I'm the executive director of The Center for Election Science (www.electionscience.org). We study and advance better voting methods. I also started Male Contraceptive Initiative but am no longer there. I first learned about EA in 2016 and went to my first EA event in 2017. My formal education is in the social sciences and law. You can find my writing and resources at www.aaronhamlin.com. Also at: https://twitter.com/aaronfhamlin, https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronhamlin

Wiki Contributions


Gifted $1 million. What to do? (Not hypothetical)

Congrats, Ben! In terms of targets for any donation, I'd be happy to talk with you about The Center for Election Science, where I'm the executive director.

In terms of strategies relating to tax efficiency and giving, I'd be happy to talk with you and your financial advisor. I think a lot about this topic and have written about it quite a bit. I actually just finished my sixth essay on giving and taxes. Aside from working in the nonprofit sector for going on ten years, I'm also a licensed attorney. Feel free to email me and we can set up a call.

What EA projects could grow to become megaprojects, eventually spending $100m per year?

The Center for Election Science could easily make efficient use of greater than $50M a year with infrastructure and ballot initiatives. We've already laid out a plan on how we would spend it. We could also potentially build towards some hyper-aggressive $100M years by including lobbying in the remaining states that don't allow ballot initiatives. In any case, we are woefully underfunded relative to our goals and could at the very least surpass the $50M threshold in a couple of years with sufficient funding. If even greater funding were available, we could build in lobbying following more state-level wins.

For clarity, our lack of funding has already cost us approval voting campaign opportunities and is a big issue for us.

Research Topics in Nonprofit Operations

One idea may be predictors of successful fundraising (ex// sector, revenue source, revenue distribution)

AMA: Toby Ord @ EA Global: Reconnect

Do you see existential risks being mitigated without (1) strong governmental policy on those issue areas and (2) the ability for those policies to be sustained over a long time scale?

Follow-ups if yes:
1. How urgent is having a system where those governmental policies can reliably take hold?
2. Which country or countries should be prioritized?

Follow-up if no:
1. What would you recommend we focus on alongside or instead of governmental policy changes?

Hiring Director of Applied Data & Research - CES

If an applicant has a strong stats and data analysis background, I would still encourage them to apply. It can sometimes be hard to check off every single box. Either way, please share with your network as well. Thanks!

Why I find longtermism hard, and what keeps me motivated

I know it's a struggle to balance polishing and publishing. I find it challenging to balance myself. But I'd love to read your post when you have it up all the way.  I think a lot of us are curious about the interaction between longtermism, immediacy, and philanthropic investment.

Why I find longtermism hard, and what keeps me motivated

I'm also a heavy sympathizer towards longtermism. But I don't know that the dilemma needs to be framed as an either/or. Many of the endeavors I've personally gotten behind—bringing new reversible male contraceptives to market and fundamentally improving elections—impact the short-to-mid-term future as well as the long-term future. 

That's because these interventions have the ability to have a positive impact now, plus their staying power impacts the future. That contrasts with interventions that deal with consumables or models where you have to keep adding the same large inputs to sustain future good.

Of course, these interventions aren't the only ones. We can think of others such as with charities like SENS. That fits the category because any technology developed doesn't go away and creates benefit into the far future. Good Food Institute has many of these features as well because it focuses on technology that can permanently affect the market yet can also affect people and animals now.

Of course, one may argue that these types of interventions may be somewhat erroneous given they could happen anyway. Even if that's the case, speeding along their timeline helps many people (or other sentient beings) who may not have been helped at all. Or absent the intervention, they wouldn't be helped to the same extent given how far along the intervention was in time.

Perhaps this is a way to have your cake and eat it too.  You could focus on interventions that affect the near-term and the future rather than just the future. This way, you're also much more likely to see the interventions blossom or at the very least see their buds begin to form during your lifetime. And getting to see at least part of the excitement firsthand is a nice bonus.

The Center for Election Science Appeal for 2020

We may have a campaign in 2021 (our initial play is riskier here), but we can't say yet for sure. We have other cities lined up for 2022. What I can say is all the cities we have in mind are over 750,000 people and are all very well known. We've laid out a strategic plan involving polling and legal analysis to factor in where to prioritize given our available funding. We're working for a surprise win in 2021 to excite our funders.

The Center for Election Science Appeal for 2020

Thanks! You're right. There's so much to be said for making an approach as simple as possible.

The Center for Election Science Appeal for 2020

Thanks! We look forward to continuing our impact. I'm always impressed with our team and what we're able to do with our resources.

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