Dillon Bowen

Where were you studying prior to Pembroke?

I'm a visiting student from Tufts.

What degree are you currently doing, and what stage are you at in your degree?

Entering 4th and final year of undergraduate at Tufts.  At Oxford I was doing philosophy and psychology.  At Tufts I'm doing philosophy, cognitive science, computer science, and economics. 

What is the biggest/most important thing that you have learned during your time at Pembroke?

Perhaps the most important thing I've learned at Oxford - which I've learned by getting involved with the Effective Altruism community here - is just how easily some of the world's most terrible problems can be solved. For example, malaria, which kills a child every minute, could be eradicated for about $8.5 billion. To put this in perspective, malaria is killing children on a global scale at 3 times the rate children die in the UK from all causes combined, and can be eradicated by the UK for just %0.3 of 1 year's GDP. I found it quite shocking to learn just how terrible and yet easy to fix some of our biggest problems are. And as a moral psychologist, I want to know what it is that's stopping us from donating that %0.3 to save half a million children from dying every year.

What would you like to do when you finish your degree? Or, if you already have something in place, please describe it!

Applying for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, as well as PhDs at Harvard and MIT.  If this fails, I'll take a year to research and work, applying again the following year with safety options.

What has been the highlight of your time at Pembroke / Oxford?

Definitely spending time with people from the Centre for Effective Altruism.  Everyone I've met there is a genuinely great and wonderful human being, and I'm proud to consider them my friends.  I learned an immense amount from them, and hope to stay in touch when I'm back in the States. 

Was there anything that surprised you about Pembroke / Oxford in your first year here?

I think the immense workload was a lot at first. But I adapted quickly, as does everyone. You'll get used to it.

Any advice for prospective students?

Yes.  Sign up for the Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours student groups.  These are, without a doubt, the best student groups to be involved with.  The students who help run the groups are exception people - intelligent even by Oxford standards, kind, and friendly.  If you want to make the world a better place, these are the groups to get involved with.

Anything else..?

No, I think's that's about it!