Neil is a senior staff researcher at Rethink Priorities.

He holds a PhD in Political & Social Science at the European University Institute, an MPhil in European Politics & Society from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Relations from Dublin City University.

He has volunteered for Charity Entrepreneurship & Animal Charity Evaluators. Before joining Rethink Priorities, he was a political data manager for WeVoteUSA while it participated in Fast Forward's accelerator for tech nonprofits, held numerous research assistant positions at the University of Oxford, and acted as Strategy Associate for a behavioural science think tank, The Decision Lab.

Wiki Contributions


An End to Cages in Europe?

As some examples, Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International/Europe (HSI), and Animal Protection Denmark (Dyrenes Beskyttelse) have already submitted comments to this feedback period.

For the subsequent public consultation process I would again highlight that Alice DiConcetto, of Animal Law Europe recently published a short manual on how to submit feedback to an EU Public Consultation that I think will be valuable for advocates. IMO, feedback will be more impactful if it sends a consistent message but avoids sending duplicate submissions which the EU civil servants will just batch together as such.

Also worth flagging that the Commission included in its inception impact assessment two options for Animal welfare at the time of killing considering farmed fish (page 7 of the downloadable doc).

"Option 1: In the light of new scientific evidence, add species-specific provisions for the killing of the five main species of farmed fish (Atlantic salmon, common carp, rainbow trout, European sea bass and gilthead sea bream), and review current requirements which cannot be applied to farmed fish (such as individual monitoring and certain definitions) to better ensure the welfare of those species.

Option 2: In the light of new scientific evidence, add species-specific provisions for the killing of European sea bass and gilthead sea bream and review current requirements which cannot be applied to farmed fish (such as individual monitoring and certain definitions) to better ensure the welfare of those species."

And on Animal welfare at the farm level noted (page 6) considering "New species-specific animal welfare requirements on dairy cows (and possibly on rabbits, pullets, layer breeders, broiler breeders and day-old chicks ) and with empowerments for the Commission to adopt at a later stage further, detailed rules on additional species – such as farmed fish – based on scientific evidence as it progressively becomes available." This also mirrors recent comments by Commissioner Kyriakides in which she said "we cannot solve every issue by the end of 2023 . .. it is not possible to have updated EFSA opinions for all relevant species, so we must prioritise while paving the way for future actions. This is why when revising the legislation the Commission intends to propose empowerments allowing specific welfare requirements to be introduced to certain species at a later stage . . . we intend to agree a mandate with EFSA for future reports, . . . , allowing us to lay down rules at a later stage, should co-legislators grant us the relevant empowerments".

A bunch of reasons why you might have low energy (or other vague health problems) and what to do about it

I'm no expert, and appreciate the honest epistemic status, but I quickly asked an IBS R.D. who said:

"like irritable bowel disease, which is much worse"
->It’s inflammatory bowel disease not irritable. There’s irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. There’s is no irritable bowel disease.

"there’s not that much you can do to diagnose it"
->IBS is diagnosed based off the Rome IV diagnostic criteria

Three charitable recommendations for COVID-19 in India

Did you consider advocacy, as mentioned in a recent Future Perfect piece (talking about vaccine supply generally, not specific to India):

" Arguably, donors could have a bigger impact by donating to an advocacy group than by donating to Go Give One, though this field is so new that it’s hard to know for sure.

For donors who prefer to invest in advocacy, Dodson and Glassman both recommended three groups: Global Citizen, the ONE Campaign, and the Pandemic Action Network.

“To the extent that advocacy movements help reduce the political cost of doing the right thing and create political benefits, I think it’s a good thing,” Glassman said. “And the amounts of money at stake that they could potentially influence are large, especially in the United States.” "

Why Animals Matter for Effective Altruism

Just noticed that the Animal Pain and Suffering section on the Wikipedia page on Denialism that you mention was deleted 29 November 2019 after discussion about what constitutes denialism.

Launching a new resource: 'Effective Altruism: An Introduction'

Hi, I wrote the cause area EA Survey 2019 post for Rethink Priorities so thought I should just weigh in here on this minor point.

Fwiw, I think it's more accurate to say 22% of respondents thought Global Poverty should be at least one of the top priorities, if not the only top priority, but when forced to only pick only one of five traditional cause areas to be the top priority, 32% chose Global Poverty.

The data shows 476 of the 2164 respondents (22%) who gave any top priority cause rating in that question selected Global Poverty and "this should be the top priority". However, 356 of those 476 also selected another cause area as "this should be the top priority", and 120 only selected Global Poverty for "this should be the top priority". So 5.5% thought Global Poverty should be the ONLY top priority, and 16.5% thought Global Poverty should be one, among others, of the top priorities. Also note that the subsequent question forced respondents to only chose one of five traditional cause areas as a top priority and there 32% (of 2023) chose Global Poverty.

Reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors

Thanks for this!
I see you referenced Matthews et al. (2018), which I haven't read, and wondered if you had also seen the Authoritarian Ruling Elites Database, compiled by  Matthews (2019): “a collection of biographical and professional information on the individuals who constitute the top elite of authoritarian regimes.” Each of the project’s 18 datasets focuses on a particular regime, such as the military dictatorship that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. The biographical data-points include gender, occupation, dates of birth and death, tenure among the elite, and more. (This came to me via the Data Is Plural mailing list fwiw). Apologies if you mentioned it and I missed it.

EA Forum update: New editor! (And more)

+1 that the footnotes issue is quite an inconvenience. 

EA Survey 2019 Series: Engagement Levels

GWWC membership here refers to anyone who provided a year in response to the question in the EA Survey "If you have taken the Giving What We Can pledge, please note the year:"

EA Survey 2019 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics

Glad to hear that it is a useful resource!

I have updated the summary to include links to all the posts in the series so far (a pingbacks list will also appear at the bottom of the post if one opts into the experimental features on the Forum). The entire list of articles in the EA Survey 2019 Series (plus our other publications) can also be found on our website.

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