Hospital beds, Zottegem, Belgium. Photographer: Daan Stevens via Unsplash

The Life You Can Save

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of his influential book The Life You Can Save, Professor Peter Singer discusses why we need to do more to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty in this 2019 episode of the University of Melbourne’s Eavesdrop on Experts podcast.

To listen, press play below. For the original podcast episode and to read the transcript, head to the original post on Pursuit website. 

In 2009, Professor Peter Singer wrote his book The Life You Can Save in order to highlight that our response to world poverty was not only insufficient, but ethically indefensible.

In the tenth anniversary edition released in late 2019, Professor Singer examines the progress we have made since the book’s release and how the first edition transformed the lives of both readers and the people they helped.

“I’ve argued that we can expand our circle of moral concern and that that’s an important thing to do, beyond the social group that we’re part of,” says Professor Singer, who holds positions as the the Ira W DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

“I think we need to include all human beings, not just people who are alive now, but into the future, which has of course become a much more critical issue with climate change, with our awareness of what we’re doing to the planet.”

He notes that psychology is starting to test what leads people to give to others.

“There is strong evidence that people who are generous, who help others, who think about the wellbeing of others, actually enjoy their lives more than those who are more narrowly self-interested,” says Professor Singer.

For more information about The Life You Can Save Australia go to the website

More episodes of Eavesdrop on Experts can be found here.

Episode recorded: December 18, 2019.

Interviewer: Steve Grimwade.

Producer, audio engineer and editor: Chris Hatzis.

Co-production: Silvei Vann-Wall and Dr Andi Horvath.


Feature image: Hospital beds, Zottegem, Belgium. Photographer: Daan Stevens via Unsplash