A central directory for open research questions

Quite wonderfully, there has been a proliferation of research questions EAs have identified as potentially worth pursuing, and now even a proliferation of collections of such questions. So like a good little EA, I’ve gone meta: this post is a collection of all such collections I’m aware of. I hope this can serve as a central directory to all of those other useful resources, and thereby help interested EAs find questions they can investigate to help inform our whole community’s efforts to do good better.

Please also leave a comment if you know of any research question collections that aren’t yet included in this post!

Some things to note:

  • It may be best to just engage with one set of questions that are relevant to your skills, interests, or plans, and ignore the rest of this post.

  • It’s possible that some of these questions are no longer “open”.

  • I’ve included some things that aren’t explicitly written as collections of research questions, as long as research questions could very easily be inferred from them (e.g., from the problems people identify, or the posts people want written).

Various EA-related topics

Mostly focused on longtermism, existential risks, or GCRs

Mostly focused on AI

Fairly technical (I think)

Less technical /​ AI strategy /​ AI governance

A mix of technical and non-technical

Mostly focused on biorisk or coronavirus

Cause prioritisation/​global priorities

Animal welfare

(Perhaps Charity Entrepreneurship and Rethink Priorities have relevant collections or research agendas?)

Global health and development

Important unresolved research questions relevant to macroeconomic policy—Open Philanthropy Project, 2014

(Perhaps Charity Entrepreneurship and GiveWell have relevant collections or research agendas?)

Other areas many EAs are interested in

Improving institutional decision-making & forecasting

Rationality

Mental health, happiness, etc.

Other?

I’d guess there are other relevant areas for which research questions have been collected somewhere.

Potential lists of lists which I haven’t properly taken the lists from yet


Thanks to all the people who created all the lists I’ve shown and/​or taken from here. And thanks to Aaron Gertler for his above-quoted thoughts, to David Kristoffersson for helpful feedback and additions, and to Remmelt Ellen for helpful comments.

This post is related to my work with Convergence Analysis.