As CSER’s Academic Programme Manager, Simon works across all CSER's research projects and leads our work on developing new methods to study existential risk. He also coordinates much of our communications, policy engagement, and fundraising as well as organising our conferences, public lectures, and visitor programmes.
Much of Simon's work focuses on developing methods to assess and manage global systemic risks, such as those relating to climate change. He has been described by Vice as "bringing scientific precision to the doomsday scenario that wipes us off the planet". This draws on his comprehensive study of methods for assessing global catastrophic risk but also relates to CSER's work on global justice and sustainable finance. Simon discussed this work on the Future of Life Podcast.
Before joining CSER, Simon was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Future of Humanity Institute’s project ‘Population Ethics: theory and practice' (now the Global Priorities Institute). He has a PhD in Philosophy from the London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. Outside of his work on existential risk, Simon has published on population ethics and intergenerational justice and has a strong interest in big questions about the nature and future of morality.
Alongside his work at CSER, Simon is an advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations, an Affiliated Researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies and a BBC New Generation Thinker. He has made radio programmes for the BBC such as “What do you do if you are a manically depressed robot?” and “I love my children but are they the biggest moral mistake I ever made?” and has also appeared on Radio and TV programmes such as Newsnight, Analysis, and the Naked Scientists.
Simon has a background in politics and policy, including as a researcher in the UK parliament, think tanks and NGOs and as a political candidate. He has taught moral and political philosophy at Cambridge, the LSE and VU Amsterdam and was formally a private tutor in economics. His Erdös-Bacon-Sabbath number is 11.
Accumulating evidence using crowdsourcing and machine learning: a living bibliography about existential risk and global catastrophic risk
Peer-reviewed paper by Gorm Shackelford, Luke Kemp, Catherine Rhodes, Lalitha Sundaram, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Simon Beard, Haydn Belfield, Julius Weitzdörfer, Shahar Avin, Dag Sørebø, Elliot M. Jones, John B. Hume, David Price, David Pyle, Daniel Hurt, Theodore Stone, Harry Watkins, Lydia Collas, William Sutherland
The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation
Peer-reviewed paper by Miles Brundage, Shahar Avin, Jack Clark, Helen Toner, Peter Eckersley, Ben Garfinkel, Allan Dafoe, Paul Scharre, Thomas Zeitzoff, Bobby Filar, Hyrum Anderson, Heather Roff, Gregory C. Allen, Jacob Steinhardt, Carrick Flynn, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Simon Beard, Haydn Belfield, Sebastian Farquhar, Clare Lyle, Rebecca Crootof, Owain Evans, Michael Page, Joanna Bryson, Roman Yampolskiy, Dario Amodei