September 15, 2021 Newsletter

Welcome back!

EA UW–Madison’s future.

We are excited to be returning to UW–Madison for our organization’s second year. Since last year, our leadership team has grown and we’ve furthered our commitment to promoting Effective Altruism on campus.

Before you do anything else, please take a moment to join our Slack – our main communication platform – and introduce yourself in the #introductions channel if you haven’t already.

This semester we will be hosting our signature 8-week Introduction to Effective Altruism Fellowship. The Effective Altruism Fellowship helps students figure out how we can do the most good with our lives (and particularly our careers) by introducing the ideas and applications of Effective Altruism: the science of combining evidence and compassion to find the best opportunities for improving the world. We will also discuss criticisms and questions of Effective Altruism. In the last week of the fellowship, we will host a career workshop for us to think through how we can increase our positive impact through our careers.

Topics covered in the fellowship include:

  • Measuring impact — how to do the most good with our limited resources
  • Global health and poverty — with a focus on neglected tropical disease eradication in developing regions
  • Factory farming — how should we evaluate and address animal suffering
  • Emerging technologies — how transformative artificial intelligence and advances in biotechnology might affect the world
  • Longtermism — how should we take into account the well-being of future generations
  • Global catastrophic risks — with a focus on AI safety, pandemic risks, climate change, and nuclear risks

Upcoming events

Virtual Organizations Fair
When: September 24th between 6:00 and 8:00 PM.

First Meeting — Introduction to EA and Fellowship Information Event
When: September 26th between 5:30 and 6:30 PM
Where: Hearing Room in the Student Activity Center (SAC), 333 E Campus Mall

Fall Semester Introduction to EA Fellowship (8 weeks)
When: October 4th – November 22nd
Where: TBD

New to Effective Altruism?

The world faces so many challenging problems that it can be difficult to know where to start. For people who want to change the world for the better, effective altruism offers a framework for comparing different ways to do good and then acting on the most promising of them. Effective altruism is both a research field and a community of people dedicated to using high-quality evidence and careful reasoning to work out how to help others as much as possible.

There are many reasons you might be interested in learning more about effective altruism. If you are interested in preventing pandemics and nuclear wars, stopping the factory farming of animals, giving to effective charities, understanding the risks of artificial intelligence, ethics, evidence-based discussions, and doing good, then this organization is for you!

What’s going on in the EA community?

We want to welcome back those who participated in EA UW–Madison’s first Introductory Fellowship as well as those familiar with effective altruism through other avenues. If you want to stay involved in the EA community, check out the EA Virtual Programs which offers in-depth fellowships and other programming.

There are also two in-person EA conferences happening before the end of the year. Applications are open now.

  • EA Global: London 2021 (October 29–31) will be selecting for highly engaged members of the community.
  • EAGxPrague (December 3–5) will be more suitable for those who have less experience with effective altruism.

Some helpful resources

  • Effective Thesis helps students find effective thesis topics and provides coaching and mentoring.
    • The Hilldale Scholarship is a $4,000 undergraduate research scholarship for students who undertake their own research projects in collaboration with UW–Madison faculty. We encourage those who want to do effective altruism-inspired research to apply when applications open in December.
  • The 80,000 Hours job board is a great place to look for high-impact career opportunities. If you want to learn more about using your career to do good, check out their Key Ideas page.

Meet the author

  • Placeholder image for Eeshaan Pirani

    Eeshaan Pirani


    Eeshaan is a senior studying Computer Sciences and Philosophy. They became interested in EA in late 2020 while thinking about ways to help non-human animals beyond adopting a vegan lifestyle, joined the EA UW leadership team in its early days, and founded Animal Advocacy UW–Madison in Fall 2022. They are particularly interested in suffering-focused ethics and strategies to help make EA more diverse and inclusive of a movement. Their hobbies include casual bike riding, amateur vegan cooking, listening to jazz, drinking kombucha, and language learning (sometimes all at once).

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