We seek to discover the truth about topics where currently, different groups hold different opinions based in different evidence.
We are a volunteer group with a mission of learning about, documenting, and advocating for a position on topics of fact and policy. Often these topics are controversial, though we do not require that a topic be controversial to consider it, only that it have significant support for multiple competing beliefs.
How does it work?
We impanel a research jury, a small team of passionate volunteers with sufficient ideological diversity, to work together on a topic, first researching, then reviewing and discussing the research, and finally writing a statement regarding the topic. Written statements will contain statements of values that may affect the conclusions you draw, evaluations of the evidence presented, a list of evidence that the group feels is insufficient or lacking, and conclusions that the group drew. Where necessary, there may also be statements regarding the remaining disagreement.
We are inspired by Adversarial Collaborations, where scientists with differing results work together, by City Club of Portland’s Research Committees where important policy possibilities are discussed and evaluated carefully, and by The Cochrane Collaboration where they evaluate the strength of all of the evidence, rather than a select few pieces.
And of course, our direct inspiration is 2018’s Adversarial Collaboration Contest (original proposal, results), run by Slate Star Codex. The winner and City Club’s research reports (example) serve as good examples of the work we’re aiming to create.
The research jury works together via asynchronous, and where possible, synchronous internet text, audio, and video chat, email, shared documents, etc. We do not expect participants to be colocated, and expect to work around timezones.
Interested in helping out?
The most important way you can help is by volunteering to assist with a research topic. Our ideal volunteer is willing to put in an average of 2-3 hours a week for the duration of the topic. If that type of role isn’t in the cards for you, check out other ways to get involved.
Get Involved volunteer
You can talk to us through our Community Discord.