In the name of easy ways to contribute to society, would volunteer computing (VC) be considered an effective way for people with PCs/mobile phones to contribute to scientific advancement? E.g. the University of Berkeley’s BOINC platform, Science United, and the World Community Grid give people with an internet connection and a functioning device the ability to donate their device’s unused processing power to help out in research projects related to e.g. biomedical research, climate simulations, mathematics, physics, and computer science, simply as a background task.
I haven’t been able to find something about VC and how to best approach it from an EA standpoint, though I’m quite new to EA, so please feel free to direct to another post if it has already been discussed (and if there are any other easily accessible EA options many aren’t aware of). In the case of VC, the only possible downside could be increased electricity use, or, in extreme situations, an over-heated computer/fire hazard (though the platform/app seems to have some built-in safety precautions for the latter), but they seem rather small. I must say though, I’m not all that well-read on it.