Improving science

If one thinks that crunch x-risks (such as resource depletion or technological arrest) are more likely than technological x-risks, then improving science as a whole is probably net positive. But x-risk researchers generally put a lot of probability mass on technological x-risks.1 So improving the speed of scientific research as a whole is probably net negative from a differential progress perspective for hedonistic utilitarians as some scientific development could bring dangerous technologies before our social structure is able to deal with them. Although from a person-affecting view, speeding up biomedical research is more important.

However, making certain types of improvement to science or improvements in certain specific sciences can be net positive whether crunches or technological x-risks are more likely. Those interventions are therefore more robust across various worldviews, as well as moral values.

Social sciences

The development of some sciences, like social science and cognitive sciences, might be net positive as they can improve individual and group rationality.

A project aiming to speed up the development of social sciences is the Social Science Prediction Platform (also see related post).

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Peer review

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Open science

There are various ways to make science more open, including: altmetrics, open access publishing, sharing data and code, reproducibility, attribution, alternative publication and peer review models, social networks.

Some of those interventions might accelerate areas of science that can be dangerous.

For more information, check the open science page.

Helpful practices disallowed in formal publications

Brian Tomasik explains some reasons ze doesn’t like to formally publish zir writings2.

  • Have extensive quotes
  • Cite non-scholarly sources
  • Editing articles

Likelihood vs p-values

See likehoods, not p-values.


Other interventions that could be investigated include:

  • Medical testing reform
  • Intellectual property reform

Other organizations:

External links

See also