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Hear This Idea is a podcast showcasing new thinking in philosophy, the social sciences, and effective altruism. Each episode has an accompanying write-up at www.hearthisidea.com/episodes.

Hear This Idea Fin Moorhouse and Luca Righetti

    • Wetenschap

Hear This Idea is a podcast showcasing new thinking in philosophy, the social sciences, and effective altruism. Each episode has an accompanying write-up at www.hearthisidea.com/episodes.

    Bonus: Damon Binder on Economic History and the Future of Physics

    Bonus: Damon Binder on Economic History and the Future of Physics

    Damon Binder is a research analyst at Open Philanthropy. His research focuses on potential risks from pandemics and from biotechnology. He previously worked as a research scholar at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, where he studied existential risks. Prior to that he completed his PhD in theoretical physics at Princeton University.

    We discuss:


    How did early states manage large populations?
    What explains the hockeystick shape of world economic growth?
    Did urbanisation enable more productive farming, or vice-versa?
    What does transformative AI mean for growth?
    Would 'degrowth' benefit the world?
    What do theoretical physicists actually do, and what are they still trying to understand?
    Why not just run bigger physics experiments to solve the latest problems?
    What could the history of physics tell us about its future?
    In what sense are the universe's constants fine-tuned?
    Will the universe ever just... end?
    Why might we expect digital minds to be a big deal?

    Links

    Damon's list of book recommendations
    A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry (history blog)
    Cold Takes by Holden Karnofsky (blog on futurism and AI).
    Highlight from Cold Takes: The Most Important Century series of posts
    Crusader Kings
    Europa Universalis
    The Age of Em by Robin Hanson
    The Five Ages of the Universe by Fred Adams

    You can find more episodes and links at our website, hearthisidea.com.

    (This episode is a bonus episode because it's less focused on topics in effective altruism than normal)

    • 4 uur
    Greg Nemet on Technological Change and How Solar Became Cheap

    Greg Nemet on Technological Change and How Solar Became Cheap

    A full writeup of this episode, including references and a transcript, is available on our website: https://hearthisidea.com/episodes/nemet

    Greg Nemet is a a Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the La Follette School of Public Affairs and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He is also the author of How Solar Energy Became Cheap

    We discuss:


    The distinct phases that helped solar PV move down its learning curve
    What lessons we can learn on how to accelerate and affect other technologies
    Theories about National Innovation Systems and lock-in

    If you have any feedback, you can get a free book for filling out our new feedback form. You can also get in touch through our website or on Twitter. Consider leaving us a review wherever you're listening to this — it's the best free way to support the show. Thanks for listening!

    • 1 u. 49 min.
    Dewi Erwan on BlueDot Impact and Scaling High-Impact Organisations

    Dewi Erwan on BlueDot Impact and Scaling High-Impact Organisations

    A full writeup of this episode, including references and a transcript, is available on our website: https://hearthisidea.com/episodes/erwan

    Dewi Erwan is a co-founder of BlueDot Impact, the Biosecurity Advisor to the Cambridge Existential Risk Initiative, and the previous Executive Director ofEffective Altruism Cambridge.

    We discuss:


    Setting up BlueDot Impact and scaling pilot programmes
    Talent gaps in the EA community and more strategic goal setting
    Career advice and leadership skills

    If you have any feedback, you can get a free book for filling out our new feedback form. You can also get in touch through our website or on Twitter. Consider leaving us a review wherever you're listening to this — it's the best free way to support the show. Thanks for listening!

    • 2 uur 40 min.
    Jassi Pannu and Joshua Monrad on Pandemic Preparedness

    Jassi Pannu and Joshua Monrad on Pandemic Preparedness

    A full writeup of this episode, including references and a transcript, is available on our website:
    hearthisidea.com/episodes/pannu-monrad

    Jassi Pannu is a Resident Physician at Stanford, a Visiting Scholar at John Hopkins, and a Fellow at the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative.

    Joshua Monrad is a Biosecurity Program Officer at Effective Giving and a Researcher at Oxford's Future Humanity Institute.

    We discuss:


    The post-COVID biosecurity landscape, including the American Pandemic Preparedness Plan
    The Biological Weapons Convention and current issues in dual-use research
    The role of antivirals, increasing vaccine capacity, and market failures
    Similarities and differences between GCBR mitigation and general pandemic preparedness
    How some interventions are underpinned by global cooperation

    If you have any feedback, you can get a free book for filling out our new feedback form. You can also get in touch through our website or on twitter. Consider leaving us a review wherever you're listening to this — it's the best free way to support the show. Thanks for listening!

    • 2 uur 48 min.
    Edouard Mathieu on Our World in Data

    Edouard Mathieu on Our World in Data

    A full writeup of this episode, including references and a transcript, is available on our website: hearthisidea.com/episodes/mathieu

    Edouard Mathieu is the Head of Data at Our World in Data (OWID), a scientific online publication that focuses on large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality.

    We discuss:


    What Ed learned from working with governments and the WHO
    A simple change the WHO could make to radically improve how countries share data for the next pandemic
    The idea of 'experimental longtermism'
    How Ed is thinking about collecting data on transformative artificial intelligence and other potential existential risks
    Figuring out the impact of making everyone slightly better-informed
    Lessons for starting a career in impact-oriented data science
    And finally... Ed's favourite OWID chart

    If you have any feedback, you can get a free book for filling out our new feedback form. You can also get in touch through our website or on Twitter. Consider leaving us a review wherever you're listening to this — it's the best free way to support the show. Thanks for listening!

    Tessa Alexanian and Janvi Ahuja on Synthetic Biology and GCBRs

    Tessa Alexanian and Janvi Ahuja on Synthetic Biology and GCBRs

    A full writeup of this episode, including references and a transcript, is available on our website: hearthisidea.com/episodes/alexanian-ahuja

    Tessa Alexanian is the Safety & Security Program Officer at the iGEM Foundation, which organises a worldwide competition in synthetic biology and helps foster a collaborative community. She is a fellow at the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative, was previously a fellow at the Foresight Institute, and co-founded the East Bay Biosecurity Group.

    Janvi Ahuja is a PhD student in computational biology at the University of Oxford, where she is affiliated with the Future of Humanity Institute and works with MIT’s Nucleic Acid Observatory on metagenomic sequencing. Janvi is also a fellow at the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative, and was previously an intern at the UN’s Biological Weapons Convention ISU

    We discuss:


    How synthetic biology began and why it is an exploding field
    The iGEM competition and how to get involved in the community
    Challenges and trade-offs in creating a culture of responsibility in synthetic biology
    Emerging risks in synthetic biology and what this means for global catastrophic risks
    Technical projects in biosecurity and career advice for how to get involved

    If you have any feedback, you can get a free book for filling out our new feedback form. You can also get in touch through our website or on Twitter. Consider leaving us a review wherever you're listening to this — it's the best free way to support the show. Thanks for listening!

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