Summary: academia has a lot of problems and it could work much better. However, these problems are not as catastrophic as an outside perspective would suggest. My (contrarian, I guess) intuition is that scientific progress in biology is not slowing down. Specific parts of academia that seem to be problematic: rigid, punishing for deviation, career progression; peer review; need to constantly fundraise for professors. Parts that seem to be less of a problem than I initially thought: short-termism; lack of funding for young scientists.
For me, a research organization that can set a global research agenda and direct the research, foster collaborations and give funding for the type of research that is underfunded in academia will be very helpful.
I see two different goals. One is coordination of researchers. The other is to have a safety net that allows to reduce the academic incentives to publish and to be more of a specialist.
Thanks for the summary. I have two takeaways:
1. EA is (in part) claiming that there are several ongoing moral catastrophes caused by inaction against global poverty, animal suffering, x-risk,… (some of them are definitely caused by action, but that does not matter as much on consequentialist grounds). Unknown ongoing moral catastrophes are cause-X.
2. The possibility of working to increase our capability to handle undiscovered ongoing moral catastrophe in the future as a major goal. The idea I saw here was to reserve resources, which is a very interesting argument to invest in economic growth.
From the onset I was expecting that in the last section you would ask for help from EAs with experience in design or advertising or something on that route. I guess that you have capable people on that front. Figured it is interesting to note that, regarding career paths in design.
And thank you for your amazing work :)
What is known about how these ideas were recieved?
For anyone interested, the Horizon Europe Survey took me about 40 minutes to complete but could have been faster. It seems like a place to raise important EA-aligned topics.
Not sure how impactful this is, but I assume that there won’t be too many replies. Anyway it was a chance for me to understand the Horizon Europe program better and my attitude toward many relevant topics.
The “Updates” page is actually at https://ought.org/blog (but is displayed as https://ought.org/updates ).
So that took 18 minutes… Spent a lot of time on making sure I’m not making important mistakes and to make it as readable as I could. Would it be valuable if it was even less readable and more likely to contain mistakes?
Hypersonic missiles are An example of a possible game changing weapon.
Laura Deming: I’m very interested in the tradeoff and relation between investing more in basic science (with the goal of major theoretical breakthroughs) and developing technology and products (which can have immediate impact but perhaps not as important in the long term).
1. What is the role of the Academia in progress on aging, as opposed to private research groups? In general, how much resources do they have and what are they incentivized to?
2. What are the current bottlenecks in longevity research and tech?
3. How do you view the market and general public view of longevity in the near future?
Thanks Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter for curating this :)
Seems almost identical to a recent post.
Actually, it is from Robin Hanson, encountered recently when reading this interesting post from someone who recreated GPT2 and considered publishing the result :)