I studied zoology and travelled the World when I was young. I am now an astrobiology researcher based in London and I have gotten involved in effective altruism over the last year. I wanted to share my journey here and explain why effective altruism resonated with me as an astrobiologist. Enjoy :)
As a conscious being amidst a vast and noisy global ecosystem, I often found myself in awe of the world we inhabit. Earth, with its diverse ecosystems and rich cultures, stands as a testament to the incredible potential and capability of life. This display of life's resilience and diversity naturally leads to pondering: could similar marvels exist elsewhere in the universe? The field of astrobiology, which searches for life in the universe, resonates deeply with this innate human curiosity and with me, so I pursued it as a career.
When I consider our place in the cosmos, I get a feeling of dread and responsibility. We seem to be a unique oasis of life in the vast expanse of space. So fragile. And the search for extraterrestrial life continues to yield silence. There doesn't seem to be any backup or assistance. This blue dot we call home is a hub of activity — a dynamic interplay of life, culture, and ideas, set against the backdrop of a seemingly indifferent universe. But we find that the universe is full of potential. There are estimated to be billions of habitable planets in just our own galaxy, and our universe is young, with many trillions of years left for life's journey to play out.
This is where Effective Altruism comes into play. EA's approach, rooted in maximizing positive impact and reducing suffering, provides a roadmap for navigating the complexities of our present and future. We stand at a critical juncture, where our actions and decisions bear not just immediate consequences but also set the trajectory for our long-term future. Questions loom large about our ability to sustain our civilization, the ethical treatment of life with which we share our planet, and the political dynamics that will shape our ventures beyond Earth's atmosphere.
I believe that by harnessing the principles of EA, we can shift the paradigm from a fleeting existence marked by suffering to a flourishing civilization that extends its reach across the galaxy. This vision begins with understanding and prioritizing what matters most in the present, relentlessly pursuing solutions, and being adaptable to the ever-changing dynamics of our world. This isn't just the longtermism arm of EA, but all of EA.
I'm here on the EA forum to contribute to this mission. By pledging 10% of my income to the Giving What We Can initiative and exploring career paths through 80,000 Hours, I feel like I'm taking tangible steps towards making a meaningful difference. I'm honoured and excited to join this community, bringing my passion and dedication to our collective efforts. As I embark on this journey, my aim is to contribute wholeheartedly to the amazing future we are building together.