EA Updates for October 2019


• The Re­search on Re­search In­sti­tute has launched, an in­ter­na­tional con­sor­tium of fun­ders, aca­demics and tech­nol­o­gists work­ing to cham­pion trans­for­ma­tive re­search on research

• Ste­fano Del­laVigna and Eva Vi­valt have cre­ated a new web­site that al­lows peo­ple to make pre­dic­tions about so­cial sci­ence re­search results

• Open Philan­thropy Pro­ject look­ing at the fea­si­bil­ity of long range forecasting

• Ozzie Gooen with a new open-source pre­dic­tion registry

• Gre­gory Lewis writ­ing about the limi­ta­tions of us­ing data whilst prob­lem solv­ing and the dan­ger of ‘EA ex­cep­tion­al­ism’

• A sum­mary of crit­i­cisms of the im­por­tant, tractable, ne­glected frame­work, that is of­ten used to sup­port cause ar­eas re­lated to EA

• A sum­mary of what ran­domi­sa­tion can and can’t do in in­ter­na­tional development

• LSE Im­pact blog on how com­plex so­cial prob­lems have made the au­thor ques­tion the use of data in driv­ing impact

• The Cen­ter for Global Devel­op­ment on how ac­cess to ID can help achieve the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals

• The World Health Or­gani­sa­tion has pushed back by a decade the tar­get date for Guinea worm par­a­site erad­i­ca­tion to 2030

• Cather­ine Hol­lan­der look­ing at how Ab­hijit Ban­er­jee, Es­ther Du­flo and Michael Kre­mer in­fluenced the work done by GiveWell

• J-PAL with an overview of ‘Teach­ing at the Right Level’ which has im­proved learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for over 60 mil­lion stu­dents in In­dia and Africa

• A post sug­gest­ing that in­vest­ments in global trade may be an im­pact­ful intervention

• GiveDirectly with a blog post on why one village re­fused their funds twice be­fore accepting

• The In­sti­tute of Health Met­ric Eval­u­a­tion on how pre­ci­sion map­ping can help re­duce child mortality

• Saulius Šimčikas with a com­pre­hen­sive overview of effec­tive an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy re­sources

• Tom Billing­ton and Haven King-Nobles in­tro­duc­ing their new char­ity Fish Welfare Ini­ti­a­tive

• Lewis Bol­lard on why meat is so cheap

• Be­havi­oural In­sights Team on how sticky na­tional diets are

• Caroline V. Ols­son and Gus­tav Alexan­drie have won the inau­gu­ral un­der­grad­u­ate the­sis prize for global pri­ori­ties re­search for their the­sis ‘An em­piri­cal anal­y­sis of in­come and an­i­mal farm­ing’

• CGD look­ing at how cost effec­tive the differ­ent Green Cli­mate Fund pro­jects have been

• Clean Air Task Force on how Nige­ria has cut flar­ing dur­ing gas ex­trac­tion by 70%,equiv­a­lent to tak­ing 15 mil­lion cars off the road

• Ben Dixon with a post look­ing at effec­tive CSR and cli­mate change

• The Cen­tre for Home­less­ness Im­pact on what works in tack­ling homelessness

• The In­no­va­tion Growth Lab have launched a database with ran­domised con­trol­led tri­als in the field of in­no­va­tion, en­trepreneur­ship and growth

• Nesta have cre­ated arXlive, an open source plat­form for live mon­i­tor­ing of in­no­va­tion ac­tivity in arXiv pre-prints

• Ben Clifford has set up Tyve, which is a soft­ware plat­form that em­pow­ers em­ploy­ees to give tax-free through their pay­check to causes they care about

• Luke Muehlhauser with notes on ‘Atomic Ob­ses­sion’, look­ing at whether the dan­gers of nu­clear weapons have been exaggerated

• A look at drug re­sis­tant in­fec­tions, which, with­out in­ter­ven­tion, could kill more peo­ple than can­cer by 2050

• How China is com­bin­ing art and sci­ence to im­prove dis­aster risk reduction

• A law per­spec­tive on why AI re­search needs re­spon­si­ble pub­li­ca­tion norms

• Richard Ngo with a list of 30 tech­ni­cal AGI safety re­search ques­tions that re­quire ex­per­tise out­side of AI

• Aaron Gertler with a list of EA re­lated newslet­ters that might be worth sub­scribing to (I’ve added a few my­self in a com­ment)

• The Women and Non-Bi­nary Altru­ism Men­tor­ship net­work has been set up to con­nect and sup­port through men­tor­ship a global net­work in­ter­ested in effec­tive altruism

• Si­mon Beard writ­ing on the prob­lem with trol­ley problems

• He­len Toner talk­ing about build­ing or­gani­sa­tions, aimed at any­one who might want to found a non­profit, found a com­pany or lead a team

• Lynette Bye with a post on how to im­prove your sleep

• Ceri Price and Natalie Podd have cre­ated a trivia board game that helps peo­ple im­prove their use of con­fi­dence in­ter­vals

• Ben­jamin Todd on how use­ful long-term ca­reer plans are

• 80,000 Hours with anony­mous an­swers about ‘What’s good ca­reer ad­vice you wouldn’t want to have your name on?’ and ‘How have you seen tal­ented peo­ple fail in their work?


• GiveDirectly with 10 things they got right and wrong over the last decade

• The Cen­tre for the Study of Ex­is­ten­tial Risk with a six months update

• Hap­pier Lives In­sti­tute with a strat­egy up­date af­ter the Char­ity En­trepreneur­ship in­cu­ba­tion program

• Giv­ing What We Can has now up­dated the ‘My Giv­ing’ dash­board to in­clude re­cur­ring donations

• 80,000 Hours with an up­date to their guide to us­ing your ca­reer to help solve the world’s most press­ing problems

• An­i­mal Char­ity Eval­u­a­tors with an up­date to the way they eval­u­ate charities

• In­no­va­tion for Poverty Ac­tion with their an­nual report


• Open Phil have made 22 grants re­cently with a to­tal value of $32,439,000. With $19,500,000 for the Johns Hop­kins Cen­ter for Health Se­cu­rity, $5,775,000 on Global Devel­op­ment, $4,414,000 on farm an­i­mal welfare and $2,750,00 on crim­i­nal jus­tice reform

• The Global In­no­va­tion Fund have given $2,100,000 to GiveDirectly, fo­cused on re­fugees in Uganda and $225,000 to No Means No Worldwide

• The Long Term Fu­ture Fund with their Au­gust 2019 grants with $439,000 go­ing to 13 pro­jects

• The Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment is putting £220,000,000 into fight­ing ne­glected trop­i­cal dis­eases, mak­ing them the sec­ond largest donor in this area

• DIFD have also an­nounced they will grant £600,000,000 over 5 years to provide mil­lions of women ac­cess to fam­ily planning

• The Cen­tre for the Study of Ex­is­ten­tial Risk have se­cured a five year grant from the Isaac New­ton Trust al­low­ing them to ex­pand their re­search programmes


• A pa­per on ‘The Psy­chol­ogy of Ex­is­ten­tial Risk’ by Ste­fan Schu­bert, Lu­cius Cavi­ola & Nadira S. Faber

• ‘An up­per bound for the back­ground rate of hu­man ex­tinc­tion’ by An­drew E. Sny­der-Beat­tie, Toby Ord & Michael B. Bonsall

• Global Pre­pared­ness Mon­i­tor­ing Board with it’s first re­port on coun­try pre­pared­ness against epi­demics and pandemics

Ini­tial find­ings on “what works” in ev­i­dence based policy from 75+ ran­domised con­trol­led trials

• The Be­havi­oural In­sights Team with a re­port on how to ap­ply be­havi­oural in­sights to busi­ness policy

• An eco­nomics pa­per that sug­gests the ma­jor­ity of work­place well­ness pro­grams have min­i­mal impact

• San­jay Joshi with re­search into what ex­tent study par­ti­ci­pants care about peo­ple in the far fu­ture

• Alex Hill and Jaime Sevilla with a post at­tempt­ing to un­der­stand the role of moral philos­o­phy in moral progress

• John Halstead look­ing at prob­lems with the im­por­tant, tractable, ne­glected frame­work and why marginal cost-effec­tive­ness may be a bet­ter frame­work for pri­ori­tis­ing causes

• Michael Plant also with a post look­ing at cause pri­ori­ti­sa­tion frame­works prompted by the above post by John Halstead

• Hauke Hille­brandt com­par­ing the effec­tive­ness of cli­mate change and global de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ven­tions


• Why in­dus­trial heat may be one of the most ne­glected ar­eas for re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions de­spite be­ing a big­ger con­trib­u­tor than all cars and planes combined

Are we win­ning the war on malaria?


• 80,000 Hours with Bruce Sch­neier on how in­se­cure elec­tronic vot­ing could break the United States

• AI Align­ment pod­cast with Stu­art Russell

• China AI pod­cast with Eric Drexler and Jeff Ding

• Azeem Azhar talk­ing with Gen­eral Sir Richard Bar­rons, former Com­man­der of the UK’s Joint Forces Com­mand, about why the defi­ni­tion of war­fare is chang­ing with the de­vel­op­ment of technology

• Rhys Lind­mark, from MIT Me­dia Lab’s Digi­tal Cur­rency Ini­ti­a­tive, talk­ing about effec­tive al­tru­ism and blockchain ethics

• Fu­ture of Life In­sti­tute pod­cast look­ing at how to feed ev­ery­one in a global catastrophe

• Not Cool epi­sode 11 with Jakob Zscheischler on cli­mate-driven com­pound weather events

Does re­search trans­late into policy? Ev­i­dence from Brazilian municipalities

• A pod­cast on the three main find­ings af­ter 9 years of re­search on gov­ern­ment effectiveness

Lant Pritch­ett talk­ing to the Har­vard EA pod­cast about in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment and migration

• Leah Gar­cés, pres­i­dent of Mercy for An­i­mals on work­ing with fac­tory farm­ers to help animals

• BBC world ser­vice look­ing at a meatless future

• Joseph Gor­don-Le­vitt talk­ing to Liv Bo­eree about effec­tive al­tru­ism, cre­ativity and rationality

• Lewis Willi­ams with a pod­cast look­ing at whether we should do good effec­tively, and a sec­ond epi­sode on how to do that

Time and the Gen­er­a­tions is a new book about pop­u­la­tion ethics by Partha Das­gupta of CSER, syn­the­sis­ing the con­cerns and val­ues of de­mog­ra­phers, philoso­phers, and en­vi­ron­men­tal scientists

• A col­lec­tion of es­says on 15 philoso­phies, in­clud­ing a chap­ter on effec­tive al­tru­ism by Kel­sey Piper

Stu­art Rus­sell on BBC Ra­dio 4 talk­ing about his new book ‘Hu­man Com­pat­i­ble: AI and the Prob­lem of Con­trol


• The world is now wild po­liovirus type 3 free and is the sec­ond strain to be erad­i­cated wor­ld­wide. This leaves only wild po­liovirus type 1 still in cir­cu­la­tion in Pak­istan and Afghanistan

• In­dia has halved it’s poverty rate since the 1990′s

• Donors at the Global Fund’s Sixth Re­plen­ish­ment Con­fer­ence pledged $14,200,000,000 for the next three years to help end the epi­demics of AIDS, tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and malaria

• The EU has im­posed hen welfare stan­dards on egg im­ports for the first time in a trade agree­ment with Brazil, Ar­gentina, Paraguay and Uruguay

• In­for­ma­tion is Beau­tiful have daily data vi­su­al­i­sa­tions on im­prov­ing trends around the world