geoffreymiller comments on How should we assess very uncertain and non-testable stuff? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: geoffreymiller  (EA Profile) 21 August 2017 12:36:06AM 7 points [-]

In academic research, government and foundation grants are often awarded using criteria similar to ITN, except:

1) 'importance' is usually taken as short-term importance to the research field, and/or to one country's current human inhabitants (especially registered voters),

2) 'tractability' is interpreted as potential to yield several journal publications, rather than potential to solve real-world problems,

3) 'neglectedness' is interpreted as addressing a problem that's already been considered in only 5-20 previous journal papers, rather than one that's totally off the radar.

I would love to see academia in general adopt a more EA perspective on how to allocate scarce resources -- not just when addressing problems of human & animal welfare and X-risk, but in addressing any problem.