Hi! I’m Niel Bowerman. I am currently Assistant Director at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute.
I was a co-founder of the Centre for Effective Altruism and I have a PhD (DPhil) in climate physics from Oxford University. I was a member of President Obama’s Energy and Environment Policy Team during the 2008 Presidential election, and I was Climate Science Advisor to the Office of the President of the Maldives. I was also named a “Global Shaper” by the World Economic Forum. A full biography is available here.
When I’m not working, I can usually be found on an ultimate frisbee field or spending time with my wife, possibly while wild swimming in one of Oxford’s many rivers where we first met.
My current obsession is the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, where I am the Assistant Director. Founded by Prof. Nick Bostrom, the Institute researches crucial considerations for humanity’s long-term future. We seek to focus our work where we can make the greatest positive difference.
Some of the projects I have co-founded or helped to set up include the following:
The Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Centre works to solve the long-term strategic and political challenges associated with the value-alignment problem in artificial intelligence. The Centre is a joint initiative between Prof. Nick Bostrom’s Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge. It was founded with a generous grant from Elon Musk, the Future of Life Institute and the Open Philanthropy Project.
The Centre for Effective Altruism fosters projects which use evidence and analysis to help others as much as possible. As the organisation to first settle on the term ‘effective altruism’, it is a growing coalition of projects that put these ideas into practice in different ways.
I act as an Advisor to 80,000 Hours, an organisation I helped set up and where I was once Acting Executive Director. 80,000 Hours carries out research and provides guidance to talented individuals hoping to maximise their social impact. 80,000 Hours is also part of the Centre for Effective Altruism.
This last one isn’t really a project, but Prof. William MacAskill’s book is a fantastic introduction to so many of the ideas that I care about, and I helped coordinate the marketing behind it, so I’m including it here in case you haven’t read it!
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