EA Updates for May 2020

post by DavidNash · 2020-05-29T12:05:50.784Z · score: 32 (14 votes) · EA · GW · 4 comments


  Virtual Events
  Latest Research and Updates
    Global Development
    Animal Welfare
    Existential & Catastrophic Risks
    Improving Institutional Decision Making
    Longterm Future
    Artificial Intelligence
    Other Links
    Good News Roundup

Virtual Events

If you're interested in finding out about events as they are posted, you can stay up to date with the EA Online Events Facebook group, and EA Events Google calendar [EA · GW].

WANBAM Seminar - Alayna Kennedy
When: Friday 29th May
A Q&A with Alayna, who is a public sector consultant and AI ethics researcher at IBM

Animal Charity Evaluators Community Chat
When: Friday 31st May
Join executive director Leah Edgerton and research manager Jamie Spurgeon to discuss ACE’s plans for this year

International EA Icebreakers
When: Thursday 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th of June
Every Thursday in June there is a Europe/Africa icebreaker to meet others interested in EA, more details in the online events Facebook group/google calendar

Giving Lunches - One For The World
When: Friday 5th June
Answering your questions about philanthropy and explaining how they approach giving through the OFTW pledge. They will donate $10 to a charity of your choosing after the call

Seminar - Population, Separability, & Discounting
When: Friday 5th June
Global Priorities Institute starting their weekly seminars with John Broome looking at discounting and population ethics

Webinar Series - Evaluating Social Programs
When: 8th - 12th  June
Organised by J-PAL, these webinars will provide an introduction to why and how randomised evaluations can be used to rigorously measure social impact

Ask the Good Food Institute - Career Conversations Call
When: Tuesday 9th June
If you're interested in working in alternative protein you can sign up for the quarterly career conversations call with GFI's Amy Huang and Annie Osborn

Seminar - The Good News About Just Saving
When: Friday 12th June
Andreas Mogensen looking at intergenerational justice and how we should save on behalf of future generations

EAGxVirtual 2020
When: 12th - 14th June
A programme of events spanning all time zones, bringing together the global EA community for a weekend of connection and reflection

Seminar - The Moral Proxy Problem
When: Friday 19th June
Johanna Thoma with a seminar on how much should artificial agents be programmed to be risk averse

Talk - Legal Strategies for Effective Animal Advocacy
When: Wednesday 24th June
Advocates for Animals and Jamie Harris with talks on the intersection of EA, animal advocacy and UKlaw

Latest Research and Updates


• Open Philanthropy Project on their progress in 2019 and plans for 2020. They recommended over $200,000,000 worth of grants in 2019 and have set up a team to look for giving opportunities stronger than GiveWell's top charities

• CEA have released the first section of a new EA Handbook [EA · GW] and are looking for feedback

• EA Student Career Mentoring are offering personalised peer mentoring for recent graduates and students 

• 80,000 Hours have updated the FAQ for their job board to highlight what they do and don't cover

• The 2019 EA Survey looking at how people get involved with EA [EA · GW]

• EA related organisation updates for April [EA · GW]

• Results from the 2019 EA ethnic diversity community survey [EA · GW]

• Ben Todd with a post analysing the priorities for people who have different levels of engagement with EA [EA · GW]


• Open Phil have made 25 grants recently with a total value of $22,081,000

• Templeton World Charity Foundation has made a $1,600,000 grant to CSER for them to develop an interdisciplinary research effort to analyse emerging global risks

• The Long-Term Future Fund and EA Meta Fund applications [EA · GW] are open until June 12th

• The EA Animal Welfare Fund [EA · GW] are requesting proposals, closing June 15th

Global Development

• GiveWell with an overview of their work in 2019

• The MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy from MIT and JPAL are starting their summer course on June 2nd

• The U.N. reports that Covid-19 will cause an estimated 34,300,000 additional people to fall below the extreme poverty line in 2020

• An article in Nature looking at how machine learning could be used to identify those who need cash transfers the most

• A post suggesting that global health needs a new approach to evidence grading and the drawbacks of randomised controlled trials

• Ghana Priorities with a cost-benefit analysis of interventions to reduce child marriage

• Three lectures in June from The Centre for Evaluation, including one looking at the impact of impact evaluation

• Think Global Health looking at who funds global pandemic preparedness, finding that less than 1 percent of all development assistance for health goes toward pandemic preparedness

Animal Welfare

• The International Farm Animal Welfare Fellowship, for people who have an interest in improving the welfare of farm animals in China, will take place early 2021 in London and has applications open until June 31st 

• Lewis Bollard on the US meat supply crisis

• Cameron Meyer Shorb with an introductory talk on wild animal welfare

• Jason Schukraft with research on "Comparisons of capacity for welfare and moral status across species [EA · GW]"

Existential & Catastrophic Risks

• Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative is expanding their offerings to provide free services to a wider set of university-affiliated groups and projects, and are accepting applications from groups and individuals 

• J-PAL with a post on how they are looking to measure the impact of climate change policies and programs

• The Stanford Existential Risks Initiative has been set up to help build a community of global catastrophic risk researchers

• A report looking at how prepared the United Nations is for global catastrophic risks

• A critical review of 'The Precipice' [EA · GW]

• A review of The Precipice in the Los Angeles Review of Books

• Martin Rees, Angus Mercer and Sam Hilton with an article in the Telegraph looking at why the UK was unprepared for a pandemic and what could be done to prepare for existential risks

Improving Institutional Decision Making

• Wellcome Leap is a new organisation founded to accelerate innovations that benefit global health. With initial funding of $300,000,000 they will target complex human health challenges with the goal of achieving breakthrough solutions

• The Global Challenges Foundation with a report examining existing and missing knowledge about multi-stakeholder global governance

• The Centre for Science and Policy with 10 tips for early-career researchers interested in the science-policy interface

• Kelsey Piper looking at how Covid-19 is changing the way science is done and an overview of how one of those projects, Fast Grants, is working

• An article in Nature comparing meta-analyses and preregistered multiple-laboratory replication projects

• José Luis Ricón is creating a reading list on scientific stagnation

Longterm Future

• Angus Mercer and Sophie Dannreuther have set up Alpenglow to help connect policy makers to academics who work on long term challenges

• The Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research has a thesis prize for undergraduates, closes August 31st

• The Legal Priorities Project have a 10 week summer research fellowship for graduate law students, PhD candidates, and postdocs, closing 12th June. More info in the EA & Law Facebook group

Artificial Intelligence

• 80,000 Hours podcast with Danny Hernandez on forecasting and the drivers of AI progress

• The Center for Security and Emerging Technology have started Foretell, a new crowd-sourced forecasting initiative, hoping to create a community of tech policy forecasters

• A post looking at AI governance career paths for Europeans [EA · GW]

• The Turing Institute has a new podcast about data science, AI and machine learning research

• OpenAI with an analysis of algorithmic efficiency over time

• Stuart Russell on BBC Radio 4 discussing the risks from AI


• 80,000 Hours podcast with epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch on whether we’re winning or losing against Covid-19

• 80,000 Hours podcast with Tara Kirk Sell on Covid-19 misinformation

• Catherine Olsson and Ian David Moss with a framework for prioritising Covid-19 interventions [EA · GW] and specific giving opportunities

• Founders Pledge with a report on how to think about giving during Covid-19

• James Snowden from GiveWell was on NPR's Planet Money discussing whether Covid-19 has changed donation recommendations

• Dylan Matthews with an overview on donating and volunteering to help during Covid-19

• Simon Panrucker with a post on why they created a musical puppet video to promote effective giving

• Yew-Kwang Ng with a paper looking at how should policies in pursuit of a better future take into account indirect effects

• Carol Chen with some thoughts on how they decided to give this year and why they waited to be confident and guilt free before donating

• Stripe have documented the process behind deciding their first negative emissions purchases

• Patrick Stadler has a post on the lessons learnt about management at Charity Entrepreneurship

• The Happiness Research Institute has a new report suggesting wellbeing adjusted life years as a better metric for measuring progress

• Andrew Leeke is planning to launch a fundraiser later this year to sell art and donate 100% of the proceeds to EA-aligned charities. If you’re an artist and interested in supporting this then you cal let him know in the Artist & Designer EA Facebook group or reply to this email

• Jamie Woodhouse has launched sentientism,  a new website with resources for people interested in reason and compassion for all sentient beings

Good News Roundup

• Sudan’s new government has outlawed the practice of female genital mutilation

• Somalia has launched a new social safety net programme to help support poor families


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by saulius · 2020-05-29T14:14:36.858Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for this David. A minor mistake: Animal Charity Evaluators Community Chat is on May 31st, not 29th.

comment by EdoArad (edoarad) · 2020-06-09T18:04:49.381Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Regarding OPP grants, it seems like there is an error in the given numbers. Some of the grants seem to be for last year (especially in criminal justice reform). These are the total amounts for 2020 up to today for in case anyone is interested: (didn't include some "others")

15,820,000Biosecurity and Pandemic Preparedness
2,755,000Criminal Justice Reform
8,557,632Farm Animal Welfare
49,390,670Global Health & Development
9,348,700Meta EA
12,479,774Potential Risks from Advanced Artificial Intelligence
12,114,026Scientific Research
comment by DavidNash · 2020-06-09T21:02:15.746Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

OPP sometimes add grants that were made months ago to their public database, so rather than just highlight the ones added in the last month, I highlight everything added since I last sent out the update.

comment by EdoArad (edoarad) · 2020-06-10T06:27:00.599Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Makes sense 👍