EA Updates for February 2020

by DavidNash4 min read28th Feb 20204 comments


EA London UpdateCommunity


• 80,000 Hours with anonymous answers on "What are the biggest flaws of 80,000 Hours?"

• EA Survey 2019 Series: Donation Data

• Giving What We Can profiles Arvind Raghavan, looking at why they took the pledge and where they give

• Ishaan Guptasarma with an update on the 6 new charities incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship

• Rob Wiblin and Arden Koehler discussing demandingness,work-life balance and injustice

Ben Clifford is pitching Tyve, an employee giving app that is attempting to simplify finding high impact nonprofits and to give tax effectively

• Open Phil have made 21 grants recently with a total value of $16,630,000. With $5,100,00 for farmed animal welfare, $3,730,000 for criminal justice reform, $3,704,000 on potential risks from advanced AI, $2,246,000 to GiveWell, $900,000 to the Guardian, $700,000 for macroeconomic stabilisation policy and $250,000 on global catastrophic risks

• 80,000 Hours with more anonymous answers on "Should the effective altruism community grow faster or slower? And should it be broader,or narrower?", "What’s some underrated general life advice?" and "How honest & candid should high-profile people really be?"

Global Development

• A post looking at donations processed by GiveWell, which increased 30% in 2019

• GiveWell with reports on their incubation grants for Fortify Health and ID Insight

• The EA Global Development fund on why they are holding the current balance of $1,230,000 until GiveWell has considered a grant renewal for The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention

• Peter Singer on Econ Talk discussing the potential we have to make the world a better place and the practical challenges of having an impact

• Report on the 2019 GiveWell grants in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh

• Development Media International on their plans to scale up campaigns in Burkina Faso and Mozambique

• Sanjay Joshi on why clean cook stoves may be competitive with GiveWell-recommended charities

• The Overseas Development Institute on measuring evidence-informed decision-making processes in low- and middle-income countries

• Peter Singer on how orphanage tourism endangers children

• The Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose joins with UCL Division of Biosciences to tackle the arsenic crisis in Bangladesh

• How funding gaps could lead to locust devastation in East Africa

• An article looking at how lab-grown glands could help address snake bites, which kill between 81,000 and 138,000 people every year

• A meta study on employment interventions that looks at how entrepreneurship promotion gets people working in low- and middle-income countries

• JPAL with research into consulting and business training programs that improved productivity

• A GiveWell intervention report on community-based intervention packages to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality

• A GiveWell intervention report on early childhood psychosocial stimulation

• Vox: The surprising strategy behind the Gates Foundation’s success

Animal Welfare

• Saulius Šimčikas‎ with a post listing estimates for numbers of vertebrates that are farmed or kept in captivity

• Lewis Bollard with a post on the impact of documentaries on animal welfare

• Talks from a workshop examining the ethical and legal implications of recent advancements in our ability to assess the well-being of animals

• A $161,000,000 investment in Memphis Meats more than doubled the total amount invested in all time on cultivated meat

• Good Food Institute with a 2019 year in review

• Jacy Reese with a paper on institutional change and the limitations of consumer activism

• A paper by Lucius Caviola and Valerio Capraro exploring whether priming emotion versus deliberation affects speciesism


• Our World in Data looking at the safest sources of energy

• 9 tipping points that could be triggered by climate change

• The International Energy Agency on how global energy-related CO2 emissions flattened in 2019 at around 33 gigatonnes (Gt), following two years of increases

• Founders Pledge with a report on the environmental impact of different lifestyle choices

• CSER with a paper on whether to divest from environmentally damaging businesses or enter into a dialogue with them

• Vox: How to reduce your food’s carbon footprint, in 2 charts


• The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has announced the initiation of three programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus, nCoV-2019

• An article looking at how the Coronavirus outbreak could change how scientists communicate

• 80,000 Hours podcast with Dr Cassidy Nelson on the twelve best ways to stop the next pandemic(and limit COVID-19)

• The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide up to $100 million for the Novel Coronavirus response

• Vox: What happens next in the coronavirus outbreak? We mapped 8 scenarios

Artificial Intelligence

• Iason Gabriel with a paper looking at the philosophical questions that arise in the context of AI alignment

• Jeff Ding on the 80,000 Hours podcast talking about the myths and realities about China and it's AI ambitions

• Carina Prunkl and Jess Whittlestone with a paper looking at concerns in AI ethics about the near/long-term distinction gaining too much prominence in how research questions and priorities are framed

• FHI with a report called The Windfall Clause: Distributing the Benefits of AI for the Common Good

• Haydn Belfield with a paper called Activism by the AI Community: Analysing Recent Achievements and Future Prospects

• CSET with a report on how the United States must collaborate with its allies to shape the trajectory of AI and promote liberal democratic values

• AI Impacts has released a collection of posts showing historical progress in a variety of technologies

• FLI with Nicolas Moës and Jared Brown discussing the long-term importance of current AI policy

Long Term Future

• Toby Ord in the Times Higher Education discussing his new book on existential risk and the future of humanity

• Coverage of the introduction of the Future Generations draft bill

• The Forethought Foundation with its new cohort of Global Priorities Fellows

• The Survival and Flourishing Fund is open for applications until 7th March

Improving Institutional Decision Making

• The Wellcome Trust have surveyed 4000 researchers to find out what they think about research culture

• Presentations are now available from 2019 Metascience symposium

• UK Research and Innovation on a new programme to help protect services and economy from satellite failure

• UKRI on their strategy to generate economic growth and positive societal impact from supporting the research and innovation community

• The Centre for Open Science have an Open Scholarship Knowledge Base, an initiative to curate and share knowledge about the what, why, and how of open scholarship

• A survey of health research applicants in New Zealand on the acceptability of using a lottery to allocate research funding

• A paper in NBER exploring ways to broaden how scientific productivity is measured and rewarded


• What Works Wellbeing on why nuance is needed when evaluating wellbeing measures

• George Bridgewater on why Charity Entrepreneurship is researching mental health and happiness

Other Causes

• Anthropocene magazine article on bringing effective altruism to conservation

• Research from the Alan Turing Institute on predicting conflicts a year before they happen

• A post looking at whether the world is making progress against cancer

• Apply for an Emergent Ventures grant here, including support for progress studies

• A post looking into the myths and realities about filter bubbles

• Effective altruism as an ethical framework for identifying the greatest potential benefits from research in plant pathology

• Garret Jones on Conversations with Tyler looking at the benefits of slightly less (or more) democracy

EA Global Talk Transcripts

• Hayden Wilkinson: Doing Good in an Infinite, Chaotic World

• Daniel Gastfriend: Manufacturing medical countermeasures against catastrophic bio-threats

• Phil Trammell: Philanthropy Timing and the Hinge of History

• Lewis Bollard: Lessons Learned in Farm Animal Welfare

• Eva Vivalt: Forecasting Research Results

• Spencer Greenberg: Effective Behaviour Change

• Brendan Eappen: Lessons from an EA-Aligned Charity Startup

• Jade Leung: How Can We See the Impact of AI Strategy Research?

• Neil Buddy Shah: What Animal Advocates Can Learn from Medicine and Global Development

• Aaron Hamlin: How to Replace Our Broken Voting System

• Brian Tse: Sino-Western Cooperation in AI Safety

• Katriel Friedman: The Benefits of Starting Your Own Charity

• Bruce Friedrich: Creating a New Agricultural Revolution

EA in Media and Blogs

• The Economist with a video highlighting effective altruism and the Future of Humanity Institute

• Elaine Perlman with a video on why she donated a kidney to a stranger, inspired by Peter Singer & effective altruism

• Seán O’Neill Mcpartlin in the Irish Times introducing effective altruism

• William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist, and Toby Ord with a book giving an overview of moral uncertainty

Good News Roundup

• France has pledged to outlaw the practice of culling unwanted male chicks by the end of 2021

• 90% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in their personal life, a new high in Gallup's four-decade trend

• Globally, unintentional drowning mortality decreased by 44.5% between 1990 and 2017, from 530,000 to 295,000


4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 6:30 AM
New Comment

Thank you for doing this!

I think I read the forum too much and it's honestly information overload :( but these roundups help me get a better sense of what's going on in the community!

Great; thank you!

On climate. I enjoyed Ryan Orbuch's, Stripe’s climate product manager, write-up on negative emissions technologies.

It's great that you include updates from non-EA sources, it's great to see updates from outside the EA bubble.

Love reading these David - thanks.

Was particularly interested to read the Anthropocene article - cool to read conservationists taking EA approach seriously and seeing it as a way to unlock more funding.