Your July EA Newsletter    
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No introduction this month; we'll just send you straight to the content!

— The EA Newsletter Team

News and updates from the world of effective altruism

Promising career paths for improving the world

80,000 Hours maintains a list of promising career paths for people who want their work to have an unusually positive impact on the world. Recently, they published a new list — “Some promising ideas beyond [our] priority paths” — which outlines many careers they haven’t yet investigated closely, but think may be good options. New entries include (among many others):
  • Becoming an specialist on Russia or India
  • Going into journalism
  • Working on policy to reduce extreme risks from climate change
  • Becoming a historian focused on large-scale societal trends and inflection points
Related: 80,000 Hours’ Rob Wiblin recently published an essay arguing that people should consider a wider range of “jobs, paths, and problems” if they want to improve the long-term future.

Is impact investing impactful?

If we want to make an impact, we might consider doing so through investing — whether that means supporting socially beneficial for-profit companies or removing our capital from harmful companies. But is this approach actually a promising way to do good?

John Halstead spoke on this subject at EA Global: London 2019. He argues that:

“... impact investing is likely to have limited impact in large, highly efficient markets such as public stock markets. However, impact investing stands a better chance of impact if it involves VC or angel investing, includes companies that serve poor consumers or produce positive externalities, and/or exploits an investor’s informational advantage.”

You can read a newly-published transcript of the talk on the EA Forum, or watch the recorded talk.

The importance of “room for more funding”

As protests for racial justice spread around the world, the Minnesota Freedom Fund — which pays bail fees for people who can’t afford them — received more than $30 million in donations. 

This was more than 300 times the organization’s annual budget, and it proved impossible for them to spend it all as they had originally intended. This led to confusion for donors who learned that their funds would go to causes they hadn’t planned to support. (Read more at Future Perfect.)

This story shows the importance of considering room for more funding — that is, what an additional donation to a charity will achieve. This may differ from what the charity previously achieved, for a variety of reasons. The concept is especially relevant for causes that get a lot of media attention (and thus, a major influx of donations).

Finding the most effective mental health programs

Mental illness causes a huge amount of suffering, but gets relatively little attention in many parts of the world. This makes it a strong candidate for EA funding — but only if we can find cost-effective ways to improve mental health.

The Happier Lives Institute recently published results from research they conducted on the cost-effectiveness of mental health programs in “low-resource settings” (e.g. rural areas in the developing world). They eventually found 25 programs promising enough to evaluate further (full list here).

Researchers involved with the project spoke at the most recent EAGx Virtual conference; you can watch the full talk online.

Other news

Timeless Classic

Ideas that have shaped the way we think about doing good

Rather than one “classic” this month, we’re sharing a collection put together by Saulius Šimčikas — good EA Forum posts published between 2012 and 2017.

If you want EA reading material, consider checking out whatever posts sound interesting! Here are some of our favorites:


Books, events, community projects, and more!

How to find online EA events

We also shared this resource last month, and will continue to share it as long as much of the world continues to practice social distancing.

The EA community is holding a lot of online events during the pandemic. Related resources:  

Epidemic forecasting group seeks pharma teams working on a COVID-19 vaccine

Members of the epidemic forecasting team at the Future of Humanity Institute are looking to assist teams working on a COVID-19 vaccine by providing quantified predictions around key factors in vaccine distribution (e.g. which trial sites might work best).

If you know of anyone pursuing this kind of work and want to make an introduction, please send an email to

Insect welfare organization seeks potential collaborators

A small group of people are soliciting expressions of interest in a potential project/organization focused on insect welfare. The exact focus will likely be decided based on the background and expertise of interested parties.

Please complete this form if you are interested in getting involved. (Completion of this form does not commit you to involvement of any kind.)


Opportunities to work on some of the world's most pressing problems

80,000 Hours’ Job Board features hundreds of promising positions.

If you’re interested in policy or global development, you may also want to check Tom Wein’s list of social purpose job boards.

To hear about new positions as they arise, check out the EA Job Postings group on Facebook.
Effective Giving UK Rethink Priorities The Good Food Institute Wild Animal Initiative Open Philanthropy GiveDirectly GiveWell Future of Humanity Institute
Other featured roles

Each month, 80,000 Hours asks us to feature a few roles from their job board. These may be unusually strong opportunities to make an impact.

Program Officer, Global Biological Policy, Nuclear Threat Initiative (DC)

Software Engineer, COVID-19 Modeling, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore)

Software Engineer, TapTapSend (New York)

Postdoctorate Research Assistant, Biomedical Detection for National Security, US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA; apply by 23 August)

Fellow, COVID-19 Media and Digital Strategies, Bloomberg Philanthropies (New York)

Deputy Director, Clinical Next Generation Vaccines, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle)

Associate, Legal and Policy Research on National and Global Health Law, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University (DC)

Science Program Officer, Computational Biology, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (Redwood City)

Strategy Associate, Verily (San Francisco Bay Area)

Associate Program Officer, Forum on Microbial Threats, US National Academy of Sciences (DC)

Product Manager, Segovia (Sutton, UK)

You can view updates from a wide range of EA-aligned organizations on the EA Forum.

(Organizations submit updates, which CEA lightly edits for clarity.)
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.

(Actions we'd love to hear about include donating to charity, applying to a job, or joining a community group.)

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

Aaron, Heidi, Michal, Pascal, and Sören
– The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team

The Effective Altruism Newsletter is a joint project between the Centre for Effective Altruism, the Effective Altruism Hub, and Rethink Charity.
Click here to access the full EA Newsletter archive
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