March 2019 Newsletter

I hope you've been enjoying the early start of Spring.

In the last few months I've noticed in conversations with community members, that they will apologise for having not attended any EA London events recently. They might have been slightly surprised when I say that it's probably a good thing that people aren't attending everything or only come along once every year or two.

I'd much rather people focused on their studies, their careers and recharging their batteries with family, friends and hobbies. At least that seems more impactful to me than attending EA events every evening

It may be that effective altruism is better seen as a toolbox of ideas that can be looked into when needed at different points in your life rather than something that takes up all areas all the time. For example, you can catch up with the latest research for the causes you value when you're deciding to give at the end of year. When you're interested in making a career decision you can arrange a 1-1 or look into finding a mentor in the community directory.

It could also sometimes mean going to events when you have spare time and are particularly interested, but attending shouldn't be seen as the most important thing or a qualifier for considering yourself as a member of this community.

Keep on reading for more community news, careers and research.


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

Effective Altruism & Global Health (FB link)
 Monday 4th March
An event by Students for Global Health KCL - Dr Catherine Low and Callum Hinchcliffe from Rethink Charity will introduce the principles of effective altruism and how they are applied to improving lives throughout the globe.

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

Doing Good with Technology
When: Thursday 7th March
A social 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

80,000 Hours Podcast Discussion - Tyler Cowen
When: Sunday 10th March
A meetup to discuss the points raised in the 80,000 Hours podcast with Tyler Cowen

Talk from the founder Of SCI (FB)
 Thursday 14th March
An event by UCL EA society - Professor Fenwick will be talking about what it is like to start your own charity, how SCI came about and the work that they do

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

Clean Meat and Greet
When: Tuesday 26th March
This will be a casual evening where you can meet or catch up with people in cellular agriculture

Social For Women and Non-Binary People In EA (FB)
 Tuesday 26th March

EAGx Nordics - Stockholm
When: 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

EA Global San Francisco
When: 21st-23rd June
Applications are now open for EA Global San Francisco. The goal of EA Global is to increase attendees’ knowledge, skills and networks to enable them to do the most good possible.

EA Global London
When: 18th-20th October
EA Global London will take place this year near the Barbican. Applications will open later this year.

What Londoners are up to . . . 

• Rachel Glennerster on lessons learnt from a year as chief economist at DFID

• Joey Savoie on how to start a new high impact charity

• Elizabeth Barnes, Tom Everitt, Shane Legg and Pedro A.Ortega with a new paper for DeepMind 

• Michael reflecting on doing good as a retired person in the UK

• A transcript of an EA Global talk by Rob Mather on the work that Against Malaria Foundation does

• Phil Hewinson documenting their trip to India to see how Aravind Eye Care System restores vision to 500,000 people a year

• Saulius Šimčikas looking into whether companies keep their animal welfare commitments 

• Edie Bowles and Jamie Harris on the best ways to use your time as a law student or lawyer to help animals

• John Beshir talking to Vox about how they volunteered to get malaria to help test vaccines

• Matthew on whether there is a market failure in the tech volunteering space

Latest Jobs

• Founders Pledge are looking for a grants officer, head of people, researcher and a fundraiser

• FHI have 8 scholarships for DPhil students - 17th March. They're also looking for a project manager - 7th March and two executive assistants - 13th March

• Part time research analyst on international security at Chatham house. Closes 11th March

• Cabinet Office roles, including Joint Intelligence OrganisationSecurity Assurance and Government Security Group. Closes 3rd March

• Higher Steaks are looking for a process engineer and a biomaterial scientist to work on clean meat. Based in Bristol

• GiveWell are hiring researchers and looking to double the amount they currently have. Based in San Francisco and possibility of remote 

• Let's Fund are looking for an intern, contractor or co-founder

• One for the World are searching for founding executive directors 

• Future Advocacy are hiring a Head of Think Tank focusing on AI and emerging technology. Closes 4th March

• GiveDirectly are hiring for roles in Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and New York

• The Humane League are hiring a senior campaigner. Closes 10th March 

• OpenAI are hiring social scientists, based in California

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

• Our World in Data are looking for researchers

• Several roles at DeepMind and Deepmind Health

• Element AI are hiring research engineers focusing on using AI for humanitarian, environmental and societal projects. Closes 2nd March

• 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

• Our 2018 Impact Report for Effective Altruism London

• Open Phil with a $55,000,000 grant to set up the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University

• GiveWell have announced a new approach to their research. Including comprehensively reviewing direct interventions in sectors where impacts are more difficult to measure, investigating opportunities to influence government policy, as well as other areas

• A post on the EA forum about the experience of applying for jobs with effective altruism organisations

• The Council on Foreign Relations has a new blog series looking at averting global catastrophic risks from an effective altruism perspective

• An article about the history of civilisation collapse by Luke Kemp of CSER for the BBC Deep Civilisation vertical

• An NPR piece on why No Lean Season wasn't afraid to say that they failed

• An article in Nature looking at the technical gaps in clean meat research

• GFI awards $3,000,000 in funding to 14 scientists for plant-based and cell-based meat research

• An article looking at how some pro-migrant campaigns can potentially backfire

• Global Priorities Institute have published their new research agenda

• A post on good practices to improve your predictions

• One for the World 6 months update

• The Economist looking at how the war on drugs has hurt patients in poorer countries

• A post on how the Global Burden of Disease study has been used to inform the NHS Long Term Plan

• A new paper from CSER on bridging the gap between near-term and long-term concerns about AI 

• Peter Singer on how grateful giving may not do the most good 

• Rob Wiblin on the Rationally Speaking podcast talking about 80,000 Hours

• The EA Fund for global health and development had a $1,000,000 donation for J-PAL's Innovation in Government Initiative

• A funding proposal for supporting a campaign to increase Canadian official development assistance

• Kelsey Piper on the 80,000 Hours podcast talking about Vox and effective careers in journalism

• Our World In Data with a post on how they attempt to track the history of extreme poverty

• GiveWell announced a call for grant applications for outstanding organisations operating in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh. Applications close April 1st

• A report on the BP funded 'Venture Research Unit' in the 1980's that aimed to fund researchers who questioned current thinking without extensive requirements or peer review

• 80,000 Hours podcast on radical institutional reforms that might make capitalism and democracy better

• A 500 word explainer from Vox on the potential for AI to cause harm

• Julia Wise on why it's okay to have goals other than "cost effectiveness"

• A Vox post suggesting that we don't yet know if smartphone use has affected mental health issues and research so far has been inconclusive

• A summary post of lists of open questions in EA

• A podcast looking at the intersection of financial independence and effective altruism

• Open Phil made 4 other grants in January, with $1,625,000 for biosecurity, $333,000 for gene drive regulation research, $150,000 for criminal justice reform and $131,000 for clean meat

• 2018 EA survey posts on where people first hear about EAgeographic differences in EA and group membership

• Brian Tse, from Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI, sharing their thoughts on the new American AI Initiative

• Garret M. Broad on how the effective altruism and animal protection movements have contributed to each other

• Chatham House with a paper looking at the EU regulatory landscape and considerations for policy makers dealing with an increase in meat analogue consumption

• OpenAI with a paper arguing that long-term AI safety research needs social scientists

• A BBC Deep Civilisation piece on technology over very long time scales

• Vox covering the recent debate over whether extreme poverty has decreased in the last few decades

• A review of meta studies by Campbell Collaboration suggesting mixed impact for various financial inclusion programmes

• GFI have a new open online course teaching the basics of plant-based and cell-based meat

• Effective altruism in media & blogs - Jacy Reese with a short video on NowThis about the end of animal farming, Haseeb Qureshi on their 2018 donations and how they reduce their social media consumption, Philanthropy Australia looking at the history of EA, CSER on BBC news writing about the biggest threats to humanity
• In a good news roundup Tyson, the second largest meat producer in the world, have announced they will be launching their own animal-free protein products in 2019, new research suggesting that measles vaccines can also help reduce extreme poverty and initial studies reporting that public service announcements can be effective in reducing domestic violence