Podcasts

Listen to interviews related to career impact and ideas related to effective altruism.

Featuring:

  • The 80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin

  • Podcast interviews with William MacAskill

  • Doing Good Better: A Podcast about Effective Altruism

 
 

 

A show about the world's most pressing problems and how you can use your career to solve them.

The 80,000 Hours Podcast features unusually in-depth conversations about the world’s most pressing problems and how you can use your career to solve them. Guests come from a wide range of career paths – from academics and activists to entrepreneurs – to share their wisdom, so that you can better understand the world and have a greater social impact.

Produced by Keiran Harris with interviews by Rob Wiblin.

 

HOLDEN KARNOFSKY | Executive Director of the Open Philanthropy Project (OPP) & Co-founder of GiveWell

Holden shares the cases of when philanthropists rather than governments that led the way in scientific breakthroughs that transformed the world. While governments have enormous resources, they’re constrained by only being able to fund reasonably sure bets. Philanthropists can transform the world by filling the gaps government leaves – but to seize that opportunity they have to hire the best researchers, think long-term and be willing to fail most of the time. This episode also discusses the problem areas that OPP chose to focus on, the importance of honest feedback for philanthropists, OPP’s culture and more.


CLAIRE WALSH | Senior Policy Manager at The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Global at MIT

In both rich and poor countries, government policy is often based on no evidence at all and many programs don’t work. This has particularly harsh effects on the global poor – in some countries governments only spend $100 on each citizen a year so they can’t afford to waste a single dollar. Claire leads J-PAL’s Government Partnership Initiative, which works to evaluate policies and programs in collaboration with developing world governments, scale policies that have been shown to work, and generally promote a culture of evidence-based policymaking. Learn more about how J-PAL has conducted experiments to figure out what policies actually help recipients, and then try to get them implemented by governments and non-profits.


DR TOBY ORD | Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) of Oxford University

Toby shares why the welfare of future generations should be our number one moral concern and makes the case that aiming for a positive long-term future is likely the best way to improve the world. He also discusses how individuals can and have changed the course of history, what could go wrong and why, and whether plans to colonise Mars would actually put humanity in a safer position than it is today.


Robert Wiblin | Research Director at 80,000 Hours

Rob Wiblin discusses with Jolly Swagmen how 80,000 Hours assesses which of the world’s problems are most pressing, how you can build career capital and succeed in any role, and why you could easily save more lives than a doctor - if you think carefully about your impact.


DR PAUL CHRISTIANO | Researcher at OpenAI 

This episode has one of the best explanations for why AI alignment matters and how we might solve it. Paul works at a machine learning research lab, OpenAI, and has a very unusually thought through view of how it will change the world. ‘Debate’ is a promising method of keeping artificial intelligence aligned with human goals, even if it becomes much more intelligent and sophisticated than we are. And if we could understand how to construct systems that converge to truth, we would have a plausible way of training powerful AI systems to stay aligned with our goals. Explore how learning about this can help you be in a better position to make a difference to the world.


PROF ROBIN HANSON | Assoc. Professor of Economics at George Mason University & Research Associate at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) of Oxford University

Robin is a polymath economist, and a font of surprising and novel ideas in a range of fields including psychology, politics and futurology. In this extensive episode they discuss his latest book with Kevin Simler, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life. This episode includes a range of topics from what education is for, the choices we make, attitude towards medicine and more.


JULIA GALEF | Co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR)

This interview ideas around improving human judgment, especially about high stakes questions. Julia believes that if we could develop new techniques to resolve disagreements, predict the future and make sound decisions together, we could again dramatically improve the world. This episode also discusses whether to and how to follow Julia’s career path.

Julia has hosted the Rationally Speaking podcast since 2010.


MARIE GIBBONS | Research fellow at The Good Food Institute (GFI)

This interview covers the science and technology involved at each stage of clean meat production, the challenges and opportunities that face cutting-edge researchers like Marie, and how you could become one of them. Marie has been researching how to improve this process at Harvard Medical School. Is it possible to see clean meat sold commercially within a year?


JAMES SNOWDEN | Research consultant at GiveWell

What’s the value of preventing the death of a 5-year-old child, compared to a 20-year-old, or an 80-year-old? James Snowden explains that there’s no way around making controversial judgement calls based on limited information. GiveWell’s strategy includes listing dozens of things they need to know, and to ask every staff member to give a figure and justification. James discuss his experiences with doing such calculations.


TARA MAC AULAY | Former CEO of Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA)

Tara demonstrates how the ability to do practical things, avoid major screw-ups, and design systems that scale, is both rare and precious. People with an operations mindset spot failures others can’t see and fix them before they bring an organisation down. She explores how people with this skillset can do as much good as possible.

 

 

Here are a few interviews with Will MacAskill, who is an Associate Professor in Philosophy and Research Fellow at the Global Priorities Institute, University of Oxford.

He helped to create the effective altruism movement: the use of evidence and reason to help others by as much as possible with our time and money.


THE 80,000 HOURS PODCAST WITH ROB WIBLIN | Episode #17
Jan 2018


The Tim Ferriss Show | Episode #120
Nov 2015


WAKING UP WITH SAM HARRIS | Episode #44
Aug 2016


THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE | Episode #930
Mar 2017

 

 

Doing Good Better is a podcast about effective altruism, the idea that we shouldn't just try to do good — instead, we should try to do the most good that we can.

Over three episodes, we explore the key ideas of effective altruism.


GUESTS: Jeff McMahan, Leah Libresco, Michelle Hutchinson & Matthieu Ricard

In this first episode, we explore the reasons we have to care about other people, why being more effective is so important, and why helping others also makes our own lives better.


If we're trying to do the most good, how should we think about finding out what works, how can experimental methods give us better insights, and how do we face up to evidence that challenges our existing beliefs?

GUESTS: Geoff Sayre-McCord & Rachel Glennerster


If we want to make the biggest difference, what are some actions we can take that really help, what causes do we have the biggest potential to affect, and what is the link between poverty, malaria, and bednets?

GUESTS: Rob Mather & Sonia Shah