The Global Priorities Institute in collaboration with the Department of Economics is happy to announce the Inaugural Atkinson Memorial Lecture by Yew-Kwang Ng on the 22nd of February, 1-2.30 pm.


Effective altruism should ultimately be for the promotion of aggregate welfare. Broad altruism does not confine welfare to humans only. Thus, two priorities for broad and effective altruism may include reducing the probabilities of global extinction and the promotion of animal welfare. The former is important because if we become extinct, we lose the enormous amount of welfare into the far future. Also, we are faced with extinction probabilities that could be reduced, including through better environmental protection. Moreover, if we can avoid extinction, we will likely be able to increase our welfare enormously through such scientific and technological breakthroughs like brain stimulation and genetic engineering. Whether artificial intelligence may threaten our survival soon will also be discussed. An effective way to promote animal welfare is to reduce animal suffering at low or even negative costs on humans.

Biography of the speaker

Yew-Kwang Ng is a professor in economics, Nanyang Technological University; emeritus professor, Monash University; fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2007, he received the highest award (Distinguished Fellow) of the Economic Society of Australia. Including one published when an undergraduate, he has 11.5 papers (joint papers counted fractionally) in the top-5 journals in economics. He has also published more than 30 books and more than 250 refereed journal papers in economics, biology, cosmology, informetrics, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, including American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Journal of Political Economy, and Review of Economic Studies. Recent books: Common Mistakes in Economics, Nova, 2011 (open access); Markets and Morals, contract signed with Cambridge University Press. Homepage:

Event Details

Thu, February 22, 2018 | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM GMT

Manor Road Lecture Theatre, 5 Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UQ

Register here to secure a place

This is the first in an annual series of distinguished lectures in economics, named after the late Professor Sir Tony Atkinson. The series aims to encourage attention to global priorities research topics. 

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