EA Newsletter: May 6, 2017

Effective Altruism Newsletter

May 06, 2017

EA Newsletter header  


This month we have the chance for you to meet like-minded people at upcoming EA Global and other conferences, updates on where donations to EA Funds have been granted and a request to help us gather vital data on the EA community through the EA Survey.

Have a great month,

The EA Newsletter Team

Upcoming Events

There are many interesting events coming up, so we thought we'd group them here! We encourage you to attend an EA event, as it's a great way to learn more about how to do good and to connect with others.

Applications are open for EA Global Boston (2-4 June) and EA Global San Francisco (11-13 August).

These conferences are a great chance to meet like-minded people who have made helping others a core part of their lives. You'll have the opportunity to learn about effective altruism, discuss new ideas and new research and coordinate on global projects. If you're wondering what the conferences are like you can watch a highlights video and many of the talks from EA Global 2016 on the Effective Altruism Youtube Channel.

The next EAGxBerlin conference will take place on the weekend of 14-15 October in Berlin, so make sure you save the date.

EA Global 2016 Group Photo Arms Up

Spotlight: The first grants from EA Funds

The fund managers of EA Funds have announced some of the first grants they are making. At the time of writing $724,292.10 has been donated to the funds. Below is a summary of where the money is going but you can read more from the fund managers on their respective fund pages (linked below).

If you want to know more about EA Funds, why it might be a promising way to donate and some of the considerations against using EA Funds check out this article or this update on EA Funds.

Global Development Fund The Global Development Fund is supporting the GiveWell top charity the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). Fund manager Elie Hassenfeld believes AMF's ability to sign additional agreements to distribute malaria nets is currently hampered by insufficient funding.

Animal Welfare Fund The Animal Welfare Fund is giving initial grants to nine organizations for different advocacy and research purposes. With this first grant, the fund manager Lewis Bollard wants to signal what kind of things the Animal Welfare Fund will likely support. He also wants to maintain some diversity within this fund, so that donors can support a diversity of approaches

Long-term Future Fund The Long-term Future Fund is granting to the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative. It is a non-profit, independent of any university, that provides various forms of support to researchers working on existential risk issues. The fund manager Nick Beckstead believes this is a plausible way to provide more agile support to researchers.

EA Community Fund No grants have yet been made from the EA Community Fund but we'll keep you posted.


Articles and Community Posts

Are you new to effective altruism? Do you have burning questions you want to ask the community? Check out this newcomer thread on the main Facebook group!

80,000 Hours has compiled all the evidence-based advice they could find on how to be successful in any job which covers everything from preventing burnout to gaining career capital and beyond.

Nate Soares, executive director of MIRI, provides an introductory overview to “AI risk”. Worried about the future of intelligence? Have a look at 80,000 Hours' updated profile on how individuals can positively shape artificial intelligence.

The Future of Life Institute has a new podcast out about what climate change is, what its effects could be, and how can we prepare for the future.

Decision-making under uncertainty is a huge problem, in EA and elsewhere. Here, Hurford, Mecrow, and Beard summarize how EA organizations account for uncertainty in their cost-effectiveness estimates.

Finally, if you're looking for many more articles and community posts, look no further than eablogs.net, a central hub collecting all the latest posts from all around the EA community.



Make sure to check out the 80,000 Hours jobs board!

To keep on top of EA jobs, feel free to visit these Facebook and LinkedIn groups as well.


80,000 Hours

The new “how to be successful” article caused their single biggest day of traffic ever (57,000 pageviews). They have also restarted coaching with a special focus on AI – where we think the biggest talent gaps lie right now – and have coached 30 people in the last two weeks.

Animal Charity Evaluators

In collaboration with board member Jeff Sebo and Critical Diversity Solutions, ACE has published a blog post on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the animal advocacy and effective altruism movements. In addition, ACE staff members have also put together a list of interventions they’d like to see tried and tested in animal advocacy.

Centre for Effective Altruism

As mentioned above, some of the first grants have been made from the Effective Altruism (EA) Funds and applications are open for EA Global Boston and San Francisco. If you’d like to learn more about CEA’s strategy and priorities or keep up to date with their work check out their blog, sign up for their monthly updates or like their Facebook page.

Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

CSER held an expert workshop on Risk & the Culture of Science and two well-attended public lectures by Professor Heather Douglas and the President of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Conference, Professor Terrence Sejnowski. Postdoctoral researcher Adrian Currie’s paper on geoengineering was published: Accelerating the carbon cycle: the ethics of enhanced weathering.

Effective Altruism Foundation

Save the date: The next EAGxBerlin conference will take place on the weekend of October 14th and 15th 2017 in Berlin.

Future of Life Institute

This past month, FLI interviewed climate scientists Dr. Brian Toon and Dr. Kevin Ternberth to discuss climate change, its current and future effects and how we can prepare for the future.


GiveWell published several new pages describing its partnership with IDinsight, part of GiveWell's Incubation Grants program to find, develop, and improve its understanding of GiveWell top charities.

Machine Intelligence Research Institute

MIRI has published a new strategy update. Senior staff at MIRI have reassessed their views on how far off artificial general intelligence (AGI) is and have concluded that shorter timelines are more likely than they were previously thinking.

Open Philanthropy Project

As part of its research on the history of philanthropy, the Open Philanthropy Project published a new report (summary) by Luke Muehlhauser on case studies in early field growth. Farm Animal Welfare Program Officer Lewis Bollard published a blog post detailing why U.S. corporate cage-free campaigns are succeeding.

The Life You Can Save

A blog entry by their volunteer José Oliveira, Changing What's On Our Plate, includes a tool for calculating how much you could save for effective giving if you forewent small "luxuries" (like bottled water, extraneous frappucinos, etc.), as well as a quick-and-enlightening video displaying the growth of the EA movement over the past 8 years.



ACE is pleased to announce the next Call for Proposals for the Animal Advocacy Research Fund. The application deadline for the next funding round is June 16, 2017. Before applying, please consider reviewing the Fund’s focus areas page to understand what types of proposals they are most interested in funding. You may also find it useful to review the details of their evaluation process and read about the projects they’ve funded so far.

The journal Informatica is running a special issue on the topic of Superintelligence. Submissions may include original research, position papers and review articles, and are due on August 30th.

Timeless Classics

Nick Beckstead, Peter Singer, and Matt Wage's piece on preventing human extinction discusses the possible threats to humanity, the value of future lives and the vast potential of the future.

Focusing on just one of these possible existential threats, this classic Wait But Why post paints a vivid picture of the road to superintelligence.

Go forth and do the most good! Let us know how you liked this edition and how we can improve further.

If you’re interested in past editions of this newsletter, here is the full archive


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This is an archived version of the EA Newsletter sent to 39,999 subscribers on May 6, 2017. To see the full archives, click here.