There are many potential cause areas (e.g. improving global health, or reducing pandemic risk, or addressing long-term population decline) , but we may not have identified what the most impactful causes are. This is the result of a lack of systematic cause prioritization research.
- EA’s three big cause areas (i.e. global health, animal welfare and AI risk) were not chosen by systematic research, but by historical happenstance (e.g. Peter Singer being a strong supporter of animal rights, or the Future of Humanity Institute influencing the early EA movement in Oxford).
- Existing cause research is not always fully systematic; for lack of time, it does not always involve (a) searching for as many causes as possible (e.g. more than a thousand) and then (b) researching and evaluating all of them to narrow down to the top causes.
- The search space for causes is vast, and existing EA research organizations agree that there is room for more organizations (link).
The upshot of insufficient cause prioritization research, and of not knowing the most impactful causes, is that we cannot direct our scarce resources accordingly. Consequently, global welfare is lower and the world worse off than it could be.
To solve this problem, CEARCH carries out:
- A comprehensive search for causes.
- Rigorous cause prioritization research, with (a) shallow research reviews done for all causes, (b) intermediate research reviews for more promising causes, and finally (c) deep research reviews for potential top causes.
- Reasoning transparency and outreach to allow both the EA and non-EA movement to update on our findings and to direct resources the most impactful causes available.
CEARCH discovering a Cause X every three years and significantly increasing support for it.