Will MacAskill on Effective Altruism, Y Combinator, and Artificial Intelligence (#120)

Will green background, picture by Sam Deere
Will MacAskill (Photo: Sam Deere)

“We want to disaggregate benefits and aggregate costs.” – William MacAskill

Will MacAskill (@willmacaskill) is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford. Just 28 years old, he is likely the youngest associate (i.e. tenured) professor of philosophy in the world.

Will is the author of Doing Good Better and a co-founder of the “effective altruism” movement. He has pledged to donate everything he earns over ~$36,000 per year to whatever charities he believes will be most effective.

He has also cofounded two well-known non-profits: 80,000 Hours, which provides research and advice on how you can best make a difference through your career, and Giving What We Can, which encourages people to commit to give at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities. Between them, they have raised more than $450 million in lifetime pledged donations, and are in the top 1% of non-profits in terms of growth.

He is one of the few non-profit founders who have gone through Y Combinator; for-profit companies get $120,000 for 7% of equity; as a non-profit, 80,000 Hours got $100,000 for 0% of equity.

In this episode, we discuss his story and a ton of actionable tips, including:

  • Why “following your passion” in a career is often a mistake.
  • Thought experiments: Pascal’s Wager versus Pascal’s Mugging.
  • Why working for a non-profit straight out of college is also a mistake.
  • How it’s possible to “hack” doing good in the same way you would a business.
  • Implications of artificial intelligence.
  • The best ways to really evaluate if you (or charities) are going good in the world.
  • The reasons donating to disaster relief typically isn’t the best use of your money.
  • Why ethical consumerism typically isn’t a great way to do good.
  • Running a non-profit in the Harvard/Navy SEALs of startup incubators: Y Combinator.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#120: Will MacAskill on Effective Altruism, Y Combinator, and Artificial Intelligence

Want to hear another podcast related to philosophy from a world class philosopher? — Listen to my conversation with Sam Harris. In this episode, we discuss his daily routines, the Trolley Scenario, and 5 books everyone should read (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep. 14: Sam Harris, PhD - Spirituality, Neuroscience, Meditation, and More

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is your favorite charity and why do you donate? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • The significance of the colleges within Oxford [7:30]
  • How do you answer the question, “what do you do?” [8:05]
  • How to take a scientific approach to doing good [9:25]
  • Common mistakes when giving [10:40]
  • The differences between GiveWell.org, CharityNavigator, and a framework for examining the quality of charitable organizations [11:45]
  • On the effect of disaster relief [13:10]
  • Will MacAskill’s approach to becoming the youngest tenured philosophy professor in the world [14:33]
  • MacAskill’s philosophy role models [23:05]
  • On Peter Singer and the Trolly Scenario [26:20]
  • On the decision between charity spending for the poorest of the poor and investing in future generations [47:25]
  • The characteristics of a selfish charitable event [55:50]
  • Suggestions for activities that charities should stop doing [58:45]
  • The story of being accepted as a non-profit Y Combinator company [1:02:20]
  • The most important skills and information learned at Y Combinator [1:06:45]
  • Most common debates with participants and partners at Y Combinator [1:13:15]
  • Where do your favorite philosophical frameworks have trouble in the real world? [1:16:35]
  • On the different motivations between non-profit and profit-driven Y Combinator [1:19:35]
  • Is it better to give now or give (more significantly) later? [1:23:20]
  • Why pursuing your passion might be a mistake [1:29:05]
  • Most gifted books [1:35:15]
  • Will MacAskill’s daily meditation practice [1:38:40]
  • Daily rituals: breakfast, fitness, and valuable sleep practices [1:43:45]
  • Favorite documentaries and movies [1:57:35]
  • If you could put a billboard anywhere and write anything on it, where would it be and what would it say? [2:03:20]
  • Thoughts on artificial intelligence [2:03:50]
  • Will competitive drive and the desire to generate wealth override a safe method of developing artificial intelligence? [2:10:35]
  • What existential threat to mankind worries you the most or is the most underrated? [2:14:00]
  • Advice to your 20-year-old self [2:16:20]
  • A framework for making important life decisions [2:18:05]
  • An ask of the audience [2:23:10]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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42 Replies to “Will MacAskill on Effective Altruism, Y Combinator, and Artificial Intelligence (#120)”

  1. I really enjoyed this episode Tim,i I wasn’t expecting too much of it when I started listening but the questions you asked got my attention. I am a 21year old Malawian but living in South Africa for 4yrs now. I think most people donate out of guilt as you mentioned but this they do not understand that their help ends up being ineffective because they dont look at the problems these poor countries are facing. If they had to give it a subjective look insted of feeling guilt at glance,they would help effectively. These countries got problems that cannot only be fixed by funding. Education is a great place to start with but not by funding their existing schools,there is a need to build special schools with different curriculum’s because most of the schools in those areas are training workers not leaders hence their greatest problem is leadership. I was born and raised in malawi, right after high school, I left for RSA since I knew that the malawian education wont take me anywhere and my goals were parallel to what the community expected me to be. I chose to be an autodidact and so far so good, I am far better that most if not all my peers both financially and mentally. This is a bad example but I hope it gives you an Idea of what Im trying to show you.

    I love your work man, TFHWW changed my life forever and I listen to it over and over again. Keep doing what you’re doing.



  2. Fascinating episode. I like the alternative giving model of a set % of income. Feel like if that were the case choosing charities would be fun, motivated by trying to get the best deal (for the recipient) not guilt. I can easily imagine groups of young men competing with each other to find the best charity and talking about them as they might talk investment opportunities.

  3. Tim, I absolutely love these podcasts. I haven’t listened to this one yet – but I can’t wait… the experience of hearing two intelligent people discuss complex and interesting issues without concern for ad breaks and timing the end of the show… isn’t it amazing that mainstream media would just let that concept slide into the long tail?

    I’m also experimenting with my own pu erh Titanium Tea – adding maca powder and cinnamon to your butter and coconut oil – but thinking of slipping in some whey powder too… it could be a disaster but we’ll see.

    Oh, and if you do see this, I live in Singapore and I’ve tried to get hold of “The TF Experiment” but just can’t. Not on itunes (even my UK version)… any thoughts/tips?

    Thanks and keep it up. You are being the change you want to see in the world, and helping the rest of us make those changes faster.



  4. Hi Tim

    I love your work. Effective altruism is a great social / economic benefit. I was wondering if you could consider doing 4HWW failures? I know I tried to follow the book and lost $200k (140USD) trying to get mine up and running. No blame to anyone I worked very hard over 5 years just can’t seem to make it work. Be really helpful if you were able to showcase a few so we can see how we are similar in failing to make a muse work. I am a massive fan – Thanks for all your work – keep em coming!

    1. Wow, that is a serious loss. Do you mind sharing what happened?

      I have been looking into starting one of these businesses so understanding what can go wrong would be much appreciated….



  5. Lots of interesting things … Good thoughts …

    On possible uses of artificial intelligence ….

    About guilt at the time of consuming an expensive wine … On helping in large disasters …

    Take for example, what has been happening recently in my country, Brazil…

    This month a large mining company caused a terrible ecological crime, which displaced a lot of people, caused deaths, is killing rivers and all the flora and fauna in its path, and now the toxic sludge has reached the sea …

    The local government received tons of donations but has no way to allocate and does not have enough staff to handle and separate it … much of what was donated probably will not have a suitable destination …

    Lawyers and the government are trying to find loopholes for a company that profits billions, take minimal responsibility … the poor once again will bear the burden …

    And the river, animals and nature poisoned by tons of toxic substances …

    Experts, environmental engineers, really concerned people are struggling, trying to find ways to save what is possible…

    So, going back to the discussion … the philosophical digressions … thinking about helping in major disasters … on possible uses of artificial intelligence … or encouraging the practice of good even though, for selfish reasons…

    In all cases… What is missing?

    Simplicity …

    Looking at the others with the same eyes that we look at ourselves …

    Put ourselves in the place of others, whoever they are …

    Do unto others as we would like it to be done to us …

    And never, ever, do to anybody what we would not want to be done to us…

    Again, simplicity…

  6. Tim, thank you so much for all your interviews and materials you produce. I spend my time at work listening your podcasts and sometimes I have to stop what I’m doing because I’m totally consumed in what you and the person you’re interviewing are discussing. Even for industries or people that I may have had no interest in learning from, I always come away with some kind of inspiration or added benefit. Thanks so much, rock on!

  7. QOTD- The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association – they help the spouses and children of fallen fighter pilots.

    Thank you for the introduction of Will MacAskill to your podcast. Had never heard of him until now. Very bright kid and one to look up to as a role model. I wish him much success in his future career. I’m happy he mentioned his mindfulness meditation practice and hope he can pick it back up. Tim, you are starting to tap into something regarding the trip to Iceland with your family and the motivation to donate. Might be worth asking the head of FEMA where their budget goes to during times of crisis as a starter.

  8. Kiva is a great charity that allows you to make micro loans to global entrepreneurs in very poor countries and follow their progress. The loan paybacks are then recycled towards new loans of your choosing.

    Impressive Mr. MacAskill can live on $36k. Many do with simple living, However in the US, the government ‘considers that poverty level and qualifies you for food stamps and free health care.

    1. I had the same thought Susan. Granted, I live in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive places on the planet, but I consider myself part of the working poor–truly struggling to make ends meet–as a single mom with a son, earning about $70K a year.

      I wondered how the sweet and generous Mr. MacAskill came up with $36K as his number, and how sustainable that income is for a lifetime. Hopefully he’s factored in a growing income to take into account things like inflation and other needs he might have as he ages.

  9. I’ve been a big fan of the Ronald McDonald Houses in the Midwest part of this country. I try to volunteer there and setup little cooking classes for the kids staying there with their families. They are always so so appreciative of it and it is so much fun getting to the people them. So much happiness in that place, love it.

  10. Hi Tim,

    Couldn’t help but notice you’re using Bounce Exchange exit intent popups now. I know that service runs something like $6,000 a month. There’s a company called Optimonk that creates identical exit intent popups for $30 a month. Their popup theme that does it is called Yoga.

    There are also two plugins that do the same thing for a one-time fee of $19-$28. One’s called Optin Ninja. The other is Layered Popups for WordPress.

    There’s also a service called Hotjar that does heat, clickmaps and screen recordings for free that you can use instead of paying for Crazy Egg.

    I would put the links here for you but I thought I remembered reading something about that not being allowed in the comment section.

    Anyway, just wanted to save you some money as a thanks for all the great content.


  11. It’s funny. As with many FHWW podcasts, I could feel some aspects of my perspective on life changing through the episode. Notably around follow your passion. One wrankle was Will’s somewhat elitist / university-oriented positioning around the “best people”.

    I think this kind of centralized thinking is dissolving in front of us. Imagine the net loss to society if Branson had spent time at University instead of building Virgin, or this chap known to us as Tim “Timbo” Ferriss did the MBA instead of his experiment of taking the same investment and applying it to a portfolio of start-ups for life learning….

  12. Great episode Tim. We are launching our corporate giving program at my company and I was discussing EA and a few of these charities with our CEO – very timely podcast. You / readers may be interested in the http://www.pledge1percent.org movement, started last year by Salesforce and couple of other companies to encourage startups/companies to give 1% of their Time, Product and Profit/Equity to charity – they already have over 500 pledges. I’m not directly involved but have been working with them over last few months. If anyone is interested give me a shout.

  13. I never noticed until just today, but a lot of your interviewees are starting to seem very similar in the topics they talk about. Not everything has to be about Y combinator and philosophy and AI.

  14. I didnt hear in the podcast and dont know if Will’s writings or analytics address assessment of unintended consequences of an effort. For example Nothing but Nets’ malary remedy of shipping nets to malaria infested villages had the unintended consequences of undermining nearby villiages’ social ventures of making and selling nets. Also, what are Will’s ideas on the more darwinian argument considering the impact in Will’s malary example of saving lives only to have fewer resources for all. Said another way: if we save more, but cant support all we save, there is ultimately greater and longer term suffering without counter-balanced longevity or quality of life.

    On another point, longitudinal studies are expensive. But if you really want to measure impact, you would follow individuals served over time. But no one wants to give to a charity that pays the significant overhead expense of quality measuring and analytics over time. But that is in fact the only way that some chairties who focus on chronic problems only impacted by highly individualized and wrap around services over time (like escaping sex trafficking, disability services, chronic homeless, mental health) can “compete” at a numbers game.

  15. If I was rating this episode on entertainment, this would be bottom third. If I was rating on immediate introspective impact, then this would be top third. This young man will be a much bigger name in a decade and I will think back to when I first heard him on Tim’s podcast. The last 20 minutes or so was an interesting twist, so I hope everyone listens to the whole thing. I’m glad I did. Now I’m heading back to 80,000 hours to do a little more work on me.

  16. This was a fantastic podcast. Very interesting to think about how to make the most use of our money and our life. I like the section where he talks about how following your passion is a bad idea. It is true that in many passion professions there is a big shit sandwich you have to eat in order to get there and stay there…in other words there are sacrifices for any job even if it looks glorious from the outside. Also loved the common sense approach to getting ahead, which was simply to look at what is really important for that position and focus on those things. Will is an extremely interesting person and Tim does a great job of getting him to talk about his life and make us ponder ours…

  17. Honestly my biggest question is any relationship to phenomenal bicyclist Danny Macasklll (Google Isle of Skye Ridge) and when will you have that dude on the show???


    I admire his points but have to politely disagree. He follows his passion others should not? Don’t work for a non profit , go straight to work because better experience? Come on it all depends. Classic example is Obama.

    Advice: do not drunk dial fans. Keep image secure dude. Surely you have money for a camera man and gaffer or what’re the fuck they are called these days.

    Keep 100% professional dude. You are the man, not some drink in Sweden.

    Signed. Drunken boat.

  18. Very reassuring to hear Will mention that tech entrepreneurship is one of the better choices early in a young adult’s career, for the reason that it trains a breadth of skills and has greater potential upside. The quiz on 80,000 hours suggested I think about getting an Economics PhD as well, interesting!

  19. Tim, the funniest part was when you called the republicans monkeys, the catholics pedophiles, and the oil companies evil… and that in the middle of a rant against group think. I am pretty sure you are not a republican or a catholic, but are you driving a Tesla everywhere? Make sure it’s powered and built only with renewables. What do you use for jet fuel?

  20. Hi Tim,

    Happy Thanksgiving. Thought it would be an appropriate day to do this and decided to just go for it here on this blog. For starters, THANK YOU for the major influence and inspiration you have been for me. I’m at an exciting moment in my life as I am on the verge of my first company based on principles learned from The 4-Hour Workweek being “online” in early 2016. I’ve listened to all of chapters of The 4HWW at least three times over the last three years but in a funny unorthodox fashion in that I’ve never heard them in succession (good story for another time). I’m not writing this for self-promotion so I will leave the company name and description out for now.

    Besides wanting to express my gratitude, I’m writing you for other reasons as well. I’m looking to have my new company help fund my new Lifestyle Design which includes taking on a big challenge of reversing effects of muscle atrophy with my body due to a condition called FSH Dystrophy. I’m looking to be a “human guinea pig” and experiment with ways to rebuild my body to surpass the strongest it has ever been. My perception is that most research for a “cure” is focused on traditional medical therapies and pharmaceuticals, which is fine. I have a strong intuition, however, that putting the body in the right “environment” including proper nutrition and specific types of exercise (among other things) will do the trick. I also have a device concept I would like to spend time on developing that I think would benefit others that are experiencing similar physical symptoms as me. I was not born as a “podium” athlete but have had moments in my life where I have been able to push myself beyond the physical thresholds my body was trying to dictate (completed an Olympic Triathlon, snowboarded from top of Mt Hood, white water raft guide for 4 years, etc). Now I’m at an interesting moment physically where I have not yet crossed a point of no return (example: permanent structural damage from impingement) but with the current level of atrophy, I’m not far from it either and would like to try to do something about it. It feels like I am at the cusp of the next chapter of my life and have identified the areas of focus above as my next “events”.

    I’m trying to pull together resources to help me with this challenge of experimenting with my body as well as developing something that could have a quality of life type of benefit to a large number of people. I recently signed up for your 5-Bullet Friday email and have since begun enjoying your podcasts starting with Casey Neistat, then with Tony Robbins (which was a full circle moment for me) and now this one. After listening to these, it became apparent to me that you have a fascination and wealth of knowledge with the function and phenomenon of the human body. I thought that either you and/or someone you know may be interested in helping with researching and developing innovative techniques/products that may allow someone with this condition (or similar) to develop muscle mass, not limited to, but primarily focusing on areas that have atrophied.

    I thought the “package” of a start up business founded in 4HWW principles designed to help fund and provide a platform of time to focus on this aspect of my Lifestyle Design might also pique your interest. I’d welcome and value your insight into my business model as well as I will be heading into uncharted territory.

    I’m sure I’ve exceeded the maximum word etiquette for a blog post, but if you happen to have read this far and would like to communicate further, please let me know the best way to follow up from here. Thanks again, Tim, for the life changing effect that your efforts, passion and perseverance have already had and hope that we may collaborate in some capacity in the near future.


    Todd Lewis

    p.s. I heard you mention this in one of your other podcasts and have to admit that whenever I’ve watched the movie Miracle, I am also a teary mess every time I hear Al Michaels say “Do you believe in miracles? YES!!”

  21. One of my favorite episodes, Tim!

    And I’m totally fascinated by the fact that Will is such a young Professor in Philosophy! And where!? Oxford! 🙂

    I know how hard it is! I made my PhD in finance, didn’t really want to stay in academia, but I see how lots of my friends struggle to receive tenure. That’s a great idea to apply the 80/20 rule to that as well!

    I’m looking forward to the follow up with Will 🙂 So many topics worth digging in even more!

  22. I would love if givewell.org (or a similar entitie) could research which charities helping Syrian refugees are most effective. I want to help, but I don’t know where to put my money.

  23. Hey Tim,

    Awesome episode. Starting a non profit organization has always been an aspiration of mine. But I’ve been hesitant because of the problems you talked about in this episode with charities being too pushy or giving you the guilt trip. I also believe the reason I don’t give more money to charities is that I have no idea where my money goes. They have a brief explanation of who they are, then a big “donate” button that takes you to the payment info page, you donate, then never know exactly what happens with your money. Then you get emails every month or week reminding you to continue to donate.

    I have been toying around with the idea of having a charity that has the feel of a social media website. What I mean by that is everything is 100% transparent and has a real authentic feel: you pick an event or what you want your money to go towards, then you get a personal video of what was done with your money. You also see how much of your money went to pay for the operations and how much went to the actual charity act.

    Do you think such an idea would be successful? Or what problems do you foresee?

    Thanks man.


  24. Adam Grant’s book ‘Give and Take’ goes into a lot of detail about psychological research on how best to volunteer and give to charity (for the giver, not for the receiver). Great book by the way! Would love to hear him on your podcast.

  25. Yo Tim,

    Thanks for this podcast. I’m a raving fan, I listen to all your work and I buy everything you advertise, it’s insane. Anyway, I’ve been very interested in starting my own charity for quite some time now. However I’ve had my reserves due to the problems you discussed in this article: charities giving the guilt trip, not knowing which charity to contribute to, etc. I think what gets to me most is the lack of transparency. You go to the charity’s webpage, they have a brief description of who they are and what they do (most of the times very poorly done) and then a donate button where you enter you credit card info, then you never know what exactly happens with your money! You just get an email thanking you for your contribution and continue getting them every month reminding you to keep donating..

    So I’ve been entertaining an idea and I want your take on it if you get 1 minute. What about a charity that is 100% transparent and has the feel of a social media website. This is what I mean by: you get the the website, it shows you exactly what the charity does through a social media model with pictures and posts of those who’ve donated and been apart; what projects you can donate towards and what items you can donate. Then you pick where you want your money to go, and once the money has been used you get a report letting you know exactly how much went to the actual act of charity and how much went to administration costs. The most important part though, is that you would receive a video showing exactly what was done with your money (ie. a video of the person or family your donation went to or a project that was done with your money). You would the have that video to keep or share.

    Do you think such a model would have success? I haven’t been able to gage whether or not there is a potential market for that. I don’t want it as my muse, more of a passion. Thanks for any advice you can give!


  26. LOVE Weird Weekends and Louie Theroux in general.

    Thanks so much for this episode – I struggle a lot with where & how to give, because it feels like there are so many causes and so little effect that I can have on each one of them. It’s paralyzing because I don’t know how best to help (as I have limited financial resources). At the moment there are two that I am particularly concerned about:

    1) The Syrian refugee crisis – as I’m based in Amsterdam this is rather acute at the moment, and particularly as the weather (and the seas) get colder and rougher, I fear there will be a lot more death as people continue to attempt to flee on rickety, overcrowded boats. Luckily a friend of mine is on the ground in Lesvos and organising her own rescue coordination, called Off Track Alliance, and I am hoping I will be able to do something through her.

    2) Alzheimer’s – this is more of a lifetime cause of mine, I fear that it is a cause nobody thinks enough about because it affects ‘old people’ – and because it’s fucking terrifying. My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s and I have volunteered with an Alzheimer’s Association and have seen first-hand the pain and fear that it inflicts on sufferers and their families. There is nothing more sad and scary than slowly losing yourself. But if the research is correct about it being linked to liver health and sugar metabolism, we might have the ability to prevent, if not cure it, very soon, and it frustrates me that this information is not more widely available. Again, it’s difficult to know how best to help.

  27. Tim, quick one. I have documents for translation. You mentioned your investment in DUOLINGO. It is very difficult (impossible) to work out how to contact them for translating documents. Help if possible please. Thanks, Pete

  28. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for another great podcast. With regard to using inversion as a treatment for back pain, I came across a potential simple hack whilst testing out Inclined Bed Therapy. Not sure there’s much supportive evidence for the claimed benefits of that but I did find that raising the head of the bed by just an inch helped eliminate mild low back ache. I’m guessing it was a bit like having a mild decompression while I slept. I’d be interested to know if anyone else finds this or whether it’s just an n=1.

    Was also wondering whether sleeping inclined would have any effect (positive or negative) on glymphatic drainage of the brain whilst sleeping (the brain’s overnight spring clean of any accumulated daily waste products)?

    Incidentally, a former podcast guest of yours, Dr Rhonda Patrick, did a podcast with Dan Pardi on sleep which explains the glymphatic drainage process if anyone’s interested (see link below).

    Enough rambling. Thanks again for the great podcasts, please keep them coming!

    All the best,



    Tim’s podcast with Dr Rhonda Patrick:

    The Tim Ferriss Show, Episode 12: Dr. Rhonda Patrick on Life Extension, Performance, and Much More

    Dr Rhonda Patrick’s interview with Dan Pardi:

    Sleep, Daylight Anchoring, and Effects on Memory & Obesity with Dan Pardi

  29. I am a big fan of your podcast but this episode was particularly awesome. Both in terms of the quality of the guest and your questioning process. Thanks again!

  30. I also really enjoyed this episode. I am slowly working my way backwards through them but this is my favourite so far. I even took the time to look into GiveWell myself and make donation. I have also dedicated an article to this on my website.

  31. Tim, Love how you are asking the bigger questions!

    The section on Chimpanzee behaviour – it would be no surprise then to learn we are genetically closer to Chimps than are Gorillas to Chimps.

    Please interview Jared Diamond! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Diamond to discuss his current work “The World Until Yesterday” which asks what the western world can learn from traditional societies.

    He surveys 39 traditional small-scale societies of farmers and hunter-gatherers with respect to how they deal with universal human problems including dividing space, resolving disputes, bringing up children, treatment of elders, dealing with dangers, formulating religions, learning multiple languages, and remaining healthy.

    He suggests that some practices of traditional societies could be usefully adopted in the modern industrial world today, either by individuals or else by society as a whole.

    Jared is a polymath with multiple careers – now at UCLA.

    Expert in Physiology, biophysics, ornithology, environmentalism, history, ecology, geography, evolutionary biology and anthropology.

    Notable Awards include:

    Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science (1997)

    Royal Society Prize for Science Books (1992, 1998 & 2006)

    Pulitzer Prize (1998)

    International Cosmos Prize (1998)

    National Medal of Science (1999)

    Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2001)

    Wolf Prize in Agriculture (2013)

    Thanks to Wikipedia for “source” material.

  32. Dear Tim, dear Will,

    I just recently enjoyed to your conversation on Tim’s podcast #120. You also mentioned treatments for back pain. I was astonished neither of you mentioned Prof Stuart Mcill (http://www.backfitpro.com/). He is the author of the leading textbooks on back pain treatment and on advanced back training. Apparently, he is the only one who is an expert clinician and researcher, using only evidence-based treatments for back pain.

    I hope this helps. Best wishes,

  33. When you discussed running experiments with one’s life, and trying out different fields before settling down, I was reminded of a novel by Charlotte Perkins Gilman called Benigna Machiavelli. You might like it.