Research Manager @ ALLFED - Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters
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Professional bio // Long bio

"The essential thing was to save the greatest possible number of persons from dying and being doomed to unending separation. And to do this there was only one resource: to fight the plague. There was nothing admirable about this attitude; it was merely logical." - Albert Camus, The Plague

Altruism is the rational response to an irrational world.


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Thank you so much for writing and sharing this resource Sam, and again I can't thank you enough for your support in helping us launch our policy org ORCG, we quite probably could not have done it without you.

if this space was closer to my grantmaking, I'd be excited to fund a fully neutral study into these questions.

Here's hoping that the new set of studies on this funded by FLI (~$4 million) will shed light on the issue within the next few years.


True, not only outreach but also sufficient engagement/retention is needed in order to reliably increase the ratio.

That's correct. Artificial intelligence and engineered pandemics are just given as examples of things that may fall under the category of threats from emerging technologies.

Outreach in groups with higher ratios of women: this is the one thing that comes to my mind every time I think about this. As long as EA is downstream of a few male-dominated disciplines/fields, it seems virtually impossible for the gender ratio to change. 

Here's a diagram I made to explain my thinking. The width of the arrow represents how many people are coming from each field, and the colored surface in each figure represents the gender ratio in each field:

If correct, this picture shows that you'd need to do something against this very strong society-wide selection pressure. Short of changing the gender ratios of the disciplines that EA is downstream of (society already spending significant amounts of resources on this), you would need to change which fields EA is getting people from. So here the outreach intervention you propose is equivalent to increasing the width of the arrows that represent female-dominated fields.

Physical engineering lab to build capacity for prototyping hardware ideas with relevance to areas identified as important to the long-term future


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