Tom Moynihan

University major
Cause area
Reducing Existential Risk
Job title
Historian & Author


Majored in

English (with a lot of history).

Current role

Author and historian, see his website. He is currently working on a book “exploring why (and whether) concern for the far future has emerged only relatively recently when considering the entire sweep of previous human thinking…”

How he makes an impact:

In his own words, Tom says that his work is important because: “if you want to shape the far future and value within it, then you should have some basic idea of how ideas of the far future and ideas about value have changed in the past. This can add valuably to one’s background beliefs and background assumptions when [you] are creating predictions regarding the long-range future, and how to shape it.”

How he got there:

Tom wrote his PhD thesis on the history of the idea of extinction. He finished his PhD in 2018, and published the research in a book written for a popular audience (X-Risk: how humanity discovered its own extinction) in 2020.

Or listen to this podcast episode on his research on extinction: