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Wild-Animal Suffering Research 2017 Retrospective

Cross-posted on behalf of the Wild-Animal Suffering Research team.

 

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Note: This post is an update on the progress of the Wild-Animal Suffering Research project. If you’re not familiar with this project, you can read our launch post and mission.

Background

Wild-Animal Suffering Research (WASR) launched as a project supported by the Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF) in June 2017. We are a team of three part-time researchers conducting multidisciplinary research to learn more about the problem of wild-animal suffering. Our hope is that a comprehensive understanding of the cause area will allow us to make progress towards determining the tractability of wild-animal suffering. We are currently funded by a $30,000 grant from Effective Altruism Funds – Animal Welfare.

Progress

Research

Agenda

  • We released a comprehensive research agenda identifying promising areas of research to both better understand wild-animal suffering and identify viable solutions to it.

  • Each researcher released an individual research plan highlighting their focus for the next 12 - 24 months.

Publications

Communications

  • We set up a blog and a Facebook page shortly after launching the project. We use these platforms to communicate project updates as well as brief write-ups on important concepts:

Team

We hired Georgia Ray as a part-time researcher. Georgia writes about a variety of topics including animal welfare and existential risk on the website Eukaryote Writes Blog, and helps run the Seattle Effective Altruists group. She has done research on bacteriophage-host interactions, and graduated from The Evergreen State College with a focus in microbiology.

Conferences

  • Ozy Brennan participated in the 2017 Research Workshop on Effective Animal Advocacy organised by ACE and developed a research proposal on establishing welfare biology as an academic discipline.

  • Persis Eskander gave talks on the importance of building a movement to reduce wild-animal suffering at EA Global London and EAGx Berlin.

  • Persis Eskander presented her paper “Assessing Humanity's Impact on Wild-Animal Suffering (WAS) through Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity (HANPP)” at EA Global London.

Grants

  • Persis Eskander was awarded a grant for $6400 in Round 3 of the Animal Advocacy Research Fund to conduct research on the harm caused by crop cultivation to vertebrate wild animals in the US.

Feedback

Our project is still in its infancy so feedback on our work is extremely valuable. If you’d like to give anonymous feedback, follow the link on our Feedback page. Otherwise, feel free to leave comments or send us an email with your thoughts: info@was-research.org.

 

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