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Might the EA community be undervaluing "meta-research on how to make progress on causes?"

by nonzerosum1 min read16th Jun 20192 comments



Potential rationale: various EA causes are hard to make progress on. Meta-research on how to make progress on large problems like the other EA causes could be an effective activity.

Do you believe the EA community is appropriately prioritizing this kind of meta-research? Could "meta-research on how to make progress on causes" be an EA cause area itself?

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I'd guess that there are some low-hanging fruit research projects that could help lots of organisations and individuals trying to maximise their positive impact across multiple cause areas (not confident on this because there are some groups whose work I am unfamiliar with).

Examples of existing research that fits this category are the recent post on "Ingredients for creating disruptive research teams" and Open Philanthropy Project's research on the history of philanthropy.

It's possible that having a small organisation explicitly focused on these sort of opportunities could be worthwhile. Otherwise, if someone tried more thoroughly list and prioritise projects, individuals could potentially work on this (and get funding through EA Grants?)