Hear This Idea
Hear This Idea
Aug 31, 2022
#52 – Michael Aird on how to do Impact-Driven Research

Michael Aird is a senior research manager at Rethink Priorities, where he co-leads the Artificial Intelligence Governance and Strategy team alongside Amanda El-Dakhakhni. Before that, he conducted nuclear risk research for Rethink Priorities and longtermist macrostrategy research for Convergence Analysis, the Center on Long-Term Risk, and the Future of Humanity Institute, which is where we know each other from. Before that, he was a teacher and a stand up comedian. We discuss:

  • Whether you should stay in academia if you want to do impactful research
  • How to start looking for roles at impact-driven research organisations
  • What simple changes can improve how you write about your research
  • The uses of 'reductionism' and quantitative thinking
  • The concept of ‘reasoning transparency’
  • Michael’s experience investigating nuclear security

Key links:

You can find more links, and read the full transcript, in this episode's write-up: hearthisidea.com/episodes/aird.

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