December 2018 Newsletter

I'd like to start this month by highlighting amazing acts of altruism that happened on Giving Tuesday earlier this week. Over 200 people, with coordination help from Avi Norowitz and William Kiely, were able to donate over $500,000 within 30 seconds via a Facebook matching campaign to a variety of causes and charities, eventually getting to over $700,000 donated.

When thinking about giving it isn't just about the amount that is given, it's also about giving in a way that makes a difference. Here are 6 tips for choosing an effective charity as well as the decision making process that Sam wrote up for choosing where to donate last year and Julia on how to give cheerfully rather than as an obligation.

If you know an organisation that would be interested in having a giving game, which educates people about the importance of good giving, then get in touch at Kathryn from The Life You Can Save is in the UK until mid January and happy to facilitate these philanthropic education games.

Keep on reading for more events and links to the latest research, jobs and updates.


Social: Effective Animal Advocacy
When: Saturday 1st December
Come along to our next social to chat with others who are passionate about reducing animal suffering

Launch Demonstration: Open Cages
When: Sunday 2nd December
Open Cages are officially starting their new stand with chickens campaign with a week of demonstrations

Talk: Childhood Malnutrition
When: Tuesday 4th December
A Gresham lecture looking at under-nutrition, with it's far-reaching health consequences. As well as improving access to nutritious food is it possible to restore the cognitive loss resulting from malnutrition, using new artificial intelligence and cognitive models?

Discussion: Wellbeing as a Cause Area
 Tuesday 4th December
We will be discussing potential ways of getting effective wellbeing as a cause area. If you work in wellbeing research or have experience setting up new organisations find out more at

Discussion: Effective Animal Advocacy Careers
When: Wednesday 5th December
The focus will be on integrating the ideas of effective altruism into your career planning decisions - using some of the conclusions from research and rational thinking to maximise your positive impact through your career

Launch: How is the Humanitarian System Performing?
When: Wednesday 5th December
The launch of the 4th edition of The State of the Humanitarian System and a discussion that will look at what has shaped the humanitarian landscape since 2015 and the challenges to be faced going forward 

Social: Doing Good with Technology
When: Thursday 6th December
An event for people in software and tech to meet each other and think about ways we could do more good with our skills, interests and networks 

Social: Newcomers
When: Sunday 9th December
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: Christmas Social
When: Tuesday 18th December
No structure - just come along and chat with others who are trying to do good, more details in the social group

Solstice: Winter 2018
 Friday 21st December
For this night let us recognise what ties us together as a community: a shared struggle to care for ourselves and others and an aspiration to shape a better world. More details in the main group

Discussion: Large Donation Decision Making
If you're planning on donating more than £10,000 this year and want to talk to others who are making similar decisions contact us at to find out more

Discussion: Creating AI Strategy Career Funnels
 Friday 9th January
An event to discuss how we can create AI strategy and policy career funnels in London, if this is an area you work in contact us at

Discussion: International Development and Effective Altruism
Discussing the intersection of effective altruism with development with people who work or study in this area, join the group to find out more details


What Londoners are up to . . . 
• Caroline writing in the financial times on ensuring an investment has impact

• Sanjay has a post looking at how Cool Earth may have been over-rated as an effective climate change charity

• James has created a 'stumble upon' for effective altruism related content called the EA procrastinator

• Jan has written an overview of their new paper that outlines a research direction for solving the agent alignment problem

• After California passed the world's most progressive farmed animal welfare law last month, Danielle organised a meetup to discuss potentially neglected institutional interventions for animals

• Adam has written up their decision process on where to donate after winning the $100,000 donor lottery

• Natalie is speaking at the Adam Smith Forum on 'Why are we ignoring the worst moral problems of our time?'. Also on the speakers list is Professor David Nutt talking about drug policy and Mosa Meat's Jonathan Breemhaar on lab grown meat

• A post by Harald on how to make the most of UK tax deductions that can result in increased donations


• Wave are hiring a software engineer (remote/Senegal), full stack developer (remote) and UK Growth (no past experience required)

• Founders Pledge are looking for an events coordinator

• Vox are hiring a staff writer for their Future Perfect vertical (Washington, DC/remote)

• FHI have eight research scholarships for students whose research aims to answer crucial questions for improving the long-term prospects of humanity. Candidates will be considered from a range of disciplines, including computer science, economics, international relations, mathematics, philosophy, and public policy  

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

• Veddis are looking for a head of research (India)

• FHI are looking for a website and communications person. Closes 10th December.

• GFI are hiring a managing director for Europe

• Our World in Data are looking for researchers

• The Humane League are hiring an operations assistant (9th December), corporate relations coordinator (9th December) and volunteer coordinator (2nd December)

• DeepMind are looking for 10+ positions, research scientistresearch 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 writerclinical safety officerclinical advisordevops engineerUX researcheriOS engineer

• OpenAI are looking for people to work with them who are studying AI or wanting to transition from another field

• The Behavioural Insights Team are hiring a chief scientist (closing 10th December) and a head of events (closing 3rd December)

• The ODI have a two year fellowship for post grad economists to work as a civil servant in a developing country. Closes 2nd December

• GPI have £5,000 fellowships for PhD and master’s students, applications closing on the 27th of December. They also have an early career conference programme with positions open for economists until 15th of December

• Element AI are hiring a team lead for public policy research looking into emerging areas of artificial intelligence & data policy

• 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


• A post looking into whether global inequality has gone up, down or stayed roughly the same over the last 25 years

• Reflections from a GiveDirectly donor on their experience of meeting recipients in person

• First analysis of ‘pre-registered’ studies shows a sharp rise in null findings

• GiveWell with their latest charity recommendations and on why they no longer recommend No Lean Season

• EAF have launched the EAF Fund, mainly focused on supporting research and policy efforts to prevent the worst technological risks

• Charity Entrepreneurship have a post evaluating & comparing the suffering of various animals

• CEA is fundraising for 2019

• Sentience Institute with an end of year summary

• A new donation swap system to match donors together so they can donate to each other's favourite charity, and both receive tax benefits 

• ACE with their 2018 animal charity recommendations 

• A post looking at burnout and potential ways to treat it

• Which disease is likely to be eradicated next?

• An update from Global Priorities Institute on what they've been up to and how to get involved

• Analysis of the 2018 EA survey on how people originally get involved in effective altruism

• 2018 progress report from ALLFED

• 80,000 Hours podcast with Brian Christian on using computer science algorithms to solve real life problems

• 9 common misconceptions people have about 'talent gaps' in priority areas

• A podcast on fast paths into machine learning careers

• How child mortality went from common place to a rarer tragedy, with the highest rates today being comparable to Europe in the 1950's

• There is a new forum for technical AI Alignment research and discussion

• Future Perfect has been producing almost too much content to consume, with articles looking at funding to prevent pandemics10 ways the world is most likely to endcarbon removal research, how to help people in the long term futurecooling the planet with volcanic eruptions and a new journal of controversial ideas, why people seem to care less about mass suffering as well as much more

• Julia and Jeff talking to Vox on how they tried to choose careers that maximised the good they can do

• J-PAL have a new resource to help people turn evidence into policy

• The Global Catastrophic Risk Institute has listed the key areas it is researching

• Moorfields Eye Hospital and DeepMind have started working together to help doctors recommend the correct course of treatments for over 50 eye diseases

• The Life You Can Save with research on how to promote good giving

• Over 1 million former Florida prisoners win the right to vote after campaigning by an Open Phil grantee

• A paper on the evidence for what might work in preventing partner violence

• IPA with results from a mass media experiment to reduce violence against women in rural Uganda

• A post looking at how to measure governmental aid effectiveness and which countries rank highest

• A new podcast series interviewing people involved in averting potential end of the world risks

• BERI is looking for testimonials on why they should or shouldn't give grants to Leverage, Paradigm and IPR

• A new study showing regional preferences on the ethics of autonomous vehicles. They defined “western,” “eastern,” and “southern” clusters of countries and found respondents in southern countries had a relatively stronger tendency to favour sparing young people rather than the elderly

• An info-graphic looking at which groups gave over $400 billion in America in 2017 and which areas they donated to

• Faunalytics looking at who donates to animal causes and how

• Emergent Ventures with a list of recent grant recipients as well as the philosophy behind handing out $4 million in small grants with minimal evaluation

• A paper looking at how forecasting tournaments can reduce political polarisation and increase epistemic humility

• A post looking at the intersection of effective altruism and minimalism

• The Centre for Global Development with a post on how well the world is prepared for pandemics

• A post looking at how nature conservationism can learn from effective altruism

• A post from Our World in Data summarising the view "The world is much better; The world is awful; The world can be much better" All three statements are true.

• Effective altruism in media & blogs - an overview of EA in Devex with snippets from multiple organisations, Marc Du Bois (former executive director of MSF-UK) recounting an EA meetup in Cambridge, Neerav looking back at the last 5 years of their givingRob Mather of AMF being interviewed by Neolib podcast and an overview of EA from VP of advice and investing at Betterment 

• In a good news roundup, proposition 12 passed in California, establishing minimum space requirements for egg-laying chickens, calves raised for veal, and pregnant pigs, US congress has doubled the budget for overseas international investments to $60 billion, the FDA announced how they would regulate clean meat, making the path to market clearer and Fargo became the first city to adopt approval voting, called the best voting system by the Center for Election Science, an Open Phil grantee