Blog post

Toby Ord's book released: "The Precipice"

2 min read
5 Mar 2020

Toby Ord, founder of Giving What We Can, has a new book out today! The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity is now available in the UK and available for preorder in the US, Canada, and Australia. The audiobook, narrated by Toby, will be available on March 24.


Matthew van der Merwe, who helped with the book, writes:

How to get it

  • You can buy it on Amazon now, or at
  • You can download the opening chapters for free by signing up to the newsletter at

What you can do

  • Read the book
  • Talk about it with your friends and family, or share quotes you like on social media
  • If you enjoy it, consider writing a review on Amazon or Goodreads

From the book description:

The Precipice is a landmark book that provides a new way of thinking about our time.

We live during the most important era of human history. In the twentieth century, we developed the means to destroy ourselves - without developing the moral framework to ensure we won't. This is the Precipice, and how we respond to it will be the most crucial decision of our time.

Oxford moral philosopher Toby Ord explores the risks to humanity's future, from the familiar man-made threats of climate change and nuclear war, to the potentially greater, more unfamiliar threats from engineered pandemics and advanced artificial intelligence. With clear and rigorous thinking, Ord calculates the various risk levels, and shows how our own time fits within the larger story of human history. Can we protect the legacy of the hundred billion who have come before us, and secure a future for the trillions who could follow? What can we do, in our present moment, to face the risks head on?

A major work that brings together the disciplines of physics, biology, earth and computer science, history, anthropology, statistics, international relations, political science and moral philosophy, The Precipice is a call for a new understanding of our age: a major reorientation in the way we see the world, our history, and the role we play in it.