Research Priorities

We believe that one of the most valuable contributions that research can make to the long-term flourishing of humanity is to figure out how we can motivate and empower people to do more good in better ways. This is a formidable scientific challenge that many more people should be working on. Just imagine how much better the world could be and how much faster our global problems could be solved if we had more effective, theoretically sound, and evidence-based approaches to unlock people’s potential to make valuable contributions to society! We believe that the best way to get there is to unite researchers from various basic and applied disciplines behind common goals. To find out what those goals should be and inspire more people to work on them, we are facilitating an open, collaborative effort in which researchers and practitioners come together to brainstorm, discuss, curate, and publish a tentative list of questions about well-doing, personal growth, and ill-doing that are most important for the long-term flourishing of humanity.

How will this work?

Our process for generating the list of important questions is as follows:

  1. We invite people to brainstorm a list of potential questions and scientific goals and enter them on this spreadsheet starting on April 12.

  2. We form an interdisciplinary jury of experts.

  3. We invite all participants of the Life Improvement Science conference and everyone else who is interested to discuss these questions on Slack.

  4. Everyone who is interested can vote on the proposed challenges.

  5. We invite the people whose proposals received the most votes in their respective categories (well-doing, personal growth, ill-doing, or other) to present and discuss them at the Life Improvement Science conference.

  6. Following those presentations, the jury rates each proposed question according to how impactful it would be to answer it, its traceability, and its neglectedness.

  7. Everyone who proposed one of the top 15 questions or made significant contributions to the discussion is invited to participate in writing a journal article on the most important questions together with the members of the jury.

  8. We will write collaboratively and try to incorporate everyone's feedback. The people who proposed a question have the last word about the section on that question.

  9. We submit the resulting article to a good journal and post a preprint.

How can I get involved?

There are several easy ways to get involved now:

  1. You propose potential research goals and questions, by entering them in this spreadsheet.

  2. You can comment on other people's proposals in the Comment columns of that spreadsheet.

  3. You can sign up for Life Improvement Science conference where the proposals will be discussed. If you do, we will keep you posted about the research priorities discussion via the conference newsletter. The conference is free of charge and will be held virtually.

  4. You can spread the word to other people who might be interested.

  5. You can apply to be on the jury by sending an email with the subject line "Research Priorities Jury" to contact@life-improvement.science and use this email to explain your motivation and relevant qualifications.

More opportunities will open up later on.