February 2019 Newsletter

Now that new years resolutions are successfully broken, or annoyingly have become habits, it may be a good time to take a step back and take stock of the last year and think about aspirations, goals and plans for 2019.

Effective altruism can include thinking about how we might improve ourselves, not just our donations and career impact. Sometimes that means accepting some of the emotional challenges of altruism as well as trying to achieve personal goals.

Here are a few resources that might help to organise your thoughts: 

  • Clearer Thinking's Lifetime Aspirations (helping you create a road map for achieving your most important goals)

  • Alex Vermeer's 8,760 Hours (how to get the most out of next year and reviewing last year)

  • 80,000 Hours Annual Career Review

  • If you want to meet up in person for a 1-1 discussion about careers, donations, volunteering or goals for the year, you can sign up here


Doing Good with Technology
When: Thursday 7th February
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

EA Educators
When: Sunday 10th February
Chat about education and EA. Students for High-Impact Charity will also be there, and would love to discuss bringing effective altruism to education institutions

Intro to Effective Altruism
When: Wednesday 13th February
This workshop will introduce the fundamental concepts of effective altruism, and will be a great opportunity to ask lots of questions. You'll get a taste of charity evaluation, and £10 per attendee will go to the charity that the group thinks is the most effective

Ground Zero Earth Art Exhibition & Panel Discussion  (Cambridge)
 Thursday 14th February
The exhibition explores the work of CSER, bringing together five artists exploring anthropogenic themes to address what is at stake and ways in which we should be looking at the present and near future

Monthly Social
When: Tuesday 19th February
No structure - just come along and chat with others who are trying to do good

Cellular Agriculture UK Launch Event
When: Tuesday 26th February
The evening will feature international speakers, an introduction to Cellular Agriculture UK, and a chance to connect with other attendees

EA Animal Social
When: Saturday 2nd March
Come along to our next social to chat with others who are passionate about reducing animal suffering

Biosecurity Careers Discussion
When: Monday 4th March 
Discussion on setting up a new group for people interested in careers in biosecurity, email hello@ealondon.com if you're considering careers or already have experience in this area

EAGx Nordics (Stockholm)
 5th-7th April
The first ever EAGx Nordics. The weekend will convene academics, professionals, and students to discuss theory and action about attempting to solve the world’s most pressing problems


What Londoners are up to . . . 

• Tom Wein has created a list of job boards for careers in EA and international development areas

• Manoj Nathwani has a post publicly pledging their donations and goals for 2019

• Victoria Krakovna has an updated list of AI safety resources

• Caroline Fiennes is in the Financial Times looking at donating to animal charities from an EA perspective

• Ben Dixon is planning on going to the Disease X display at the Museum of London, join the social group on Facebook to find out more details. There has also been talk of bridge, laser tag and wild water swimming

• Ray Taylor is looking for volunteers to research in the British Library on the 1815 Tambora eruption, "Year Without a Summer", and its impact on Asia (Facebook link)

• Saulius Šimčikas has curated a list of potential EA projects and meta charities

• Michael Plant won an EA forum prize for their post "Cause Profile: Mental Health"

• Jamie Harris has written up a case for animal focused local EA movement building

• Hauke Hillebrandt with a list of EA organisation funding gaps

Latest Jobs

• Founders Pledge are looking for a grants officer

• FHI are looking for 6-10 early career researchers for their two year research scholars programme. Closes 20th February

• GPI are looking for predoctoral research fellows in economics. Closes 15th February

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

• Our World in Data are looking for researchers

• Sentience Institute are looking for a quantitative researcher. Closes 15th February

• Several operational roles at Charity Science Health, based in Delhi

• New Incentives are looking for a HR manager (remote, with 2 months+ in Nigeria)

• Several roles at DeepMind and Deepmind Health

• The CFI are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work on their 'Exploring Perceptions of Autonomous Flight' project. Based in Cambridge, closes 28th February

• The Humane League are hiring a senior campaigner and a social media coordinator. Closes 17th February 

• Evidence Action are looking for a programme/operations manager in Nairobi for their deworm the world programme

• A PhD studentship in quantum cognition research, closes April

• Amnesty International are hiring a business analyst and IT project manager. Closing 18th February

• Element AI are hiring software and research engineers focusing on using AI for humanitarian, environmental and societal projects

• 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

• The BBC has a new vertical focusing on the long view of humanity - starting with an article on the perils of short-termism

• Why time capping might be able to increase how productive you are

• A post looking at using 'limiting factor' rather than scale when evaluating which causes to prioritise

• 80,000 Hours with a podcast looking at whether politics is becoming more polarised and populist

• An overview of how EA Giving Tuesday went, with £356,000 (65%) of £546,000 donations matched

• Explainer posts on what GiveWell recommended charities Helen Keller International and Malaria Consortium do

• An overview of cause areas supported by people who filled out the 2018 EA survey

• Wild Animal Initiative is announced as a merger between Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm

• Why some campaigns to stop child marriage can backfire

• A post on why it may make sense not to go to university if you want to have impact

• Ezra Klein interviewing Bruce Friedrich from GFI on the future of animal farming 

• There is a $1000 prize for coming up with a title for Toby Ord's new book on existential risk. Closes 15th February

• An overview of Google AI research in 2018, including flood protection, ethical AI, detecting diseased plants, health prediction and a new research office in Ghana

• Applications for the long-term future fund are open until the 7th of February

• A Vox article on why some people are worried about harms caused by AI

• An article on how microcredit hasn't lifted people out of poverty, but may have other benefits

• Bill Gates on lessons from 2018, including epidemic responses and the end of Polio

• 4 ways that natural phenomena could wipe out humanity

• A post which has summarised over 400 potentially cost effective global interventions in mental health

• A blog on how 'what works' government teams from around the world are approaching the task of increasing the amount of experiments and evaluations that governments do

• Emergent Ventures is looking to fund projects on "advancing humane solutions to those facing adversity – based on tolerance, universality, and cooperative processes"

• A review of how well DIFD has used its position as a major donor to improve the value for money and effectiveness of humanitarian aid spent through UN agencies

• CEDIL with a post arguing that the limits of RCT generalisability are overstated

• FHI have a new paper looking at U.S. public attitudes towards AI

• Open Phil made 5 grants in December, with $330,000 for criminal justice reform and $33,000 for biosecurity

• The importance of knowing you might be wrong - a Vox explainer of intellectual humility

• A podcast on why some scientific reform movements succeed and others fail (26:00)

• David Roodman on why studies should be reanalysed, not just replicated

• Our World in Data are looking for recommendations on metrics to include in their new country profiles

• A philosophy paper claiming that EA focuses too much on the efficiency aspect of effectiveness 

• A "Starter kit to change the world" with 300+ book, podcast and website recommendations

• Charity Science with a post on why charities sometimes have other, unsaid goals

• An article in Nature looking at how scientists are turning to crowdfunding for their research

• A briefing paper from a global policy watchdog on how policy makers should interpret effective altruism and the risks of doing so

• Clearer Thinking have a decision tool to help make an important life decision

• Effective altruism in media & blogs - NPR podcast on Evidence Action, a history of EAfrom Newsroom New Zealand, Jacy Reese looking at PETA in Quillette, Abdullah on why they give 1% for humanity, Jessica Almy writing about clean meat in Newsweek
• In a good news roundup Ethiopia has given almost 1 million refugees the right to work, the number of children dying each year has gone down by more than 2 million since 2007 and the Iowa Ag-Gag law has been struck down as unconstitutional, the state in America with the biggest production of pigs and egg laying hens