well-being.
GiveDirectly expanded operations to Yemen, their first site in Asia. They also appointed the former UK Aid secretary Rory Stewart as their new president. Vox’s Dylan Matthews wrote: “capped by Stewart’s hiring, [GiveDirectly’s growth] tells us a lot about how the field of global development has changed, and what the future not just of global poverty charity but of foreign aid and social policy could look like.”
Last month in this newsletter, GiveWell announced that they’re updating their “top charities” cutoff: going forward, an organization must have unfunded programs they’ve “estimated at 10 times as cost-effective as unconditional cash transfers” to be included as a top charity. As a result, they’ve now reduced their list of top charities to 4, of which GiveDirectly is not included. GiveWell’s update does not reflect a change in their view of either cash or GiveDirectly: “This does not reflect an update to our view of GiveDirectly…GiveDirectly is one of the strongest programs that we’ve found in years of research and we continue to have a very high view of their work.” (GiveWell summary) Nor does it reflect a change in their recommended giving allocation, as GiveWell has not directed marginal funding to GiveDirectly since 2015. It’s possible that GiveWell could recommend GiveDirectly again in the future – either because they increase their estimate of cash’s effectiveness (e.g., by incorporating recent research on the multiplier effect of cash) or because they expect to direct more funds and lower their cost-effectiveness threshold as a result (currently 10x, previously 6x and 8x this year and last). GiveDirectly shares more on their thoughts in this blog.
GiveWell is running the Change Our Mind Contest to encourage critiques of its existing cost-effectiveness analyses that could improve its allocations. If you haven't yet submitted an entry, the deadline is October 31. Please consider participating and helping to improve GiveWell's work! Detailed contest guidelines can be found here.
GiveWell has published pages about the following grants that it recently recommended or made:
- $13.5 million to Malaria Consortium to fill part of a $100 million funding gap for its seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) campaigns through 2025.
- $3.4 million to Bridges for Prosperity (B2P) to fund the construction of additional trailbridges as part of an RCT of B2P's program. B2P builds trailbridges in rural communities, allowing residents easier access to schools and markets, which GiveWell models as primarily benefiting household income.
GiveWell has published notes from a conversation with One Acre Fund about its seedlings program, which helps farmers grow trees that they can sell for timber.
Giving What We Can
Giving What We Can would love to talk at your workplace or community group!
Many people start thinking about how to give back towards the end of the year. If you’d like Giving What We Can to host a talk or workshop at your workplace or with your community group about effective giving over the coming months please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New content from Giving What We Can
- Should charity begin at home? – Alana Horowitz Friedman, contributing writer
- Member profile: Fernando Martin-Gullans
- Announcement: Renaming of legal entity to Effective Ventures Foundation – Giving What We Can team
- Rutger Bregman on Effective Giving: Highlights from an Interview with Effektiv Spenden – Grace Adams, Head of Marketing
- What is counterfactual thinking and why should you care about it? – Alana Horowitz Friedman, contributing writer
- You can prevent animal suffering. Here’s how. – Giving Effectively series
- Zachary Brown shares his giving story – People Who Give Effectively series
- Don’t make these 10 mistakes when trying to improve the world: Dr. Michael Noetel, High Performance Psychologist – Effective Altruism series
- Using research & strategic thinking to help animals effectively: Interview with Neil Dullaghan, Senior Researcher at Rethink Priorities – Podcast series
Global Catastrophic Risk Institute
Research Associate Andrea Owe and Executive Director Seth Baum recently published a new article with Vice Dean of University of Vienna, Mark Coeckelbergh called Nonhuman Value: A Survey of the Intrinsic Valuation of Natural and Artificial Nonhuman Entities.
Research Associate Andrea Owe gave a talk to EA Nordics about Deep Green Ethics and Catastrophic Risk in August. Her talk is now online and can be found here. Owe was also recently featured in All Tech Is Human’s Responsible Tech Guide found here.
Happier Lives Institute
The Happier Lives Institute welcomed three new team members: Dr Lily Yu (Grants Strategist), Dr Ryan Dwyer (Senior Researcher), and Rachel Strate (Operations Manager). Read more.
Barry Grimes gave a talk about HLI’s work at EAGxSingapore and Michael Plant gave two talks at EAGxBerlin (one on HLI’s work and another critiquing What We Owe The Future).
New research on the cost-effectiveness of deworming and anti-malaria bednets will be published in Oct/Nov. Meanwhile, many of HLI’s recent publications have been awarded prizes:
GiveWell’s Change Our Mind Contest (forthcoming)
- Deworming and decay: replicating GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness analysis (Joel McGuire, Samuel Dupret, and Michael Plant)
Open Philanthropy’s Cause Exploration Prizes
- WELLBY or not to WELLBY? Measuring non-health, non-pecuniary benefits using subjective wellbeing? (Joel McGuire, Samuel Dupret, and Michael Plant)
EA Criticism and Red Teaming Contest
- Wheeling and dealing: An internal bargaining approach to moral uncertainty (Michael Plant)
- A philosophical review of Open Philanthropy’s Cause Prioritisation Framework (Michael Plant)
Deworming and decay: replicating GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness analysis (Joel McGuire, Samuel Dupret, and Michael Plant)
Legal Priorities Project
LPP published a few new research pieces from the first half of 2022, including:
- A new upcoming chapter of their research agenda on “Extreme Climate Change” by Daniel Bertram (PhD Researcher, European University Institute)
- A paper on “Existential Advocacy” by Prof. John Bliss (LPP, University of Denver, Harvard University), a year-long qualitative study of the emerging legal longtermist community.
- The three winning entries of their writing competition:
- “Catastrophic Risk, Uncertainty, and Agency Analysis” by Alasdair Phillips-Robins (Judicial Law Clerk at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)
- “Catastrophic Uncertainty and Regulatory Impact Analysis” by Prof. Danel Farber (UC Berkeley, Faculty Director, Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment)
- “Catastrophic Risk Review” by Prof. Michael Livermore (University of Virginia, Director, Program in Law, Communities and the Environment)
The team plans to publish further updates to their research agenda later this year and is soliciting feedback. Feedback suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.
LPP is actively receiving expressions of interest particularly from people looking to contribute to their community-building and outreach projects, as well as people interested in operations roles.
One for the World
One for the World has successfully launched another academic year of their Chapter Program on university campuses across the United States, Canada, and the UK. This week, Chapter Leaders will celebrate Pledge Week, one of the most intense times of the year for recruiting 1% Pledgers. Some chapters will host daily in-person events to educate their peers about effective giving and the incredible work done by our Nonprofit Partners.
Following our successful in-person Chapter Leaders Meeting this August, we are proud to share our event recap video which demonstrates the power of One for the World and our growing movement of young philanthropists that are revolutionizing charitable giving to end extreme poverty.
Open Philanthropy announced the winners of its Cause Exploration Prizes, after receiving over 150 submissions. The top prize of $25,000 went to Ben Stewart for Organophosphate pesticides and other neurotoxicants; all other good-faith submissions received awards of at least $200.
Open Philanthropy is seeking bilingual people to help translate EA-related content into non-English languages.
Ought advances process-based supervision for language models. To make it easier for others to contribute to that goal, Ought released code for writing compositional language model programs and a tutorial that explains how to get started:
- The Interactive Composition Explorer (ICE) is a library for writing and debugging compositional language model programs.
- The Factored Cognition Primer is a tutorial using examples to explain how to write such programs.
Ought also presented findings from its process supervision in a lab meeting recorded here. The contents of the lab meeting should mostly be accessible to people with limited machine-learning context.