About the show

Effective Altruism: An Introduction is a collection of 10 top episodes of The 80,000 Hours Podcast, specifically selected to help listeners quickly get up to speed on the school of thought known as effective altruism.

It’s a companion to our other compilation, Effective Altruism: Ten Global Problems, which explores the pressing problems the effective altruism community is working to solve and how they’re doing it.

The 10 episodes in this series cover:

  • What effective altruism is — the use of evidence and careful analysis to do as much good as possible
  • A quick tour of the methods for improving the world that are most popular within the effective altruism community
  • The key disagreements between researchers in the field
  • How to ‘think like an effective altruist’
  • How you might figure out how to make your biggest contribution to solving the world’s most pressing problems

The selection is ideal for people who are completely new to the effective altruist way of thinking, as well as those who are familiar with effective altruism but new to The 80,000 Hours Podcast.

The full show has over 100 interviews that dive deep into a wide range of important topics.

But we suggest listening to this and Effective Altruism: Ten Global Problems early on in your journey into effective altruism and 80,000 Hours. Together they’ll give you the most essential information you need about some of the world’s most pressing problems, and how to work out how to do the most good.

If you’d prefer an introduction to effective altruist thinking that is less focused on longtermism and career choice, some options include: Doing Good Better by Will MacAskill, Peter Singer’s university course on Coursera, EffectiveAltruism.org, Effective Altruism Virtual Programs, and the EA Reading List.

And if you’re completely new to effective altruism, you could check out this eight-minute introduction we put at the start of the podcast series:

Feedback from listeners

The frontier questions in philosophy were explained really well so that a non-philosopher like myself could understand them.

This is probably my favourite episode yet.

On episode 8 with Hilary Greaves

This was an exceptional episode! … I’m personally pretty sympathetic to longtermism, but it was great to have a clear and intelligent defence of the alternative.

On episode 3 with Alexander Berger

Bayesian thinking is one of those things I hear about and keep thinking I need to learn more and practice, but don’t.

Spencer made it accessible…

On episode 4 with Spencer Greenberg

This might have been one of the best episodes I have heard so far. Ayeja’s analytical skill to juggle different worldviews and lines of arguments is amazing.

And Rob’s questions guide the listener nicely through the different lines of thoughts.

On episode 6 with Ajeya Cotra

How to subscribe

To listen at leisure on your phone, and choose the audio speed you prefer, subscribe here or anywhere you get podcasts: