EA Updates for February 2020


• 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