How long does it take to research and develop a new vaccine?

This essay was jointly written by Peter Hurford and Marcus Davis. Interventions related to vaccines seem to be highly cost-effective. The World Health Organization calls vaccines “one of the most powerful and cost-effective of all health interventions." ( WHO, 2009 , pXIV) and the Copenhagen Consensus says that "[v]accination may... Read More

Can we apply start-up investing principles to non-profits?

How do you find the best non-profits to donate to? This is an important question that is critical to effective altruism. One suggestion comes from Holden Karnofsky at the Open Philanthropy Project, who describes a strategy called “hits-based giving” . In this framework, you make a number of investments, some... Read More

The 2017 Effective Altruism Survey - Please Take!

This year, the EA Survey volunteer team is proud to announce the launch of the 2017 Effective Altruism Survey . - PLEASE TAKE THIS SURVEY NOW! :) If you're short on time and you've taken the survey in prior years, you can take an abridged donations-only version of the survey... Read More

How do EA Orgs Account for Uncertainty in their Analysis?

This essay was jointly written by Peter Hurford, Kathryn Mecrow, and Simon Beard[1].   Effective altruism is about figuring out how to do the most good ; when working with limited resources, whether financial or otherwise, and faced with opportunity costs, how do we measure the good of the impact of... Read More

How Should I Spend My Time?

Back in 2013, I was in my final year of college and wanted to think seriously about what I do. I drafted up 11 initial options (though I now feel like my initial list was kind of shortsighted), narrowed it down to 5 options that I more thoroughly assessed ,... Read More

Effective Altruism is Not a Competition

In the past, some people have suggested that we “gamify” effective altruism some more, and create points for doing altruistic-y things, like donating our money or volunteering our time. I think this could be a good idea, but rather than seeing individual scores, I’d much rather see a collective team... Read More

Semi-regular Open Thread #35

We used to have Open Threads on this forum. I was hoping someone would bring them back. No one did. So now I'm the change I want to see in the world. Use this thread to post things that are awesome, but not awesome enough to be full posts. This... Read More

Why I Took the Giving What We Can Pledge

Many people ask me how I became involved in effective altruism. It all started with God. In the fall of 2010, I read Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God and Nicholas Everitt’s The Nonexistence of God . I can’t say that I believed in God prior to reading these... Read More

The Value of Time Spent Fundraising: Four Examples

In the past, I’ve spent a few times fundraising for EA top charities. Awhile ago, it was suggested as a potential high-impact EA career , with a lot of thought given to “fundraising ratios” based on the amount of money taken in and the amount of money raised. I personally... Read More

What is the expected value of creating a GiveWell top charity?

Earlier this year, GiveWell Experimental predicted that we, the team behind Charity Science Health (CSH), have a 15% chance of becoming a GiveWell top charity by giving season 2019 . That sounds pretty cool. But what does it mean for our plans? How good is it to be a top... Read More

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