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Hello!

Our favorite links this month include: As usual, we're featuring some jobs in the newsletter, but we want to remind you that the 80,000 Hours job board has over 700 positions right now, and they're available for career advising

— The EA Newsletter Team

Articles 
 

 

The next cause area?

 
What unites malaria eradication, pandemic preparedness, farmed animal welfare, and other cause areas popular in effective altruism is that they are important, neglected, and tractable — making them particularly promising areas of work. 

Open Philanthropy, one of the largest funders in the effective altruism space, recently awarded prizes for “Cause Explorations” into areas that might be worth investing in based on this framework. 

What causes did winners propose? 
  • The top submission presented evidence that exposure to certain chemicals found in organophosphate pesticides might affect children’s IQ and well-being. Efforts to research and ban some of these pesticides in low-and-middle-income countries could reduce these harmful effects, and appear cost-effective.
  • Another winner argued that violence against women and girls is a large-scale problem that can be mitigated with interventions like effective preventative education programs. 
  • Fighting sickle cell disease is tractable and neglected, suggests another winner. And although they’re less certain about the case for ranking the cause highly on the “importance” criterion due to difficulty calculating the disease’s total impact, approximately 300,000 children were born with the disease in 2010. 
  • And shareholder activism — shareholders influencing the behavior of for-profit companies — might be a promising approach for effective altruism. 
These are explorations, not proven priorities. But the contest, which got over 150 submissions, expanded the community’s sense of promising paths and was a useful reminder that there’s a lot of work to do

Huge volcanic eruptions: time to prepare

 
A new article in Nature claims that the risk of a volcanic eruption with magnitude 7 this century is around 1 in 6 — much higher than the risk of asteroid and comet impacts, which get significantly more attention and preparation despite having a comparable effect. 

An earthquake of magnitude 7 is enormous. It’s 10 to 100 times larger than the recent eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January, which cost around 18.5% of Tonga’s GDP. The most recent magnitude 7 eruption (in 1815) killed about 100,000 people and caused mass crop failures, which in turn led to violence and epidemics. 

The article suggests that we can address this issue by identifying dangerous volcanoes (including some of the active volcanoes that are probably missing from geological records), improving monitoring (for instance by launching a volcano-monitoring satellite), ramping up preparedness, and researching volcano geoengineering, which could help mitigate a volcanic winter from particles that rise into the stratosphere and block sunlight. 

A sequence of posts on the EA Forum goes into more detail. 
 


What can we do about malaria? 

 
The Against Malaria Foundation is an amazing organization that’s been a top charity for GiveWell almost every year since 2012. They distribute insecticide-treated bed nets that protect people from malarial mosquitoes. 

But bed nets are not the only way to fight malaria, which kills around 600,000 people (mostly children) every year. There’s been a lot of discussion about different interventions: 
  • GiveWell also recommends the Malaria Consortium, which distributes preventative medicine to vulnerable children, and is expected to save a life for every $5,000 spent.
  • A new malaria vaccine could be more cost-effective than the current approaches. (See a forecast about when a highly effective vaccine might be recommended for widespread use.)
  • Zzapp Malaria has been proposed as another promising solution; it uses satellite imaging to identify malarial water bodies and then sprays them with larvicide to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing.
Identifying and pursuing a range of interventions will likely be crucial to eliminating the disease. (Relatedly, Metaculus forecasters currently estimate a 44% chance of a 90% reduction in malaria cases from 2015 to 2030.)
 


In other news

For more stories, try these email newsletters and podcasts
 
Resources

Links we share every time — they're just that good!

Jobs

Boards and resources:
  • The 80,000 Hours Job Board features more than 700 positions. We can’t fit them all in the newsletter, so you can check them out there.
  • The EA Opportunity Board collects internships, volunteer opportunities, conferences, and more — including part-time and entry-level job opportunities.
  • You can see more positions tagged "Job listing (open)" on the EA Forum.


Applications due soon


80,000 Hours is hiring for a Full Stack Web Developer, (London / Remote, apply by 26 September)

Centre for Effective Altruism: Effective Ventures Operations Forethought Foundation:  

Other positions

 

Against Malaria Foundation:

Alignment Research Center is hiring for a Generalist Technical Researcher and a webdev/engineer (Preferred Berkeley)

GiveWell

Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute (QURI)

Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative is hiring for a Deputy Director (NYC / Remote)

Rethink Priorities is hiring for multiple research team roles (Remote)


Announcements 
 

 

Apply to attend an upcoming conference

Applications are open for the following conferences, all via the same link.
  • EAGxRotterdam (4–6 November) — apply by 23 October
  • EAGxVirtual (21–23 October)
There’s also more information available about EAGxBerkeley, EAGxLatinAmerica, EAGxIndia, EAGxNordics, and other conferences on the EA Global website
 

GiveWell’s “Change Our Mind” contest
GiveWell has launched the Change Our Mind Contest to encourage critiques of their cost–effectiveness analyses that could lead to improvements in their overall allocation of funds. The contest closes on 31 October
 

Get advice from a biosecurity professional
Interested in using your career to mitigate global catastrophic biological risks? Book a 30–minute call with someone working in the field.
 

Apply for the Tarbell Fellowship for early-career journalists
The Tarbell Fellowship is a one–year programme for early–career journalists interested in covering important topics such as global poverty and existential risks. Fellows receive a stipend of up to $50,000, mentorship from experienced journalists, and access to a two–week journalism summit in Oxford. Apply by 9 October.
 

More courses and fellowships
  • Mexico EA Fellowship Program
    EA professionals and Spanish speakers are invited to co-work and connect with the Latin American EA community in Mexico City for some or all of the period from 1 November 2022 to 30 January 2023. Apply by 20 September. 
  • New Philosophy Fellowship for AI Safety
    The Center for AI Safety (CAIS) is announcing the CAIS Philosophy Fellowship, a program for philosophy Ph.D. students and post-doctorates to work on conceptual problems in AI safety – the program will run from January to August 2023. Apply by 7 October
  • New EA and Judaism Intro Fellowship
    Effective Altruism for Jews is launching the EA and Judaism Intro Fellowship: an 8–week virtual program that explores the core ideas of effective altruism and their relation to Jewish tradition, texts, culture, and history. Apply by 29 September.
  • Introduction to Animal Advocacy Online Course
    Animal Advocacy Careers is launching a new cohort of their online course, Introduction to Animal Advocacy. The course will give you insight into the animal advocacy community, and the diverse and exciting career opportunities available in this space, and support you in figuring out your own best path. The next cohort starts on 19 September

 

Organizational Updates

You can see updates from a wide range of organizations on the EA Forum.
 

A revamped classic: “What is effective altruism?” 

There’s a new introduction that defines and explains effective altruism by focusing on examples of work being done. Here’s the beginning:  

Effective altruism is a project that aims to find the best ways to help others, and put them into practice.

It’s both a research field, which aims to identify the world’s most pressing problems and the best solutions to them, and a practical community that aims to use those findings to do good.


An updated version of the more in-depth EA Handbook has also been released. 
 
We hope you found this edition useful!

If you’ve taken action because of the Newsletter and haven’t taken our impact survey, please do — it helps us improve future editions.

Finally, if you have feedback for us, positive or negative, let us know!

– The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team
Click here to access the full EA Newsletter archive
A community project of the Centre for Effective Altruism, a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1149828) – Centre for Effective Altruism, Trajan House, Mill Street, Oxford OX2 0DJ, United Kingdom
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