This is a sorted list of pages — known as “Topics” — in the EA Forum Wiki, which collects and explains topics relevant to discussions on the Effective Altruism Forum (this platform). You can find out more about the Wiki and “Topics” in the Wiki FAQ.
You can also find lists of:
We’ve highlighted some “core” topics around which people are forming sub-communities and discussions. This is a beta version of the list of core topics; we’ll probably modify its composition. If you have specific feedback, we encourage you to get in touch.
Areas of work
Relevant to the community
See all the key concepts and tools.
At its core, effective altruism is about finding the best ways to do good and putting them into practice, but this motivates people to work on a wide variety of projects, for different reasons.
We’ve organized different projects and areas of work by the answer to the following question: “How does your work help the world?” We’ve also noted some potential (non-exhaustive!) cruxes for prioritizing each kind of work.
At a high level, the types of work fall into the following categories:
There are also some topics that are relevant to the categorization of work that we’ve chosen here:
The overall topic page: Global health and development
|How does this kind of work help?||The lives of (current) people are improved (and prolonged).|
|Topic highlights||Global health and development, Economic growth, Mental health|
The overall topic page: animal welfare
|How does this kind of work help?||The lives of non-human animals are improved.|
|Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of work||Animals matter, and deserve resources that might otherwise help people.|
|Topic highlights||Farmed animal welfare, Wild animal welfare, Moral circle expansion|
|How does this kind of work help?||Risks are mitigated, which decreases the chances of near-term catastrophe and/or increases the probability of a (decent) future.|
|Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of work||Future beings matter morally, or some of these risks affect existing beings. (Only one of these has to be true.)|
|Topic highlights||AI risk, Biosecurity, Great power conflict, Existential risk, Global catastrophic risk|
Sources of risk
|How does this kind of work help?||The future is better than it would have been.|
|Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of work||Future beings matter, and it is in fact possible to shape the future in some predictable way.|
|Topic highlights||Longtermism, Value lock-in, existential risk|
|How does this kind of work help?||The world (or, the global population) has better epistemics and a greater ability to coordinate, which means that it is broadly more robust and capable of responding to new problems.|
|Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of work||Epistemics can be improved, and more coordination is good; people make good decisions, given the chance.|
|Topic highlights||Institutional decision-making, Forecasting, Metascience|
Note: epistemics and coordination work sometimes seems similar to philosophy and building effective altruism, or takes similar forms (see below), but should generally be distinguished from that.
|How does this kind of work help?||We identify important issues and develop tools for deciding what to do, which helps us do more good.|
|Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of work||This sort of research can discover important things and will actually be used.|
|Topic highlights||Moral philosophy, Cause prioritization, Global priorities research|
The overall topic page: Building effective altruism
|How does this kind of work help?||We improve the effective altruism philosophy, network, and movement — by growing or otherwise making it better — and this allows EA to do more good.|
|Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of work||Effective altruism is a helpful phenomenon that leads to good things in the world.|
|Topic highlights||Building effective altruism, Community, Career choice, Moral advocacy|
As mentioned above, you can find instructions on how to tag a post with a relevant topic.