Scott Alexander (born 1984) is the pseudonym of an American psychiatrist and blogger. Alexander is the author of the blog Slate Star Codex and its successor Astral Codex Ten, and a former contributor—under the user name Yvain—to the community blog LessWrong.
Alexander studied philosophy as an undergraduate, and in 2012 graduated from University College Cork School of Medicine, Ireland. He did his residency at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Michigan, United States. He specializes in treatment-resistant depression and his areas of interest within psychiatry include chronotherapy, behavioral genetics, and the ontology of psychiatric disorders. One of Alexander’s blog posts was subsequently revised and published in the academic journal Pharmacology Research & Perspectives (Alexander 2015; Siskind et al 2017).
Before establishing his own practice, Lorien Psychiatry, Alexander worked at LifeStance Health (formerly Pacific Coast Psychiatric Associates) and served as Senior Health Researcher of MetaMed, a medical consulting company (MetaMed 2013; Siskind 2018; WebMD Care 2021).
Influence and reception
Alexander’s writings have been highly influential within the rationality and effective altruism communities. He has received praise from a number of prominent figures, including Steven Pinker, Bryan Caplan, Paul Graham, and others (Caplan 2014; Graham 2017; Cowen 2018; Aaronson 2020; Friedman 2020; Pinker 2021).
Aaronson, Scott (2020) Pseudonymity as a trivial concession to genius, Shtetl-Optimized, June 23.
Alexander, Scott (2015) Prescriptions, paradoxes, and perversities, Slate Star Codex, April 30.
Caplan, Bryan (2014) Read Scott Alexander, EconLog, October 28.
Cowen, Tyler (2018) Holding up a mirror to intellectuals of the left, Bloomberg, April 24.
Crawford, Jason (2021) Who is Scott Alexander and what is he about?, Jason Crawford’s Blog, February 13.
Friedman, David D. (2020) Slate Star Codex and The New York Times, Ideas, June 26.
Graham, Paul (2017) There’s no one writing now that I admire more than Scott Alexander, Twitter, September 16.
MetaMed (2013) About: Our scientists, doctors & researchers, MetaMed.
Ngo, Richard (2020) EA reading list: Scott Alexander, Effective Altruism Forum, August 3.
Pinker, Steven (2021) A typical essay by Scott Alexander is deeper, better reasoned, better referenced, more original, and wittier than 99% of the opinion pieces in MSM, Twitter, February 14.
Siskind, Scott et al. (2017) Higher patient satisfaction with antidepressants correlates with earlier drug release dates across online user-generated medical databases, Pharmacology Research and Perspectives, vol. 5, pp. 1–9.
Siskind, Scott (2018) Scott Siskind, MD, Pacific Coast Psychiatric Associates.
WebMD Care (2021) Scott Alexander Siskind, WebMD Care.
Astral Codex Ten. Alexander’s blog.