Brian Tomasik (born 15 March 1987) is an American researcher.

Tomasik's website, Essays on Reducing Suffering (originally called Utilitarian Essays), features over 130 articles on a wide range of topics, including animal suffering, future suffering, consciousness, and ethics. His essay 'Why activists should consider making lots of money'[1] is the first explicit articulation of the argument for earning to give.[2] Perhaps more than any other individual, Tomasik is responsible for establishing the field of wild animal welfare.


Tomasik studied computer science, mathematics and statistics at Swarthmore College. Between 2009 and 2013, he worked at Microsoft as a software development engineer. He was an active contributor to Felicifia for most of that forum's history, and served on the board of Animal Charity Evaluators between 2012 and 2015. He co-founded the Foundational Research Institute in 2013 (renamed to the Center on Long-Term Risk in 2020), and remains one of that institute's advisors. He is also an advisor at the Center for Reducing Suffering.

Further reading

Elmore, Holly & Aleš Flídr (2017) The Turing Test #5: Brian Tomasik, The Turing Test, September 17.

Perry, Lucas (2018) The metaethics of joy, suffering, and artificial intelligence with Brian Tomasik and David Pearce, AI Alignment Podcast, August 16.

Tomasik, Brian (2020) Résumé, Brian Tomasik’s Website.

Wiblin, Robert (2012) Interview with Brian Tomasik, 80,000 Hours, November 10.

Brian Tomasik. Personal website.

Brian Tomasik. Effective Altruism Forum account.

Essays on Reducing Suffering. Tomasik's essays.

  1. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2006) Why activists should consider making lots of money, Essays on Reducing Suffering.

  2. ^

    Kaufman, Jeff (2012) History of “earning to give”, Jeff Kaufman’s Blog, September 18.