June 2019 Newsletter

When engaging with effective altruism we can read books or online articles, think about how to have impact in our careers and set up our yearly donations. But sometimes it can help to talk to others in person to see if there are any ideas we might have missed or to dive into a topic in detail that we've only glanced on before.

One of the highest rated activities that EA London has carried out over the last year is 1-1 conversations to discuss career options, donations and effective altruism in depth. If this is something that sounds like you would find useful, apply below.

Click here to sign up

UPCOMING EVENTS 

Results UK - National Conference
When: 1st-3rd June
Talks and workshops on how to play your part in advocating for well spent international aid

Chess Valley Hike
When: Sunday 2nd June
A hike through the Chess Valley, discussing EA and non EA related topics

Peter Singer and A.C.Grayling: Compassion in Politics (Waitlist)
When:
 Friday 7th June
Unfortunately this is already sold out, but you can join the waitlist for the panel discussion

EA in Tech Meetup
When: Monday 10th June
A social event for people in software, data and tech to meet each other and think about ways to do more good. This month their is a talk by Alex Zari on "Why research science needs software engineers"

Atkinson Memorial Lecture (Oxford)
When:
 Tuesday 11th June
Professor Marc Fleurbaey giving a talk on how we value far future generations

Drones and the Future of Warfare
When: Tuesday 11th June
An event by the APPG for Future Generations - the panel will outline the opportunities and risks of drone technology and its implications for global security

Workshop - Getting More Involved in EA animal advocacy
When: Thursday 13th June
An event for people who are looking to identify next steps to make a positive difference for animals, or to get feedback on their plans

EA & Policy Dinners
When: Late June

If you are working in policy (government, civil service, think tank) and interested in effective altruism then get in touch at hello@ealondon.com to find out more

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

COMMUNITY NEWS

• A fireside chat from EA Global with Rachel Glennerster, chief economist at the Department for International Development

• Hauke Hillebrandt  and Henry Stanley have a new crowdfunding campaign for effective environmental policy

• Stefan Schubert with a talk at EAGx Nordics exploring the psychological obstacles that stop us from maximising our moral impact and suggests strategies to overcome them

• Jamie Harris with research on how tractable it is to change the course of history

• Jacob Hilton with an overview of their fellows project at Open AI 

• Karolina Sarek with a post on systematic approaches to sustainably increasing work output

• Jade Leung with a talk from EA Global looking at AI governance

• The Trustees of EA UK (working name for EA London) are considering changing EA UK’s charitable objects (FB Link). If you have feedback on these changes please comment on the linked document or email sam@ealondon.com

• John Halstead won an EA forum prize for their post in March "The case for delaying solar geoengineering research"

• A post by me on the landscape of effective altruism in London


STORY

Michael Plant on spending two and half years trying to start a startup they thought could do lots of good.

"I got the idea for Hippo back in Spring 2015. I was working on another business idea, which also never got off the ground (a happiness-behavioural science consultancy). I felt I was generally failing at life when I suddenly, unexpectedly discovered I was very depressed.

At the time I looked round for an app to help me - this was back in 2015, when apps were the solution to everything - and couldn’t find anything. I threw a bunch of things at my depression - antidepressants, CBT, mindfulness, etc. - which were, in my case, really successful.

After I recovered I was left with the abiding frustrating that the technology that would have saved me could exist, it just didn’t exist yet. Armed with my own experiences and my utilitarian hat firmly on my head, I started thinking seriously about how to create a happiness app which could, in theory, end up spreading around the world and changing lives. It seemed like the most good I could be trying to do..."  Read on


Latest Jobs

• The Centre for Effective Altruism are hiring an operations contractor, closes June 7th

• GiveDirectly are hiring a partnerships associate and a people & compliance manager in the London office as well as various roles in Uganda, Malawi and Liberia

• The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk are looking for two part time research assistants in the area of sustainable finance. Closes June 16th

• Founders Pledge are looking for researchers and a head of marketing

• The Alan Turing Institute are looking for various roles including project manager (defence and security), program director, research associate and ethical AI researchers

• Wave are hiring for a head of people operations (remote)

• The Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial are looking for a research assistant. Closes June 30th

• Several roles at DeepMind and Deepmind Health, including brand managerCanada and EU/France government relations managers, diversity and inclusion coordinator and ethics research intern

• 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

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

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


Latest Research and Updates

• Lauren Holt from CSER writing in the BBC about the long term future of bio-engineering, rewilding and synthetic organisms

• Another article in the BBC Deep Civilisation section on how art and culture can influence the long term future

• Peter Singer and Agata Sagan in the New Statesman on whether humans should be allowed to colonise outer space

• Our World in Data with projections on how the world's poorest economies are stagnating and half a billion people are expected to be in extreme poverty in 2030

• A look at how early experimentation with preregistration in psychology hasn't gone smoothly

• Marc Gunther with an overview of the intersection of effective altruism and psychedelic research

• A case study of behavioural insights being used to improve tuberculosis care

• A new report on how wellbeing in the UK has been increasing since 2011

• A paper called "Effective Altruism: How Big Should the Tent Be?" arguing that EA isn't compatible with members giving in the way that most effectively promotes their values, even when doing so isn’t overall-effective

• The Centre for Global Development with a post on the lessons from Ebola for the next pandemic

• Data visualisations on why more funding is needed to eliminate malaria

• A new app called Sparrow, which allows you to set up donations automatically when you get paid, buy a round of drinks or watch 30 minutes of Netflix, is looking for people to test it, see this Facebook link to find out more

• A summary from JPAL on new research about interventions to reduce violence against women


Organisation Updates

• CSER have a report on what they've done over the last 6 months

• Givewell with a review of 2018, including directing $65,000,000 and making key hires. Also their plans for 2019

• 80,000 Hours with their annual review

• A post on how the Giving Games project tracks its impact

• Effective Thesis with an annual update

•  The Global Catastrophic Risk Institute has an open call for people who are interested in seeking their advice or collaborating on projects


Grants

• Open Phil have made 14 more grants, with recent grants including  $4,750,000 on scientific research, $2,000,000 for the Open Phil AI fellowship, $700,000 for macroeconomic stabilisation policy, $715,000 on farm animal welfare, $460,000 on criminal justice reform and $400,000 on land use reform

• GFI have awarded $3,000,000 to 14 scientists to research plant-based and cell-based meats

• The Global Challenge Foundation is offering 10 grants of €10,000 each for reportsthat provide an overview of the current research in either 'the drivers of global catastrophic risks' or 'global governance gaps'


Research

• Lewis Bollard with a post on whether we could help animals by focusing more on climate change

• A summary from GiveWell on why they decided to give a grant to IDInsight - New Incentives RCT

• Charity Entrepreneurship with 35 pieces of evidence for why new corporate campaigns may or may not work for animal welfare

• Catherine Low with an overview of various EA school outreach programmes and their impact

• Animal Charity Evaluators with a comprehensive overview of animal advocacy in Brazil


Vox

• A new economics journal that only publishes results that are expected to overcome publication bias

• Britain's youngest billionaire on why they are giving most of their money away to effective altruism related areas

• Coverage on the rise of meatless meat, including Beyond Meat having a market capitalisation of $5,000,000,000 and Impossible Foods raising $300,000,000 in funding


Podcasts

• Helen Toner from Open Phil discussing misconceptions about China and AI on the rationally speaking podcast

• A BBC radio programme on whether 21st century technology will avert or accelerate an apocalypse

• Chloe Cockburn from Open Phil discussing criminal justice reform

• Will MacAskill on the Jolly Swagmen podcast


Effective altruism in media & blogs

• Peter Singer being interviewed on animal rights, politics and AI

• Brain Kateman writing in Fast Company on why wild animal suffering is important to consider

• Notes and questions from Will MacAskill’s 2018 EAG keynote, how can effective altruism stay curious?
 


Good news roundup

• Algeria and Argentina have been certified malaria-free by the World Health Organisation, taking us to 38 countries globally that are malaria-free

• 19 more philanthropists have joined the Giving Pledge, to give away at least half their wealth to charitable causes

• Washington state has a new law increasing welfare requirements for egg-laying hens