Updates from the Open Philanthropy Blog

post by Crosspost · 2017-12-22T01:05:32.368Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW · Legacy · 1 comments

The Open Philanthropy Project has published two blog posts in the last days:

Our ‘Second Chance’ Program for NIH Transformative Research Applicants

Staff Members' Personal Donations for Giving Season 2017

Crossposted by the forum admins.


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comment by RomeoStevens · 2017-12-24T05:37:45.440Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Wrt the first post. This is the largest update I have had on openphil's chances of successfully funding something transformative. I had previously experienced several large updates in the negative direction. Based on those, my prediction was that the list of grants in this new program would be highly disappointing. Instead, all of them actually seem to be in the correct genre. Things that the outside view say sometimes lead to major breakthroughs. This is in contrast to almost all funding to date which I thought fell within the category of interventions or speed ups in development that might improve things but definitely not lead to breakthroughs. My current model says this sort of thing is taste limited, in the same sense that Paul Graham attributes much of the success of yc to Jessica Livingston's taste in founders. In this case I am claiming that the given grants 'taste right' because they are at least aiming at new methods, which is the genre of improvement most heavily overrepresented in top cited research over the last century. I would have a second significant update in the positive direction if this is part of a bigger strategy of exploring a broader range of search strategies, like piggybacking the NIH was.

Edit: double whammy. Added benefit that this sort of thing is noteworthy, raising awareness for these sorts of strategies: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-08795-0

also made the front page of HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16016945