Core topics

Global health
2391 posts
Animal welfare
1591 posts
Existential risk
2436 posts
Biosecurity & pandemics
893 posts
AI safety
3465 posts
1677 posts
4804 posts
Building EA
5158 posts

EA Forum Topics Wiki

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).[1] You can find out more about the Wiki and “Topics” in the Wiki FAQ.[2]

Table of contents

You can also find lists of: 

Core topics

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

  • Cause prioritization
    • Cause-neutral prioritization research seeks to identify new promising focus areas and to compare their relative value.
  • Global health and development
    • Improving public health, reducing poverty, increasing economic growth, or finding new interventions to help the developing world.
  • Farmed animal welfare
    • Factory farming likely produces a lot of suffering; discussions around this topic explore the most promising interventions for helping farmed animals, different ways to study the problem, and more.
  • Wild animal welfare
    • Most animals are not domesticated; this topic explores their welfare and how we might be able to improve it.
  • AI risk
    • How dangerous we should expect advanced artificial intelligence to be, and possible paths for making it safer.
  • Biosecurity
    • How we can mitigate risks from viruses and bacteria, and avoid or relieve future pandemics.
  • Existential risk
    • Everything from discussions of specific risks, like those posed by new technologies or natural catastrophic events, to analyses of the impact of different approaches and interventions.
  • Building effective altruism
    • Making sure “effective altruism” actually does good.
  • Moral philosophy
    • A wide range of discussion topics around moral philosophy covers questions like “what is social impact?” and “How can we act when we’re uncertain about the consequences of our actions?”

Relevant to the community

  • Take action
    • Specific ways to take action based on the principles of effective altruism.
  • Career choice
    • Everything from overviews of the most important skills to develop to in-depth profiles or specific jobs.
  • Community
    • Posts about the EA community and applying EA in one's personal life.

Key concepts

For a longer list of key concepts in effective altruism, you can visit the Key concepts page. You might also be interested in visiting or looking at the EA Handbook

See all the key concepts and tools

Types of work in effective altruism

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: 

  1. Global health and development
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Mitigation of global risk factors
  4. Shaping the future
  5. Broad epistemics and coordination
  6. Philosophy, global priorities research, and how to do good better
  7. Building effective altruism

There are also some topics that are relevant to the categorization of work that we’ve chosen here: 

1. Global health and development

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 highlightsGlobal health and development, Economic growth, Mental health


2. Animal welfare

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 workAnimals matter, and deserve resources that might otherwise help people. 
Topic highlightsFarmed animal welfare, Wild animal welfare, Moral circle expansion


3. Mitigation of global risk factors

Pages about the overall topic: Existential risk factor, Existential risk, Global catastrophic risk 

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 workFuture beings matter morally, or some of these risks affect existing beings. (Only one of these has to be true.)
Topic highlightsAI risk, Biosecurity, Great power conflict, Existential risk, Global catastrophic risk

Sources of risk

Risk-related topics

4. Shaping the future

How does this kind of work help?The future is better than it would have been. 
Cruxes for prioritizing this kind of workFuture beings matter, and it is in fact possible to shape the future in some predictable way. 
Topic highlightsLongtermism, Value lock-in, existential risk

5. Broad epistemics and coordination

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 workEpistemics can be improved, and more coordination is good; people make good decisions, given the chance. 
Topic highlightsInstitutional 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. 

6. Philosophy, cause prioritization, and methods for assessing effectiveness

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 workThis sort of research can discover important things and will actually be used. 
Topic highlightsMoral philosophy, Cause prioritization, Global priorities research

7. Building effective altruism

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 workEffective altruism is a helpful phenomenon that leads to good things in the world.
Topic highlightsBuilding effective altruism, Community, Career choice, Moral advocacy


  1. ^ ⚠️ Please note that we will be improving this page. If you have feedback on the page, please contact us. You can find the old version of this page here
  2. ^ The pages are also tags that can be added to posts so that people can find posts on certain topics. You can upvote or downvote a tag for a given post to move it higher or lower in the list of posts on the corresponding topic's page. There are tagging instructions and guidelines.  Topics were announced in this post — they were then known as “tags.” Discussions on proposals for new topics are found here


As mentioned above, you can find instructions on how to tag a post with a relevant topic.

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