EAGxAustralia 2020 Workshop on Global Priorities

September 26, 2020 - September 27, 2020
Australian National University


View the Call For Papers


Australian National University
Oxford University
University of Queensland
Australian National University
Eva Vivalt
Australian National University


Ben Grodeck
Monash University
University of Oxford
Bridget Williams
Monash University
Australian National University

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We are delighted to announce the EAGxAustralia 2020 Workshop on Global Priorities. This two-day workshop will be held at the Australian National University on the 26th-27th of September, in conjunction with the Effective Altruism Global x Australia conference. As a result, presenters will have the opportunity to share their research with a large, highly engaged public audience.

Invited speakers for the Workshop include:

  • Andreas Mogensen (Oxford, Philosophy)

  • Alan Hájek (ANU, Philosophy)

  • Katie Steele (ANU, Philosophy)

  • John Quiggin (UQ, Economics)

  • Simon Grant (ANU, Economics)

  • Eva Vivalt (ANU, Economics)

The aim of this workshop is to bring attention to high-impact research topics which fall under the banner of global priorities research: an emerging field which looks at issues which arise in response to the question, ‘What should we do with a given amount of limited resources if our aim is to do the most good (impartially construed)?’

Agents with this aim of beneficence - for instance, many in the effective altruism community - must prioritise among many different global problems, and many means of tackling them. This priority-setting requires answers to thorny questions, both normative and descriptive, and both philosophical and applied. It is these questions which the workshop (and global priorities research more broadly) seeks to answer.

Examples of questions within philosophy include (but are not limited to):

  • Are we both rationally and morally required to maximise expected moral value, even when doing so involves producing extremely low probabilities of extremely high payoffs?

  • What form/s of welfare should altruists promote (and what does this imply in practice)?

  • Should we accept longtermism: the view that the primary determinant of the differences in moral value of the actions we take today is the effect of those actions on the very long-term future? And, in practice, what actions should a longtermist take?

  • How should we compare benefits to humans and to non-human animals?

  • How can we measure the welfare of non-human animals (and what do these methods imply in practice)?

  • Do we have moral reasons to bring future persons into existence, and how do these compare to our reasons to benefit present (or necessary) persons?

  • How might other duties (e.g., those arising from issues of justice) interfere with duties of beneficence?

  • How should altruists respond to uncertainty over which moral theories are correct?

  • To what extent should a government take actions that are better for the world even if they conflict with the interests of their own citizens?

  • How should we respond to different forms of evidence about how effective different actions are in promoting value?

(For further examples, see the research agendea of the Oxford Global Priorities Institute: https://globalprioritiesinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/gpi-research-agenda.pdf)

The deadline for submissions is April 9th. Generous funding for travel and accommodation is available for speakers and for graduate students attending.

We strongly encourage submissions from members of groups underrepresented in the relevant fields of academia, including women and people of colour.

For further details, please see the full Call for Abstracts, or visit the conference website.

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April 9, 2020, 7:45pm +10:00

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