Milena Canzler🔸

Project manager @ EA Germany (EAD)
256 karmaJoined Working (0-5 years)



  • Born and raised in west Germany (NRW)
  • studied Bioscience in MĂĽnster (focus on neuroscience, botany and genetics)
  • went to Bonn for an internship at the UN and decided international diplomatic work isn't for me
  • spent 6 months as teaching assistant for a botany course at the University in MĂĽnster
  • moved to Utrecht (NL) for my masters (Neuroscience, Ecology, Behaviour and Science Communication)
  • lived in Australia for 2 years for fun (hit me up for chats about van life, traveling on a budget and working at a winery)
  • landed in Freiburg i.Br. in Germany in 2018 and loving it so far
  • worked in the medical tech field for two years before starting to work for EAD in 2023
  • cause areas I personally regard important & interesting: global health & development, mental health, reducing extreme suffering, inclusion & equity, peacekeeping & improving democratic governance, improving institutional decision making, biorisks, EA community building
  • interests/hobbies: nature, bouldering, cooking & eating, mountain biking, hiking, reading, yoga, meditation, self reflection, birds, psychology, art, history, ... 

How others can help me

I am keen to learn more about:

  •  project management
  • coaching
  • community health
  • diversity & inclusion
  • moral philosophy

How I can help others

  • medical tech field in Germany (though I'm no expert by far)
  • biology / animal behavior (it's been a while though)
  • communication, introspection & reflection


I still don't understand why the University of Oxford was not cooperative with the institute, and why later it decided to freeze it completely. What was that about?

Maybe some of it comes down to differences in the broader environment. The UK has larger (visible) proportion of People of Colour compared to, I guess, Sweden and in my case, Germany. So while that doesnt mean that all people in the UK are anti-racist or so, having more interactions with a diverse range of people might make it more likely that you'll learn a thing about not offending. Plus, it might not be that interesting for someone to ask the "Where do you come from?"-question if they've heard the same answer a hundred times: "From Bristol". 

I think it's good idea not to move fast and break more things with this stuff. I've made that experience, and will likely make that experience a few times more. But trying small, collaborative experiments sounds good!

Hehe, it certainly is ascetic! 
I actually eat smoked tofu the same way, no need to fry it, it's super tasty that way :)

Thanks for publishing this take, it was interesting to read!
What do you think are the main differences from the EA community to your work environment in Bristol? Can't be the level of education, EA rates pretty high on that. 
And do you have any ideas what single groups could do to tackle this issue? So not necessarily "the community" at large, but a group that wants to change the way they act?

Super interesting, and it seems like a good alternative to food in a bottle for sure. Unfortunately I don't think I could live on this, because I derive so much joy from cooking and eating :D 

For anyone else considering this diet, but wants more variety/tastiness easily, I have some suggestions: 

  • add frozen berries to the porridge, they have amazing nutritional value 
  • use smoked tofu instead of plain, it adds so much taste 
  • rotate the green veggies in winter: kale and brussel sprouts are in season, and more nutritionally valuable than out-of-season broccoli

Thanks for asking, Jeff, I see why that might be confusing. 
I was thinking of a statement such as: 
"I want to first pay my respect to the people who have been harmed by X's actions. I want to ask readers to remember that these people might have contributed greatly to our community too, and that several people were harmed by one person." 

Edit: I wrote the following without consulting with my team, in private manner only. This does not represent the position or views of EA Germany, nor is it intended as an official statement.

Thanks to the EV boards for deciding to publish this. 

As someone who's directly supported several people right after, and in the months after other sexual misconduct situations, I want to support @Vaipan's sentiment. The comments defending Owen Cotton-Barratt's character are clearly well-intentioned and not meant to harm those women who remain silent and anonymous. Although they are not meant that way, the comments might hurt those women and discourage others in similar positions to come forward. Reactions like these are part of the reason why victims of abuse and assault remain silent, they are perceived as reminders that the perpetrator matters more than the victim(s). Depending on he severity of the harm caused, they might cause retraumatization by giving the impression that everyone is supporting the person in power and not caring about the people harmed.

I don't think there's an easy fix for that: Owen Cotton-Barratt is not anonymous, and a prominent figure (at least in the UK community). As such, people will want to give their personal testimony of what threat he might pose or not. The women who reported him remain anonymous - no one will come to defend their character or great deeds for the community, since no one knows who they are. [To make this clear: they should remain anonymous for as long as they wish.]
This pattern also happens in a context of similar reactions that people grow up with (e.g. media coverage of sexual assault cases). So while the comments in this case might not want to defend Owen's actions, they are still easily perceived as hitting the same note. 

 [I previously suggested some ways to comment here, but deleted them after further discussion with others. I just wish we wouldn't forget the victims so often.]

Yes, in this specific context it's a crux for me. If someone hosted a new person of the community at their house in a foreign country, and then made sexual advances at them, I'd not want that person to host newcomers/foreigners again. 
Edit: I'm writing in personal capacity here, this is not a statement by EA Germany. 

If you combine someone frequently expressing sexual/romantic interest in you when there's a power differential, that is a problem. It might mean, especially when the person who's doing that is your boss/mentor/someone more senior than you, that you don't feel like you can (clearly) refuse. When this is a situation involving a junior woman and a senior man, social behavior patterns of women being afraid of telling someone "no" often make this worse.

Even if both people are interested in each other, the way they relate to each other in an organization should ideally be changed to reduce the power differential. This is a standard procedure in some countries, e.g. Israel.

Thanks for the thoughtful text, Patrick. I agree with your sentiment of being impressed, but not inspired by people who live a life that I feel unable to achieve, and needing other, more relatable "heroes" to look up to. 
I especially like your conclusion: communication about altruistic action is hard, and we need a broad spectrum of examples to showcase the way that people engage with EA.

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