The Effective Altruism Newsletter is a joint project between a team of volunteers, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and Rethink Charity that provides news and updates about the effective altruism community. Archives of the newsletter are available on this page.
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- Owen Ozier published a history of the Worm Wars, arguing that a simple misunderstanding was behind a massive debate within development economics over the impact of deworming.
- Brian Kateman wrote about the immense suffering animals experience in the wild, and the careful way in which researchers are beginning to approach this problem.
— Ivan Vendrov and Jeremy Nixon wrote an EA Forum post arguing that working on "recommender systems" (like Facebook's News Feed) could help us improve our ideas about AI alignment while also offering an opportunity to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people (for example, by suggesting content that isn't as psychologically manipulative).
- The Future of Life Institute chose Dr. Matthew Meselson to receive the Future of Life Award, a yearly prize given for “a heroic act that has greatly benefited humankind”. Meselson spent his career advocating against the development and use of biological weapons.
- Holden Karnofsky wrote about the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, which brought together scientists from both sides of the Iron Curtain to discuss nuclear disarmament. Mostly funded by private donors, the conferences may have influenced several key nuclear treaties; however, it’s unclear whether such strong philanthropic opportunities still exist today.
- Beyond Meat just became the first vegan meat company to go public; the stock price more than doubled in the first day of trading. This may indicate a strong market for similar products being developed by startups and established companies.
- Dangerous pathogens like smallpox and SARS aren’t always handled safely by the labs that work on them. Kelsey Piper discusses the many ways in which these errors, which could kill millions of people, take place.
- Davis Kingsley argues that we should be very careful when we discuss dangerous ideas, even if they seem “obvious”.
- Timeless Classic: Lewis Bollard discusses animal advocacy on the 80,000 Hours podcast.
- GiveWell plans to drastically expand their research by examining dozens of new interventions, from economic growth to policy change.
- Bill Gates shared a chart showing massive declines in global poverty, which provoked debate over how much progress we’ve really made.
- The Global Priorities Institute just released their newest research agenda, which summarizes the field of cause prioritization.
- Applications for Effective Altruism Global: San Francisco opened.
- The organizations Utility Farm and Wild Animal Suffering Research have merged into a new organization called Wild Animal Initiative.
- Dates have also been announced for this year’s EAGx conferences: EAGx Nordics, EAGx Boston, and EAGx Australia.
- The EA Newsletter is tracking its own impact! A survey for 2018 impact is here.
- Should we genetically modify mosquitoes to fight malaria? The United Nations recently allowed further testing of the idea.
- Effective Altruism Global: San Francisco will take place from 21-23 June.
- Charity evaluators posted their thoughts for this giving season, including GiveWell, ACE, and two of the EA Funds management teams.
- CEA launched the new EA Forum, and users have already shared nearly 100 new posts.
- We’d like to thank Pascal Zimmer for his work. As a volunteer, he helped start the EA Newsletter and led the team for three years, sending out most editions and growing the newsletter to 50,000 subscribers. Thank you, Pascal!
- The new Effective Altruism Forum launched! It has a variety of new features.
- Our favorite articles from the launch of Future Perfect, Vox’s new EA-inspired section: Kelsey Piper takes on myths about anti-malarial bednets and Dylan Matthews discusses his decision to donate a kidney.
- Facebook and PayPal will match up to $7 million in donations to U.S. nonprofit organizations on Giving Tuesday (27 November 2018). Members of the EA community are mobilizing to direct some of this funding to EA-aligned organizations.
- 80,000 Hours posted a major update on their research over the last seven years.
- Will MacAskill gave a 12-minute TED talk.
- Charity Entrepreneurship created a (provisional) weighted animal welfare index.
- CEA shared its thinking about community building, representativeness, and the EA Summit, partly in response to this post by Joey Savoie.
- Many EA organizations are hiring. Relatedly, 80,000 Hours has updated their job board, which now includes many more openings.
- New videos from the recent EA Global are being uploaded twice a week.
- Almost 50% of tickets have already been sold for EA Global: London, which takes place on 26-28 October 2018.
- CEA have announced their initial plans for the new EA Forum, which include sorting by quality of posts, a community subforum, and a new karma system, alongside much else.
- Several EA-aligned organizations are hiring, including BERI, FHI, and GiveWell.
- The Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) is hiring for a variety of roles.
- Peter Hurford and Marcus A. Davis have created Priority Wiki, a cause prioritization wiki anyone can edit which categorizes particular interventions within broader causes.
- Applications are now open for Effective Altruism Global: London, which takes place on 26-28 October.
- Should effective altruism groups continue to focus on community building rather than direct work? CEA has argued for the former, whilst in this article, Richenda Herzig argues the potential value of the latter.
- EA Global: San Francisco took place June 8-10. View the conference highlights here.
- EA Global: London is taking place between October 26 and 28 at University College London. Apply now.
- Joey Savoie introduced some empirical data to what extent value drift might be happening within the community. Darius Meissner shared some suggestions of how value drift can be prevented or reduced.
- Submissions were open for the academic poster session taking place at EA Global: San Francisco (June 8-10).
- CEA announced Larissa Hesketh-Rowe has moved from COO to CEO. CEA published more about their current thinking, including their models of community building, and were hosting an operations forum from May 24-28.
- Currently there’s an unusually large number of operations positions open in the effective altruism community.
- The theme for this year's EA Global conference is Stay Curious, and it will be targeted mainly to people already familiar with core ideas in Effective Altruism.
- Dates and locations for EAGx conferences this year have been announced!
- FHI and CSER contribute to a major new report on "The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence", receiving worldwide coverage.
- The Open Philanthropy Project announces millions of dollars worth of grants.
- Applications to attend EA Global: San Francisco 2018 are now open.
- Peter Singer's new article looks at the “pain gap” - comparing opioid availability in the United States with India and Nigeria.
- The Open Philanthropy Project has published a major update on cause prioritization.
- Videos are available to let you catch up on talks from EA Global 2017.
- The second annual AI safety literature review and charity comparison
- 80,000 Hours provide an overview of so-called extinction risks and explains why, despite all progress, humanity may be facing its most dangerous time ever.
- Last chance to donate to the EA Donor Lottery which closes on Wednesday, January 10.
- Professor Philip Tetlock, author of “Superforecasting”, discusses his research on the 80,000 Hours podcast.
- GiveWell has two new top recommendations this year: Evidence Action’s No Lean Season program and Helen Keller International’s vitamin A supplementation program.
- DeepMind illustrates some AI safety problems for the layman and the researcher.
- 80,000 Hours' podcast with Nick Beckstead discusses the importance of the future.
- David Denkenberger argues that developing alternate food sources may be an important and neglected way of reducing existential threats.
- Cautiously exploring new ways to do good can be extremely promising. Recently Fortify Health, a new charity based on the ideas of effective altruism, was launched. Read more about their approach here.
- Carrick Flynn of the Future of Humanity Institue writes about careers in AI policy and strategy.
- The New York Times has an obituary for Stanislav Petrov, who averted nuclear war, and a piece on artificial intelligence safety.
- 80,000 Hours has released a comprehensive interview podcast with Lewis Bollard on the what, why and how of helping farmed animals.
- 80,000 Hours' podcast discusses risks from engineered pandemics.
- Cullen O’Keefe argues that people who care about social justice should also care about cause prioritization.
- Spotlight on doing good together: the theme of last month’s EA Global conference in San Francisco was the importance of doing good together as a community.
- Peter Hurford and Marcus Davis research how long it takes to develop a new vaccine.
- Ben West presents an argument for why the future is probably positive.
- Daniel Dewey from the Open Philanthropy Project details his current thoughts on the Machine Intelligence Research Institute’s Highly Reliable Agent Design agenda.
- Will MacAskill and Giles Fraser's 80 minute debate on whether effective altruism is the right way to lead an ethical life
- Why 2017 is likely to be the best year in the history of humanity.
- Videos from EA Global Boston
- Luke Muehlhauser's report on consciousness and moral patienthood investigates the question of “In general, which types of beings merit moral concern?”.
- Spotlight on ways to get involved in the EA Community
- The student-run Oxford Prioritization Project wrapped up their cause prioritization research, quantitatively modeling the four remaining charities in their shortlist.
- Max Dalton, on behalf of the Centre for Effective Altruism, explores funding gaps, room for funding and diminishing returns here and here.
- Tim Urban from Wait Buy Why on the benefits and risks of the AI revolution
- Spotlight on how graduation programs reduce poverty
- The first grants from EA Funds
- 80,000 Hours on on how to be successful in any job
- Nate Soares, executive director of MIRI, provides an introductory overview to “AI risk”
- The Future of Life Institute announces its new podcast
- 80,000 Hours on the world's most pressing problems
- Concrete projects for EA's to adopt
- Evan Williams on why our society is very likely to be unknowingly guilty of serious, large-scale moral catastrophes
- An elucidation and a defence of effective altruism
- The beta launch of Effective Altruism Funds
- Vote swapping is a cost effective political intervention
- Who deserves our care and moral concern?
- GiveDirectly's basic income trial as a solution for technological unemployment
- Carl Shulman on donor lotteries
- A WHO consultant analyses access to pain relief in developing countries as a potential high-impact cause area.
- Vox on CRISPR and its potential to become a crucial new technology
- The launch of Conceptually
- Kerry Vaughan's 5 favorite posts of 2016
- Rob Wiblin on where to donate in 2016
- Peter Hurford on the value of creating a GiveWell-recommended top charity.
- The new Oxford Prioritization Project
- Kerry Vaughan's What the EA community can learn from the rise of the neoliberals.
- ClearerThinking.org's free tool: Leaving Your Mark On The World
- Jess Whittlestone on the importance of being both skeptical and kind.
- Owen Cotton-Barratt explains why he’s donating to MIRI this year.
- Kerry Vaughan's three heuristics for finding Cause X.
- Owen Cotton-Barratt on the value of diversifying in EA focus areas.
- 80,000 Hours on why the hour you spend voting is the most socially impactful of all.
- Deception Detox's course helping people establish fact from fiction using basic science.
- Ben Todd's general pond argument
- Elon Musk's plan to colonize Mars
- moral progress and Cause X
- EAGxOxford 2016
- Sam Harris's podcast with Will MacAskill
- The annoucement of Charity Science Health
- The Open Philanthropy Project's 5,555,550 grant to support the launch of the UC Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI
- EA Global 2016 talks
- The launch of the new effectivealtruism.org
- Results of the 2015 Effective Altruism Survey
- GiveWell on how deworming might have a huge impact, but could also have close to zero impact
- Making re-prioritization easier
- 6 common mistakes in the EA community
- The prospects for cellular agriculture
- Concrete Problems in AI Safety, a paper published in collaboration with scientists from Google, Stanford, and Berkeley and co-authored by EAs Dario Amodei and Paul Christiano.
- EAGxBoston's comprehensive review of their experience running the event
- GiveDirectly's basic income experiment
- 80,000 Hours' problem profile on extreme climate change and new career planning tool
- The launch of Charity Science's Effective Legacies project
- The best person who ever lived is an unknown Ukranian man
- Philosophical critiques of effective altruism
- 80,000 Hours' profiles of major problems and quiz to help people choose between them
- ACE's intervention report on undercover investigations
- Global Catastrophic Risks 2016 by the Global Priorities Project
- 80,000 Hours' problem profiles on global health, biosecurity, factory farming, and prioritisation research
- ACE's blog posts on the impact of social media, and comparing advocacy in different countries
- Giving What We Can's research reports on cancer, climate change, refugees and improving eduction. The latter two reports were requested for a meeting with former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown
- A timeless classic: getting along with people who are totally wrong
- Can effective altruism change the world? It already has.
- A review of the possibility of sustainably eradicating mosquite-borne diseases with gene drives
- Justice-related philosophical objections to effective altruism
- Mercy for Animals released a study of online ads that are used to inspire people to reduce their consumption of animal products. Effective altruists Kieran Greig and Jeff Kaufman provided their own analyses of the data, and ACE called it “the highest quality randomized controlled trial so far of an animal advocacy intervention.”
- What did EAs change their mind about in 2015?
- How malaria eradication can induce economic growth
- What are the limits to ethical offsetting and earning to give? Rob Wiblin looks at just how bad it is to be a CEO in the tobacco industry. Here is a response to him on the EA Forum.
- Timeless classic: “Imagine you are setting out on a dangerous expedition through the Arctic on a limited budget.” What essentials do you take? Discover what that has to do with effective altruism in the classic “Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others…”.
- Bednets have prevented 450 million cases of malaria
- Intelligence squared debate between Will MacAskill and Giles Fraser on effective altruism
- Why you should take the growth approach, not the marginal approach, to evaluating nonprofit startups
- Rob Wiblin tackles three common objections to working on global catastrophic risks and AI safety: 1) it's not too early to act; 2) the chances of success are not tiny; and 3) computer science majors haven't deluded themselves that CS research is the best way to help the world
- Will MacAskill debunks 5 pieces of criticism about the Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's decision to donate 99% of their Facebook shares (some $45B) to a new charitable initiative.
- Why you should focus more on talent gaps than funding gaps
- One of the most exciting new ea organizations: An interview with David Goldberg of the Founders Pledge.
- CSER, in partnership with Cambridge and Oxford Universities, lauches the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
- We care about WALYs not QALYs
- Thomas Nagel, a household name in philosophy, reviews two of the main books on EA: “The effective altruism movement is doing great service in focusing attention on the greatest needs, which can be met at the smallest cost.”
- The winner of GWWCs essay contest on "where should we donate to do the most good?"
- Tim Ferriss (of 4-Hour Workweek fame) interviews Will MacAskill on his podcast
- End of project writeup for Effective Altruism Policy Analytics
- Many in the ea community are investing money to donate later, as well as saving for retirement and emergencies. Here are some mistakes they might be making
- Raising for Effective Giving expands into the Daily Fantasy Sports market with DFS Charity
- Timeless classic: The moral imperative towards cost-effectiveness
- GiveWell releases an article on potential new high-impact charities they would like to see
- Toby Ord publishes "Moral Trade" in top philosophy journal Ethics
- Stefan Schubert and Spencer Greenberg release "Fact-Checking 2.0"
- Julia Wise on burnout and self-care when doing altruistic work
- Michael Dickens published a comprehensive post about his cause selection, weighing arguments for and against different causes with the goal of identifying the one that does the most good.
- One big question within EA is whether one should work on a cause directly or “go meta”, i.e. getting more people to work on that cause. Read through Peter Hurford’s concerns about EA falling into a “meta trap” and Ben Todd’s reply why we need more meta.
- Will MacAskill on how to find a career that is both personally satisfying and makes a difference
- Larissa McFarquhar releases her book on extreme altruism, Strangers Drowning