I took a deep breath seeing the dreaded combination of SBF and EA on the front page of the BBC and...
I breathed a sigh of relief seeing that the article appears pretty fair leaning perhaps slightly towards the negative with many positive things to say as well. There's also little if any poorly informed negativity. Yes there is the common narrative comes through of EA originally being about helping people now (framed positively), with a later shift towards long termism framed negatively, but that's probably to be expected and is understandable.
A huge thanks to Brian Berkey, for providing much of the content for the article. He framed things so well as to be heavily quoted. Great to see some openly EA people high up in academia, who can be accessed when need be for articles like this!
Some Positive Comments
"Effective altruism is a philosophy that aims to do as much good as possible," explains Brian Berkey, associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, US. "It's how to help ensure people's time and resources are spent well in making the world a better place. Through empirical evidence, individuals can make more informed decisions over which charitable causes to support."
"An early focus of EA, says Berkey, was the movement's collaboration with the Anti Malaria Foundation to donate money towards mosquito bed nets: a cheap solution to one of Sub-Saharan Africa's biggest killers. The program generated maximum gains for minimal costs. "Many resources put to charitable use are often done so inefficiently," he says. "Directing funds towards an unheralded charity that does 10,000-times as much good as a popular organisation that receives millions of dollars every year means achieving massive differences through the same resources."
"Despite criticism, effective altruism has had real results in some cases. By March 2022, Giving What We Can had raised more than $2.5bn in pledges, with $8.6m donated to the UK-based Against Malaria Foundation – enough to save approximately 2,000 lives, most of which are children under the age of five. Funds amounting to $3.7m have gone to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative and Deworm the World, enough to remove parasitic worms from 3.7m children."
"When thinking of how to make the world a better place, many people may choose to work for a charity or in political activism," says Joshua Hobbs, lecturer and consultant in applied ethics at the University of Leeds, UK. "However, many effective altruists believe that rather than slog away in a soup kitchen, you can create a greater impact by working in say, investment banking, earn higher wages and donate greater sums to charity." - Although I would disagree that slogging away in a soup kitchen and working in investment banking are mutually exclusive ;)