Research scoping discussion spaces

15 Aug 2023: We are organizing some meetings and working groups, and building some private spaces ... where we are discussing 'which specified research themes and papers/projects we should prioritize for UJ evaluation.'

This is guided by concerns we discuss in other sections (e.g., 'what research to target', 'what is global priorities relevant research')

Research we prioritize, and short comments and ratings on its prioritization is currently maintained in our Airtable database (under 'crucial_research'). We consider 'who covers and monitors what' (in our core team) in the 'mapping_work' table). This exercise suggested some loose teams and projects. I link some (private) Gdocs for those project discussions below. We aim to make a useful discussion version/interface public when this is feasible.

Team members and field specialists: You should have access to a Google Doc called "Unjournal Field Specialists+: Proposed division (discussion), meeting notes", where we are dividing up the monitoring and prioritization work.

Some of the content in the sections below will overlap.

General discussions of prioritization

Unjournal: Which research? How to prioritize/process it?

Development economics, global health, adjacent

  1. 'Impactful, Neglected, Evaluation-Tractable' work in the global health & RCT-driven intervention-relevant part of development economics

  2. Mental health and happiness; HLI suggestions

  3. Givewell specific recommendations and projects

  4. Governance/political science

  5. Global poverty: Macro, institutions, growth, market structure

  6. Evidence-based policy organizations, their own assessments and syntheses (e.g., 3ie)

  7. How to consider and incorporate adjacent work in epidemiology and medicine

Economics as a field, sub-areas

  1. Syllabi (and ~agendas): Economics and global priorities (and adjacent work)

  2. Microeconomic theory and its applications? When/what to consider?

Animal welfare

  1. The economics of animal welfare (market-focused; 'ag econ'), implications for policy

  2. Attitudes towards animals/animal welfare; behavior change and 'go veg' campaigns

  3. Impact of political and corporate campaigns

The environment

  1. Environmental economics and policy

Psychology and 'attitudes/behavioral'

  1. Unjournal/Psychology research: discussion group: How can UJ source and evaluate credible work in psychology? What to cover, when, who, with what standards...

  2. Moral psychology/psychology of altruism and moral circles

Innovation, scientific progress, technology

  1. Innovation, R&D, broad technological progress

  2. Meta-science and scientific productivity

  3. Social impact of AI (and other technology)

  4. Techno-economic analysis of impactful products (e.g., cellular meat, geo-engineering)

Catastrophic risks (economics, social science, policy)

  1. Pandemics and other biological risks

  2. Artificial intelligence; AI governance and strategy (is this in the UJ wheelhouse?)

  3. International cooperation and conflict

Applied research/Policy research stream

See discussion here.


  1. Long term population, growth, macroeconomics

  2. Normative/welfare economics and philosophy (should we cover this?)

  3. Empirical methods (should we consider some highly-relevant subset, e.g., meta-analysis?)

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