About me



Michael Dello-Iacovo is a PhD candidate in space science, looking at asteroid exploration, mining and impact risk. Michael hosts the Morality is Hard podcast where he examines ethical questions, and argues that everyday ethical choices are harder than we think they are.

Michael was previously the Acting CEO of Effective Altruism Australia and a geophysicist at an Australian energy company. His interests and expertise also lie more broadly in non-profits, effective altruism, the future of sentience and ethics. Michael currently offers consulting services in geophysics and non-profit fundraising, operations and strategy.

Michael has a passion for science and ethics communication. He has given public lectures and appeared on TV, radio and online news outlets to discuss topics of public interest including asteroid impact risk, renewable energy, effective charitable programs and interventions, public health, climate change and ethics.

“Giving back is a big part of who I am, and so I have pledged to give everything I make over $45,000 AUD each year for life to the world’s most effective charities and causes.”

Content from this website may be shared but may not be republished without permission. A quote of no more than 100 words may be published with a link to the original article.

Key roles

PhD candidate (Mining Engineering) – University of New South Wales – ACSER (February ’16 – present)
Research relating to the exploration, mapping and mining of asteroids and other planetary bodies, with a focus on geophysical techniques. Also looking at the broader ethical and societal implications of space exploration and exploitation. See Research for more details.

Acting CEO – Effective Altruism Australia (August ’16 – March ’17)
Setting the direction and strategy of the organisation to effectively raise money and awareness for the partner charities. Effective Altruism Australia partners with charities that are highly recommended at improving lives, as recommended by international charity evaluator GiveWell, and assist donors in enabling their resources to go further in helping others.

I led a team that granted over $700,000 AU to highly effective poverty charities in its first 11 months of operation, and oversaw a high quality launch which raised an impressive level of awareness about effective altruism throughout Australia.

Public relations officer – Effective Altruism Australia (May ’16 – August ’16)
One of two volunteers managing donor relations and engagement.

Co-founder and President – The Life You Can Save Adelaide (March ’15 – July ’16)
Advocating for a greater focus on the effectiveness of charities, and encouraging people to consider the effectiveness of the causes and charities they support.  Organising fortnightly meetings for members to meet like-minded people, running events and give presentations about effective altruism, and leading conventional/social media engagement.

Graduate Geophysicist – Santos Ltd (January ’15 – July ’16)
Acquisition, processing and interpretation of 2D and 3D seismic data.

Secretary – Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists – SA/NT branch (January ’15 – March ’16)
Organising monthly committee meetings and other events.

Intern – Charity Science (October ’15 – January ’16)
Researching and analysing the effectiveness of different fundraising techniques, writing articles about charities and the psychology of giving/materialism, developing financial models and fundraising/outreach. See Publications and other work for examples of output.


If you are interested in collaborating with Michael, have any suggestion, would like to request consulting work, or are interested in having Michael speak at an event, please get into contact through one of the avenues below:

Email – mdello at hotmail dot com

“I don’t hold typical ideas on self-improvement. If you think I am wrong about something, or you think I could be doing more good with my life than my current life-trajectory, I don’t just want you to be brutally honest with me, I need you to be. Please reach out with any concerns, criticisms or advice (you can do so anonymously here).”

“I change my mind more than I update my blog. Statements I have previously made don’t necessarily represent what I believe now.”

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