Science policy and infrastructure
Our overall view
We’d love to see more people working on this issue. But you might be able to do even more good working on one of our top priority problem areas.
Table of Contents
Why might science policy and infrastructure be a pressing issue?
Scientific research has been an enormous driver of human welfare. However, science policy and infrastructure are not always designed well to incentivise research that most benefits society in the long term.
For example, we’ve argued that some scientific and technological developments can increase risks of catastrophe, which better institutional checks might be able to help reduce.
More prosaically, scientific progress is often driven more by what is commercially valuable, interesting, or prestigious than by considerations of long-run positive impact. In general, we favour differential development in science and technology over indiscriminate progress, which better science policies or institutional design may help enable.
This suggests that there is room for improving systems shaping scientific research and increasing their benefits going forward. We’re particularly keen on people creating structures or incentives to push scientific research in more positive and less risky directions.
Learn more about science policy and infrastructure
- Givewell’s overview of the area
- Example research questions about improving science policy and infrastructure
- Science policy as a possible EA cause area: problems and solutions
Read next: Explore other pressing world problems
Want to learn more about global issues we think are especially pressing? See our list of issues that are large in scale, solvable, and neglected, according to our research.
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