EA Updates for October 2019

by DavidNash5 min read1st Nov 20191 comment


EA London UpdateCommunity


• The Research on Research Institute has launched, an international consortium of funders, academics and technologists working to champion transformative research on research

• Stefano DellaVigna and Eva Vivalt have created a new website that allows people to make predictions about social science research results

• Open Philanthropy Project looking at the feasibility of long range forecasting

• Ozzie Gooen with a new open-source prediction registry

• Gregory Lewis writing about the limitations of using data whilst problem solving and the danger of 'EA exceptionalism'

• A summary of criticisms of the important, tractable, neglected framework, that is often used to support cause areas related to EA

• A summary of what randomisation can and can't do in international development

• LSE Impact blog on how complex social problems have made the author question the use of data in driving impact

• The Center for Global Development on how access to ID can help achieve the sustainable development goals

• The World Health Organisation has pushed back by a decade the target date for Guinea worm parasite eradication to 2030

• Catherine Hollander looking at how Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer influenced the work done by GiveWell

• J-PAL with an overview of 'Teaching at the Right Level' which has improved learning opportunities for over 60 million students in India and Africa

• A post suggesting that investments in global trade may be an impactful intervention

• GiveDirectly with a blog post on why one village refused their funds twice before accepting

• The Institute of Health Metric Evaluation on how precision mapping can help reduce child mortality

• Saulius Šimčikas with a comprehensive overview of effective animal advocacy resources

• Tom Billington and Haven King-Nobles introducing their new charity Fish Welfare Initiative

• Lewis Bollard on why meat is so cheap

• Behavioural Insights Team on how sticky national diets are

• Caroline V. Olsson and Gustav Alexandrie have won the inaugural undergraduate thesis prize for global priorities research for their thesis 'An empirical analysis of income and animal farming'

• CGD looking at how cost effective the different Green Climate Fund projects have been

• Clean Air Task Force on how Nigeria has cut flaring during gas extraction by 70%,equivalent to taking 15 million cars off the road

• Ben Dixon with a post looking at effective CSR and climate change

• The Centre for Homelessness Impact on what works in tackling homelessness

• The Innovation Growth Lab have launched a database with randomised controlled trials in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth

• Nesta have created arXlive, an open source platform for live monitoring of innovation activity in arXiv pre-prints

• Ben Clifford has set up Tyve, which is a software platform that empowers employees to give tax-free through their paycheck to causes they care about

• Luke Muehlhauser with notes on 'Atomic Obsession', looking at whether the dangers of nuclear weapons have been exaggerated

• A look at drug resistant infections, which, without intervention, could kill more people than cancer by 2050

• How China is combining art and science to improve disaster risk reduction

• A law perspective on why AI research needs responsible publication norms

• Richard Ngo with a list of 30 technical AGI safety research questions that require expertise outside of AI

• Aaron Gertler with a list of EA related newsletters that might be worth subscribing to (I've added a few myself in a comment)

• The Women and Non-Binary Altruism Mentorship network has been set up to connect and support through mentorship a global network interested in effective altruism

• Simon Beard writing on the problem with trolley problems

• Helen Toner talking about building organisations, aimed at anyone who might want to found a nonprofit, found a company or lead a team

• Lynette Bye with a post on how to improve your sleep

• Ceri Price and Natalie Podd have created a trivia board game that helps people improve their use of confidence intervals

• Benjamin Todd on how useful long-term career plans are

• 80,000 Hours with anonymous answers about 'What’s good career advice you wouldn’t want to have your name on?' and 'How have you seen talented people fail in their work?'


• GiveDirectly with 10 things they got right and wrong over the last decade

• The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk with a six months update

• Happier Lives Institute with a strategy update after the Charity Entrepreneurship incubation program

• Giving What We Can has now updated the 'My Giving' dashboard to include recurring donations

• 80,000 Hours with an update to their guide to using your career to help solve the world’s most pressing problems

• Animal Charity Evaluators with an update to the way they evaluate charities

• Innovation for Poverty Action with their annual report


• Open Phil have made 22 grants recently with a total value of $32,439,000. With $19,500,000 for the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, $5,775,000 on Global Development, $4,414,000 on farm animal welfare and $2,750,00 on criminal justice reform

• The Global Innovation Fund have given $2,100,000 to GiveDirectly, focused on refugees in Uganda and $225,000 to No Means No Worldwide

• The Long Term Future Fund with their August 2019 grants with $439,000 going to 13 projects

• The Department for International Development is putting £220,000,000 into fighting neglected tropical diseases, making them the second largest donor in this area

• DIFD have also announced they will grant £600,000,000 over 5 years to provide millions of women access to family planning

• The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk have secured a five year grant from the Isaac Newton Trust allowing them to expand their research programmes


• A paper on 'The Psychology of Existential Risk' by Stefan Schubert, Lucius Caviola & Nadira S. Faber

• 'An upper bound for the background rate of human extinction' by Andrew E. Snyder-Beattie, Toby Ord & Michael B. Bonsall

• Global Preparedness Monitoring Board with it's first report on country preparedness against epidemics and pandemics

Initial findings on “what works” in evidence based policy from 75+ randomised controlled trials

• The Behavioural Insights Team with a report on how to apply behavioural insights to business policy

• An economics paper that suggests the majority of workplace wellness programs have minimal impact

• Sanjay Joshi with research into what extent study participants care about people in the far future

• Alex Hill and Jaime Sevilla with a post attempting to understand the role of moral philosophy in moral progress

• John Halstead looking at problems with the important, tractable, neglected framework and why marginal cost-effectiveness may be a better framework for prioritising causes

• Michael Plant also with a post looking at cause prioritisation frameworks prompted by the above post by John Halstead

• Hauke Hillebrandt comparing the effectiveness of climate change and global development interventions


• Why industrial heat may be one of the most neglected areas for reducing carbon emissions despite being a bigger contributor than all cars and planes combined

Are we winning the war on malaria?


• 80,000 Hours with Bruce Schneier on how insecure electronic voting could break the United States

• AI Alignment podcast with Stuart Russell

• China AI podcast with Eric Drexler and Jeff Ding

• Azeem Azhar talking with General Sir Richard Barrons, former Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, about why the definition of warfare is changing with the development of technology

• Rhys Lindmark, from MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, talking about effective altruism and blockchain ethics

• Future of Life Institute podcast looking at how to feed everyone in a global catastrophe

• Not Cool episode 11 with Jakob Zscheischler on climate-driven compound weather events

Does research translate into policy? Evidence from Brazilian municipalities

• A podcast on the three main findings after 9 years of research on government effectiveness

Lant Pritchett talking to the Harvard EA podcast about international development and migration

• Leah Garcés, president of Mercy for Animals on working with factory farmers to help animals

• BBC world service looking at a meatless future

• Joseph Gordon-Levitt talking to Liv Boeree about effective altruism, creativity and rationality

• Lewis Williams with a podcast looking at whether we should do good effectively, and a second episode on how to do that

Time and the Generations is a new book about population ethics by Partha Dasgupta of CSER, synthesising the concerns and values of demographers, philosophers, and environmental scientists

• A collection of essays on 15 philosophies, including a chapter on effective altruism by Kelsey Piper

Stuart Russell on BBC Radio 4 talking about his new book 'Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control'


• The world is now wild poliovirus type 3 free and is the second strain to be eradicated worldwide. This leaves only wild poliovirus type 1 still in circulation in Pakistan and Afghanistan

• India has halved it's poverty rate since the 1990's

• Donors at the Global Fund's Sixth Replenishment Conference pledged $14,200,000,000 for the next three years to help end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

• The EU has imposed hen welfare standards on egg imports for the first time in a trade agreement with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay

• Information is Beautiful have daily data visualisations on improving trends around the world


1 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 6:12 AM
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Thanks, as usual, for these posts.

One potentially EA-relevant book not included in your list is Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith, published just a few days ago.