• My face

    Robert Wiblin

    Director of Research at 80,000 Hours

    I do research into the best ways to do good in your career for 80,000 Hours.

     

    I also host the 80,000 Hours Podcast where we have 'unusually in-depth conversations about the world's most pressing problems and how you can use your career to solve them.'

     

    Here's some of my written work at 80,000 Hours. Here's some of my past writing on the: Overcoming Bias blog, Giving What We Can blog, and Effective Altruism Forum.

     

    I regularly offer unsolicited opinions on Facebook. You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • My background

    I studied both genetics and economics at the Australian National University (ANU), graduated top of my class and was named Young Alumnus of the Year in 2015.

     

    I worked as a research economist in various Australian Government agencies including the Treasury and Productivity Commission.

     

    I then moved to Oxford in the UK to work at the Centre for Effective Altruism, first as Research Director and then Executive Director.

     

    I then became Research Director for 80,000 Hours. In 2015 the project went through Y Combinator, and in 2016 we moved from Oxford to Berkeley, California in order to grow more quickly.

     

    Here's a podcast episode where I explain my work at 80,000 Hours: The art/science of a high-impact career.

     

    I was the founding board Secretary for Animal Charity Evaluators and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Oxford Hub.

    A few top intellectual influences

    Over the years I have been very influenced by the work of Oxford academics like Prof Nick Bostrom, Prof Hilary Greaves, Dr Toby Ord, Dr Will MacAskill, Amanda Askell and Nick Beckstead.

     

    Here's a list of audiobooks I recommend and think influenced, and hopefully improved, my understanding of the world.

     

    I listen to a lot of podcasts. Of course there's my own show. But when I'm not listening to my own voice, some of my favourites are EconTalk, Conversations with Tyler, Planet Money, BBC More or Less, StartUp and Serial. Because there are so many, I made a list of of my favourite old EconTalk episodes.

     

    I've written up why I think more people should start long-form interview podcasts and explained why people should make each interview two hours or longer.

     

    The blog I've read most consistently over the years is Marginal Revolution.

    How I hope to improve the world

    I am sympathetic to

    • effective altruism (EA), which aims to use evidence and careful analysis to figure out the best ways of making the world a better place, and
    • the long-term value thesis - the idea that most of the moral value of our actions is determined by their consequences more than 100 years in the future.

    Some top research interest are:

     

    i) how to prioritise the world's problems in order to figure out how to improve it as much as possible;

    ii) reducing the risk of global catastrophes, or even human extinction, especially those caused by new technologies;

    iii) how to increase people's general benevolence towards all beings, including those far away from them, non-human animals, and future generations;

    iv) efforts to end factory farming through moral advocacy and food technology.

     

    Here are some other talks about effective altruism that I've given:

    On this general topic, here's a graduation ceremony speech I gave in 2012. My alma mater did a good write-up of my work in 2018.

    Some of my favourite 80,000 Hours Podcast episodes

    Other cool things I've made

    I’ve made a checklist of questions I often work through when something unpleasant happens, in order to reframe the situation and get over it as quickly as possible.

     

    I've written about my positive experience taking Wellbutrin / Bupropion, and why maybe you should try it too.

     

    Here are some of my thoughts on exercise, why it's so important, and how to get into it.

     

    Here's some ideas on how Australian policy could be modified to benefit the rest of the world and some old brainstorming on the overlap between classical liberalism and effective altruism.

     

    Here's some advice on how to effectively promote ideas on social media.

     

    Here's a quiz where you can test your ability to predict which psychology studies can be replicated, and which can't, based on a brief description.

     

    I made a 60 second guide to surviving a nuclear attack.

     

    All the way back in 2008 I edited the ANU student newspaper, Woroni - the issues from that year are available here.

     

    Years ago I also kept my own blog, but my views and disposition have changed a lot since back then, so take all of that stuff with a substantial pinch of salt.

    Some personal information

    Actually the details of my life are quite inconsequential.

  • Get in touch

    You can contact me at rob ~at~ 80000hours ~dot~ org.

     

    Unfortunately I can no longer reply to every email requesting personalised career advice. I suggest checking out our career guide and then applying for coaching.