October 2018 Newsletter

Two big bits of news this month. First, the Will MacAskill TED talk on the most important moral problems of our time was released and has already been viewed over 800,000 times. It is probably one of the better introductions to the ideas of effective altruism.

Secondly, EA Grants applications are now open. If you have a project that you think is worth funding, you can fill out this short application. They have quite a broad mandate to fund a wide variety of projects so it might be worth investigating to see if you have an idea they could help out with. Applications close on October 14.


Brainstorm: New Meta EA Organisations
 Wednesday 3rd October
5-10 people are getting together to think about what new organisations could be started to help the EA community. Email hello@ealondon.com to find out more

Talk: Artificial Meat
When: Monday 8th October
An LSE philosophy event looking at the science, ethics, and meaning of clean meat

Talk: Epidemics, Pandemics and How To Control Them
When: Wednesday 10th October
A Gresham lecture considering epidemics and how to tackle them

Discussion: Global Priorities Research
When: Sunday 14th October
A discussion about what and if we can do anything about global priorities research as individuals and as a community

Q&A: Joey Savoie: Becoming a charity entrepreneur
 Wednesday 17th October
If you think you may want to found or co-found a charity in global development or animal welfare within the next few years contact us at hello@ealondon.com to find out more

Social: Bring a Book, Take a Book
When: Tuesday 23rd October
Bring along a book that you feel has particularly shaped the way you see the world and could potentially benefit some else

Social: Monthly Social
 Thursday 25th October
No theme/structure - just come along and chat with others who are trying to do good, more details in the social group

Conference: EA Global
When: Friday 26th - Sunday 28th October
The goal of EA Global is to increase attendees’ knowledge, skills and networks to enable them to do the most good possible

Gathering: Celebration of Shared Motivation
When: Monday 29th October
EA London would like to welcome you to a co-created evening of mediation, readings, sharing and singing

Social: Newcomers
When: Saturday 3rd November
If you're new to the ideas of effective altruism or haven't been to any events before, this is a good way to start learning more

Social: Finance & Effective Altruism
 Sunday 16th December
If you work in finance and want to meet others in the same field that are also interested in effective altruism then send us an email at hello@ealondon.com


What Londoners are up to . . . 

• Vishal at Deepmind has written an introduction to technical AI safety as a starting post for a new blog by their team

• Manoj has posted about obligatory altruism and how this might lead to losing motivation 

• The EA Hotel appeared in a few places last month, including the Timesthe Economist and SSC

• Phil has a blog post about how they discovered effective altruism, their first impressions and how it might inform their tech entrepreneurship

• Ben is looking for other people who work at Ernst & Young and want to join a discussion group, see their FB post here, or contact us at hello@ealondon.com

Latest Jobs

• ACE are looking for an executive director

• GPI are looking for a Head of Research Operations

• Rethink Priorities are looking to hire senior and junior researchers (remote)

• Centre for Global Development are hiring for a senior policy analyst and senior research associate, both in global education. Closes 23rd October

• DeepMind are looking for 10+ positions, including science writerresearch scientistresearch engineerrobotics engineersoftware engineer (security)people and culture partnerlearning partnerdata solutionsprogram manager and operations analyst

• There are also roles in DeepMind Health - looking at improving healthcare with new technologies - technical writerinformation governance managerclinical safety officerclinical advisordevops engineerUX researchersupport manageriOS engineer

• Deepmind also have a 2019 PhD internship program, closing on 29th October

• Open Phil are seeking to fully support a small group of the most promising PhD students in AI and ML with up to $50,000 a year. Closes October 26th 

• GPI have four DPhil scholarships at Oxford, two in economics and two in philosophy

• CSER are looking for an academic programme manager and a research project administrator. Closes 14th October

• GFI have research grants of up to $250,000 for organisations/individuals in any sector who want to research critical science and technology barriers facing the plant-based and clean meat industries

• UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose has announced two PhD studentships, including a focus on the political economy of AI

• Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial are hiring a senior web app developer, closes 7th October

• 80,000 Hours job board with filters by location, problem area and role type. You can also sign up to their career coaching waitlist here

• If you want to meet up and discuss career options in person, you can apply via this form

• There is also the EA London members directory with people in different careers who may be able to help advise

Latest Research and Updates

• 80,000 hours have released an updated list of what they think are the top 10 career paths for impact

• Giving What We Can is still growing at a surprisingly good pace 

• John Halstead has written up their concerns about research at ACE. You can see the response from ACE here

• The first set of results from the EA survey have been released, looking at demographics

• USAID has started testing programs to see how they compare with just handing out cash. But there is also some evidence that suggests cash transfers may not be as impactful as first thought

• Give Directly have launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they also have a report on their pilot project to support refugees with cash transfers

• Effective thesis have started thesis topic coaching, to help people find a topic that helps them and the world

• 80,000 Hours looking at how to think about comparative advantage when choosing a career path

• Amanda Askell podcast talking about moral empathy, social justice activists and their critics

• Daniel Ellsberg podcast on how close we have been to nuclear war, and how we can reduce the chances of it happening

• Zach has posted about what they learnt from a year studying how to get policy makers to use evidence

• Emergent ventures is looking to jumpstart ideas that advance well-being. They are providing funding, mentorship and networks, learn more here

• Kelsey has written their first two articles for Vox.com as an effective altruism specialist, the first on problems with Jeff Bezos’s $2 billion gift to charity and a second on factory farming in America

• Will MacAskill appeared on the Very Bad Wizards podcast, discussing moral uncertainty 

• Joey has written up results from a survey of animal advocacy researchers/leaders on how to have impact in that area

• Founders Pledge with a two page summary on giving recommendations for climate change

• An essay on the potential for collaboration between effective altruism and Christianity

• DFID and 3ie have a two day conference on the 7th and 8th of November looking at the connection between policy and evidence

• Sentient Media are a non profit journalism organisation part funded by the CEA animal welfare fund, producing factual content to increase public awareness of animal welfare issues

• Faunalytics with a post on how machine learning could remove the need for animal testing

• Facebook have released case studies looking at how different groups approached their Giving Tuesday donations last year. Including how effective altruism groups raised $379,000 for 33 different non profits

• Social Progress have created a global index of social progress to complement measurement by GDP

• New research into giving suggests that when most people are presented with evidence of impact, they still choose the cause they are most passionate about (except for people in positions of responsibility)

• A quiz to see how well you can tell which psychological papers will replicate

• Open Phil with a case study on how philanthropy may have played a role in the campaign for marriage equality in the US

• CGD on 12 things that are generally agreed upon in international development

• Our World in Data has posts on how well the world achieved the Millennium Development Goals, as well as a visualisation of global population that may help to think about prioritisation

• In a good news round up, Jai has written about the eradication of Smallpox, India has decriminalised same-sex relationships and a doctor in Bangladesh has invented a device that has reduced the number of children who die from pneumonia by three-quarters as well as reducing treatment costs by 90%