This post aims to give blog readers and followers of the Open Philanthropy Project an opportunity to publicly raise comments or questions about the Open Philanthropy Project or related topics (in the comments section below). As always, you’re also welcome to email us at if there’s feedback or questions you’d prefer to discuss privately. We’ll try to respond promptly to questions or comments.

You can see our most recent previous open thread here.


What do people at Open Philanthropy think about the problem of running out of nonrenewable resources? Most famous is peak oil, but people raise concerns about other resources as well, such as phosphorous. A priori it doesn’t seem implausible to me that the world is heading to an economic disaster because the major players don’t have time preference to use these resources in a sustainable rate. I’ve also heard claims that these issues exaggerated and none of the important nonrenewable resources are close to being exhausted. A priori this also seems plausible to me, and I haven’t put in time to distinguishes these two possibilities.

We looked briefly into these issues, and didn’t see anything that we thought was competitive with the global catastrophic risks we’ve chosen to prioritize. It’s not something we ever went in depth on enough to have a public writeup, unfortunately.

Do you think it could be useful to reduce or offset some of the potential burden of openness? Perhaps through giving further encouragement to other foundations / funding organisations to be more open in various ways themselves. It seems to me that having a higher standard of openness at Open Philanthropy will attract more attention, which in a sense is a good thing, but this is probably going to be disproportionate in comparison to where other groups could (or ought to) receive attention. For instance where they place grants, for how much and the thinking which generally underpins their grantmaking.

It seems to me that it is useful to see how Open Philanthropy does this, but it is a lot more useful if we also get to see how this happens with other organisations working in similar areas. For instance, whilst program managers may be in a general loop, it is difficult to feedback with more relevance without having access to more of the loop information.

I know this type of work generally happens already but might there be some examples of successes / difficulties / alignment or divergence? I tend to think this type of issue is quite important from an outsider perspective.

Have you had any interest or investigation into the prospects of cryobiology, cryopreservation, or cryonics-specific research representing good opportunities for OPP?

As a few examples: the work of Organ Preservation Alliance to catalyze organ banking R&D; the Large Mammalian Brain Preservation Prize (BPP) awarded in March and the potential to build upon it with additional criteria or a more robust program; and the following perspective on the BPP in relation to cryonics-specific research:

We haven’t looked much into this topic. My impression is that for long-termist purposes, it’s not likely to be competitive with global catastrophic risk reduction work. It’s possible there is a fit with our work on scientific research aimed at neglected goals, but we haven’t investigated it yet for that purpose.

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