Existential Risk – Diplomacy and Governance

Today, we launched our latest report at the Embassy of Finland in London. It lays out three concrete recommendations for the international community to mitigate existential risk. The executive summary is here. The full report can be found here. The 2015 Paris Agreement represented a huge global effort to safeguard future generations from damaging climate […]

More Must Be Done to Guard Against Global Catastrophic Risks

Crossposted from Huffington Post Sebastian Farquhar Global catastrophes sometimes strike. In 1918 the Spanish Flu killed as many as one in twenty people. There have been even more devastating pandemics – the Black Death and the 6th century Plague of Justinian may have each killed nearer to one in every six people on this earth. […]

Global Catastrophic Risks 2016

Global catastrophes sometimes strike. In 1918 the Spanish Flu killed as many as one in twenty people. There have been even more devastating pandemics – the Black Death and the 6th century Plague of Justinian may have each killed nearer to one in every six people on this earth. More recently, the Cuban Missile Crisis […]

Workshop: Existential Risk – Diplomacy and Governance

On February 8th and 9th around twenty leading academics and policy-makers from the UK, USA, Germany, Finland, and Sweden gathered at our workshop in Oxford to discuss governance in existential risks. This brought together a mixture of specialists in relevant subject domains, diplomats, policy experts, and researchers with broad methodological expertise in existential risk. We had […]

New UK aid strategy – prioritising research and crisis response

On the 23rd, DFID announced their new strategy for the next 5 years. This included at least £2.5bn in extra funding for research into high priority areas – like new treatments for neglected tropical diseases and malaria. We have been advocating this, because we think it could be much more effective than direct overseas health […]

By Bramfab

Discounting for uncertainty in health

Abstract: Discounting has an important role to play when choosing between different health interventions whose costs and benefits are spread over time. There are several reasons we discount, such as time preference and uncertainty, and these behave differently in different contexts. In this chapter I explore discounting for uncertainty in a health context. I argue […]

Research note: Requiring liability insurance for dual-use research

Owen Cotton-Barratt These are notes on a policy proposal aimed at reducing catastrophic risk. They cover some of the advantages and disadvantages of the idea at a general level; they do not yet constitute a proposal for a specific version of the policy. Research produces large benefits. In some cases it may also pose novel […]

Emerging ideas take time to turn into policy

Research note: Good policy ideas that won’t happen (yet)

Niel Bowerman Over the last year the Centre for Effective Altruism has had over a dozen meetings with UK policymakers and tested the waters on a range of policies we thought might have significant positive benefits for the world. In most cases we quickly found that they could not currently attract political support, for various […]

Unprecedented technological risks include those from Gain-of-Function research

Unprecedented Technological Risks

Over the next few decades, the continued development of dual-use technologies will provide major benefits to society. They will also pose significant and unprecedented global risks, including risks of new weapons of mass destruction, arms races, or the accidental deaths of billions of people. Synthetic biology, if more widely accessible, would give terrorist groups the […]