Kelsey Piper is an American journalist, currently a Staff Writer for Future Perfect.


Piper studied symbolic systems at Stanford University. During her studies, she joined Giving What We Can and founded Stanford Effective Altruism.[1] After graduation, Piper worked as lead of the writing team at Triplebyte, a recruiting and technical screening platform for tech companies.

Journalism career

Piper joined Vox in September 2018.[2] As of May 2022, she has published over 290 articles on an extensive range of topics related to effective altruism, including animal product alternatives,[3][4] cash transfers,[5] climate change,[6] COVID-19 pandemic,[7][8] cultured meat,[9] deworming,[10] the Doomsday Clock,[11][12] electoral reform,[13][14] farmed animal welfare,[15] forecasting,[16][17] foreign aid,[18][19] global catastrophic biological risk,[20][21] global catastrophic risk,[22][23] the hinge of history hypothesis,[24] human extinction,[25] information hazards,[26] malaria,[27][28] nuclear winter,[29][30] pandemic preparedness[31]prediction markets,[32] space colonization,[33] the timing of philanthropy,[34][35] universal basic income,[36][37] and the vulnerable world hypothesis,[38] among many others.[39]

Piper's article outlining the case for taking artificial intelligence as an existential risk seriously has been praised by many as a rigorous yet accessible introduction to the topic.[40]

In early February 2020, when less than a dozen COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in the United States and many media outlets and health authorities were dismissive of the risks posed by SARS-CoV-2,[41][42][43] Piper wrote about the possibility that it might become a global pandemic and emphasized the importance of an early response.[7][44]

Further reading

Galef, Julia (2019) Big picture journalism: Covering the topics that matter in the long run (Kelsey Piper), Rationally Speaking, April 2.

Galef, Julia (2021) How to reason about COVID, and other hard things (Kelsey Piper), Rationally Speaking, September 13.

Lindmark, Rhys (2019) Kelsey Piper, Vox: Effective altruist news, memetic immunity, questions social justice can answer, Grey Mirror, July 8.

Wiblin, Robert & Keiran Harris (2019) Can journalists still write about important things?, 80,000 Hours, February 27.

Kelsey Piper. Vox profile.

Kelsey Piper. Effective Altruism Forum account.

The Unit of Caring. Piper's blog.

Dylan Matthews | Future Perfect | journalism

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    Zabel, Claire (2015) A different take on giving back, The Stanford Daily, February 5.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2019) The rise of meatless meat, explained, Vox, May 28.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2020) Don’t scold people for worrying about the coronavirus, Vox, February 6.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2021) How bad research clouded our understanding of Covid-19, Vox, December 17.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2019) How to get better at predicting the future, Vox, April 5.

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    Matthews, Dylan, Kelsey Piper & Sigal Samuel (2022) 22 things we think will happen in 2022, Vox, January 1.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2019) Why foreign aid is getting better at saving lives, Vox, May 7.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2019) Is this the most important century in human history?, Vox, September 26.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2022) When scientific information is dangerous, Vox, March 30.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2021) The new malaria vaccine is a total game changer, Vox, April 28.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2019) The man who wants to save humanity from nuclear winter, Vox, July 25.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2022) What the media needs to get right in the next pandemic, Vox, April 10.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2020) Don’t wait: The case for giving sooner rather than later, Vox, November 30.

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    Piper, Kelsey (2018) The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity, Vox, December 21.

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    Vox (2020) Is this going to be a deadly pandemic? No, Twitter, January 31.

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    Parmet, Wendy & Michael Sinha (2020) Why we should be wary of an aggressive government response to coronavirus, Washington Post, February 3.

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    Scott Alexander lists many additional examples in Alexander, Scott (2020) A failure, but not of prediction, Slate Star Codex, April 15.

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    In a piece published two years later, Piper says that she is "proud of [the article] overall", but regrets having dismissed the lab-leak hypothesis as a "conspiracy theory".[31]