Timeline of effective altruism

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The content on this page is forked from the English Wikipedia page entitled "User:Riceissa/Timeline of effective altruism". The original page on the English Wikipedia was deleted. The original content was released under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License (CC-BY-SA), so this page inherits this license.

This is a timeline of the effective altruism movement.

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Full timeline

Date Event type Event Cause area
1971 Peter Singer writes his essay "Famine, Affluence, and Morality". It would be published the following year in Philosophy and Public Affairs. It argues that affluent persons are morally obligated to donate far more resources to humanitarian causes than is considered normal in Western cultures. The essay was inspired by the starvation of Bangladesh Liberation War refugees, and uses their situation as an example, although Singer's argument is general in scope and not limited to the example of Bangladesh. The essay is anthologized widely as an example of Western ethical thinking.[1][2][3][4][5]
1996 The philosopher Peter Unger's book Living High and Letting Die is published. In the book, Unger writes that it is morally praiseworthy and perhaps even morally required for people in academia who could earn substantially greater salaries in the business world to leave academia, earn the greater salaries, and donate most of the extra money to charity.[6]
2000 The Machine Intelligence Research Institute is founded. At the time it is called the "Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence".[7] Artificial intelligence
2002 Formation The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) is founded in 2002. SCI would become a GiveWell top charity.[8] Global health
2003 Publication Philosopher Nick Bostrom's paper "Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development" is published in Utilitas.[9] The argument would become influential in the effective altruism movement.
August 2004 Formation The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) is founded. AMF would become a GiveWell top charity.[10] Global health
2005 Formation Future of Humanity Institute is founded by Nick Bostrom.[11]
June 2006 Publication Brian Tomasik's collection of essays on utilitarianism is first posted to his website at utilitarian-essays.com.
December 2006 Community Seth Baum starts a utilitarian community blog Felicifia.com.[12] He had previously had a personal blog under the same name.
2007 Formation GiveWell is founded by two former Bridgewater Associates investment analysts, Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld.[13][14][15] Global health
2007 (late) Controversy GiveWell's founders promote the organization on several internet blogs and forums, including MetaFilter, using astroturfing.[16] Global health
December 24, 2010 Publication Scott Alexander publishes "Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others …" on LessWrong.[17]
2011 Formation The Open Philanthropy Project begins as GiveWell Labs.
February 2011 Formation Giving What We Can soft-launches.[18]
August 2011 The leaders of Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours decide to incorporate as a charity under an umbrella organization.[18]
October 2011 Formation 80,000 Hours is founded.[19]
November 2011 The directors of Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours decide to aggregate views about what to call the effective altruism movement, and to decide on the name by vote. Those who voted include William MacAskill, Toby Ord, and Nick Beckstead, as well as others who were associated with the movement.[18]
December 5, 2011 Voting takes place regarding what to name the umbrella organization for Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours. The name "Centre for Effective Altruism" wins. The term "effective altruism" was not planned to catch on for the name of the movement (although in the end it did).[18]
2012 Formation Animal Charity Evaluators is founded. Animal welfare
June 2012 GiveWell announces a close partnership with Good Ventures, the philanthropic foundation tasked with giving away Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz's wealth. Good Ventures has been one of GiveWell's main funders since then as well as a major donor to GiveWell-recommended charities.[20]
November 27, 2012 The first post on Paul Christiano's effective altruism blog, Rational Altruist, is published.[21]
2013 Project Sentience Politics, an "anti-speciesist political think-tank", is founded as a subdivision of the Effective Altruism Foundation.[22]
May 2013 Publication Nick Beckstead's PhD thesis, "On the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future", is submitted.[23]
June 30, 2013 to July 6, 2013 Conference The Effective Altruism Summit 2013 takes place.[24]
March 2014 Formation The Future of Life Institute is founded.
May 2, 2014 Survey The 2014 survey of effective altruists is announced. This is the first such annual survey.[25]
July 2014 – August 2014 The Ice Bucket Challenge goes viral on social media. William MacAskill writes a commentary critical of the challenge.[26][27]
July 7, 2014 – July 9, 2014 Conference The Good Done Right conference takes place.[28]
July 27, 2014 – August 1, 2014 Conference The Effective Altruism Retreat takes place. The Retreat precedes the Summit, and is intended to "[provide] a more intimate setting for attendees to discuss, to learn, and to form lasting connections with each other and with the community" in contrast to the conference-style Summit.[29]
August 2, 2014 – August 3, 2014 Conference The Effective Altruism Summit 2014 begins on this day, continuing onto the following day. Speakers would include Peter Thiel.[30][29]
September 10, 2014 The Effective Altruism Forum launches, with the forum software based on that of LessWrong (which was itself based on Reddit).[31]
October 3, 2014 EA Profiles and the EA Donation Registry launch on the Effective Altruism Hub.[32][33]
2014 Publication Nick Bostrom's book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies is published. Artificial intelligence
July 31, 2015{{snd}August 2, 2015 Conference Effective Altruism Global 2015 takes place. Effective Altruism Global was previously called the Effective Altruism Summit.[34]
2015 Publication Peter Singer publishes The Most Good You Can Do, a book on effective altruism.[35]
February 27, 2015 Effective Altruism Ventures launches. EA Ventures provides funding an expertise/guidance to effective altruist projects.[36][37] EA Ventures would post a request for projects in June 2015.[38]
April 23, 2015 Publication The Effective Altruism Handbook is published. The handbook collects together essays and blog posts that have been written about effective altruism.[39][40]
July 28, 2015 Publication William MacAskill's book Doing Good Better is published.
August 5, 2016 – August 7, 2016 Conference EA Global: San Francisco 2016 takes place.[41]
August 2015 Discussion takes place online after EA Global, about how the conference organizers decided to serve meat at the last minute.[42][43][44][45][46][47]
2016 (late, or early 2017) EA Ventures closes down.
October 24, 2016 The blog post "Concerns with Intentional Insights" is published. The blog post raises concerns about astroturfing and other dubious practices used by Intentional Insights, an effective altruism-aligned organization led by Gleb Tsipursky.[48]
June 2017 Project Wild-Animal Suffering Research is split off from Sentience Politics as a separate organization under the Effective Altruism Foundation. Sentience Politics shifts gears to focus exclusively on political campaigns in Switzerland, and gains independence from EAF.[49][50]
July 2, 2017 The Centre for Effective Altruism takes over primary responsibility of the Effective Altruism Forum. Previously, the forum was run by volunteers.[51]
August 11, 2017 – August 13, 2017 EA Global San Francisco 2017 takes place.[52]
2017 (late) The Global Priorities Institute (GPI) launches. GPI does academic research on cause prioritization.[53]
May 2, 2018 The second edition of the Effective Altruism Handbook is released.[54]
June 8, 2018 – June 10, 2018 EA Global: San Francisco 2018 takes place.[55]
October 17, 2018 The open beta of the new Effective Altruism Forum is announced (on the old Effective Altruism Forum).[56]
October 2018 (between 21st and 28th) The Effective Altruism Forum begins redirecting to the new forum, i.e. http://effective-altruism.com/ begins redirecting to https://forum.effectivealtruism.org [57][58]
January 25, 2019 Project Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm merge to form the Wild Animal Initiative.[59]
June 21, 2019 – June 23, 2019 EA Global: San Francisco 2019 is scheduled to take place.[60]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by Issa Rice (and probably also some editors on Wikipedia, who wrote the parts Issa quoted from other Wikipedia articles; unfortunately the version on Wikipedia was deleted so it's hard to check where the quotes came from).

Several rows are taken from Timeline of wild animal suffering.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:

What the timeline is still missing

Also see discussion page.

Timeline update strategy

See also


  1. Cottingham, John (1996). Western philosophy: an anthology. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 461ff. ISBN 978-0-631-18627-4. 
  2. Shafer-Landau, Russ (2007). Ethical theory: an anthology. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 523ff. ISBN 978-1-4051-3320-3. 
  3. Pojman, Louis P. (2003). Moral philosophy: a reader. Hackett. pp. 344ff. ISBN 978-0-87220-661-8. 
  4. Wellman, Carl (2002). Rights and Duties: Welfare rights and duties of charity. Taylor & Francis. pp. 227ff. ISBN 978-0-415-93987-4. 
  5. Chadwick, Ruth F.; Doris Schroeder (2002). Applied ethics: critical concepts in philosophy. Politics. Taylor & Francis. pp. 272ff. ISBN 978-0-415-20837-6. 
  6. Unger, Peter (1996). Living High and Letting Die. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198026811. 
  7. "Transparency and Financials". Machine Intelligence Research Institute. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  8. "About us" on SCI website
  9. Bostrom, Nick. "Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development". Retrieved April 23, 2019. 
  10. "History". Against Malaria Foundation. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  11. Khatchadourian, Raffi (23 November 2015). "The Doomsday Invention". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. XCI (37): 64–79. ISSN 0028-792X. 
  12. "Felificia Blog Post List". Utilitarianism Wiki. Archived from the original on 2018-07-16. 
  13. "About". GiveWell. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  14. Patricia Illingworth, Thomas Pogge, Leif Wenar. Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy, Oxford University Press US, 2011. Pg. 124
  15. Peter Singer. The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty, Random House, 2009. Ch. 6, Pg. 81-104
  16. Stephanie Strom (8 January 2008). "Founder of a Nonprofit Is Punished by Its Board for Engaging in an Internet Ruse". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  17. Alexander, Scott (December 24, 2010). "Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others...". LessWrong. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 MacAskill, William (March 11, 2014). "The history of the term 'effective altruism'". The Effective Altruism Forum. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  19. "Our Mission and History". 80,000 Hours. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  20. Holden (2012-06-28). "GiveWell and Good Ventures". 
  21. "Cost of carbon emissions". Rational Altruist. February 24, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  22. "About Our Organization". Sentience Politics. Archived from the original on 2018-06-17. Sentience Politics was founded as a project of the Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF) in 2013. 
  23. Nick Beckstead. "Research". Retrieved April 23, 2019. 
  24. "Effective Altruism Summit 2013 - June 30 to July 6, San Francisco". Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  25. Tom Ash. "2014 survey of effective altruists". EA Forum. Retrieved April 22, 2019. 
  26. William MacAskill. "The cold, hard truth about the ice bucket challenge". Quartz. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  27. William MacAskill. "Assessing EA Outreach's media coverage in 2014". EA Forum. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  28. "Good Done Right: a conference on effective altruism - EA Forum". Retrieved April 22, 2019. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ben_LandauTaylor. "Effective Altruism Summit 2014". LessWrong 2.0. Retrieved April 22, 2019. 
  30. "Effective Altruism Summit 2014 - August 2-3, San Francisco". Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  31. Ryan Carey (September 10, 2014). "Welcome to the Effective Altruism Forum". Effective Altruism Forum. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. 
  32. Tom Ash. "Introducing EA Profiles". EA Forum. Retrieved April 24, 2019. 
  33. Tom Ash. "Introducing an EA Donation Registry". EA Forum. Retrieved April 24, 2019. 
  34. Kerry Vaughan. "Save the date for EA Global in August!". EA Forum. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  35. Kristof, Nicholas (April 4, 2015). "The Trader Who Donates Half His Pay". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  36. Kerry Vaughan. "Announcing Effective Altruism Ventures". EA Forum. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  37. "Effective Altruism Ventures". Archived from the original on September 16, 2015. 
  38. Kerry Vaughan. "EA Ventures Request for Projects + Update". EA Forum. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  39. Ryan Carey. "Effective Altruism Handbook - Now Online". EA Forum. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  40. "The Effective Altruism Handbook". Amazon. April 23, 2015. 
  41. "EA Global: San Francisco 2016 - EA Global". EA Global. Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  42. Jacy Reese (August 10, 2015). "Doing good through our food choices at EA Global in years to come". Facebook. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  43. "preference accommodation problems". The Unit of Caring. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  44. "Ben Kuhn - Is it just me or has effective altruism gotten a lot...". Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  45. "My solution to the EA summit food dilemma: serve... - Elizabeth Van Nostrand". Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  46. "Food Choices at EA Global". Aceso Under Glass. August 10, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  47. Jeff Kaufman (August 10, 2015). "Meat at EA Global". Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  48. "Concerns with Intentional Insights". EA Forum. October 24, 2016. 
  49. "Update on the future of Sentience Politics". Effective Altruism Foundation. 2 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-06-22. 
  50. "Introducing the Wild-Animal Suffering Research Project". Wild-Animal Suffering Research. 20 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-06-22. 
  51. Julia Wise. "Changes to the EA Forum". EA Forum. Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  52. "EA Global San Francisco 2017 - Bizzabo". Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  53. "Global Priorities Institute - Cause Prioritization Wiki". Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  54. Max Dalton. "Announcing the Effective Altruism Handbook, 2nd edition". EA Forum. Retrieved May 12, 2019. 
  55. "EA Global: San Francisco 2018 - EA Global". EA Global. Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  56. Julia Wise. "Open beta of the new EA Forum now available". EA Forum. Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  57. "Wayback Machine effective-altruism.com". Wayback Machine. 
  58. Julia Wise (October 15, 2018). "Forum moving to open beta this week". EA Forum. Retrieved April 14, 2019. 
  59. "Announcing WIld Animal Initiative". January 25, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2019.  Cross-posted to https://was-research.org/blog/announcing-wild-animal-initiative/ on the Wild-Animal Suffering Research blog and to https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/jzikTHMSpckYg9ZPp/announcing-wild-animal-initiative on the Effective Altruism Forum. See also the associated discussion on Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/EffectiveAltruism/comments/ajr27e/announcing_wild_animal_initiative_wildanimal/
  60. "EA Global: San Francisco 2019 - EA Global". EA Global. Retrieved April 14, 2019.