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About this talk



EA Student Summit 2020

Choosing an academic research topic (Tyler John)

Let's say you want to do some longtermist research. You've read through Global Priorities Institute's research agenda and attended some conferences and you have a sense of what the most important problems are, but you’re having trouble narrowing down a research question. How can you decide? Tyler offers a general framework to help you choose between global priorities research questions in an academic context.

Global health priorities: how does the future fit in? (Bridget Williams)

Bridget gives an overview of how global priorities research intersects with health, and how the long-term future fits into health priority-setting. She explores how some of our approaches to setting health priorities may need to change to incorporate concern for the health of future populations.

Cyborg forecasting (Dillon Bowen)

In 2019, Dillon worked with a team of superforecasters to win a forecasting tournament sponsored by the US intelligence community. Drawing on this experience, he discusses why forecasting is important, the potential for human-computer 'cyborg' forecasting systems, and the steps you can take to become a better forecaster.

The mortality cost of carbon (R. Daniel Bressler)

Climate change is expected to cause a significant number of excess deaths over the 21st century. However, no studies have yet quantified the number of excess deaths caused by marginal emissions. This is crucial because estimating the marginal effect of emissions is more important for informing decision-making than the total effect resulting from the emissions of all global economic activity in aggregate across time.

This study estimates the effect of marginal emissions on excess deaths by creating a coupled climate-economy-demographics integrated assessment model called DICE-EMR. We find that marginal emissions have a surprisingly large mortality impact: in a baseline emissions scenario, the emission of 4,262 metric tons of carbon dioxide released in 2020 — equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 3.3 average Americans — causes one excess death globally between 2020-2100.