About the show

Effective Altruism: Ten Global Problems is a collection of ten top episodes of The 80,000 Hours Podcast, selected to help listeners quickly get up to speed on ten pressing problems that the effective altruism community is working to solve.

It’s a companion to our other compilation Effective Altruism: An Introduction, which explores the big picture debates within the community and how to set priorities in order to have the greatest impact.

These ten episodes cover:

  • The cheapest ways to improve education in the developing world
  • How dangerous is climate change and what are the most effective ways to reduce it?
  • Using new technologies to prevent another disastrous pandemic
  • Ways to simultaneously reduce both police misconduct and crime
  • All the major approaches being taken to end factory farming
  • How advances in artificial intelligence could go very right or very wrong
  • Other big threats to the future of humanity — such a nuclear war — and how can we make our species wiser and more resilient
  • One problem few even recognise as a problem at all

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 it makes sense to listen to these ten classic episodes early in your journey with effective altruism and 80,000 Hours — together they’ll give you an overview of what the community is up to and why it has chosen those focus areas.

Feedback on these episodes from listeners

I really enjoyed this episode, so much so that it distracted me from the COVID-19 crisis!

However I initially hesitated to listen to it because I had just read Toby’s book, and I worried that it would be a lot of duplicated information, however this wasn’t the case at all.

It provided a lot of commentary and “behind the scenes” thinking from Toby, which I found very useful and enlightening, and provided great context for the book.

On episode 1 with Toby Ord

What I did like about it? Honestly, almost everything. This episode was fantastic!

Rob you really nailed it. I noticed that Andy had emphatically said “you’re absolutely right” multiple times, so well done. The episode was convincing, engaging, and extremely informative.

You had great insights and consistently asked Andy thought provoking questions. His experiences were incredibly interesting to listen to as well. This episode really convinced me that biosecurity is a seriously important cause area. Good job touching on multiple topics as well, that kept the entire episode engaging.

On episode 3 with Andy Weber

I loved the constant reference to studies (which were efficiently summarised), the nuanced perspectives on complex topics, Rob jumping from subject to subject with well-prepared questions.

On episode 6 with Jennifer Doleac

I think Lynas is a perfect 80,000 Hours guest.

His knowledge on climate change and nuclear power, particularly when it comes to hard facts and figures, is not just encyclopedic, but readily to hand. This made the conversation very fluid and compelling.

On episode 8 with Mark Lynas

How to subscribe

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