From 80,000 Hours’s 2012 post, The high impact PA: how anyone can bring about ground-breaking research:
Rather than attempt to personally become a researcher in that field, instead attempt to find the very best researcher already working on the issue. Consider: if you can save that researcher one hour spent on activities besides research, then that researcher can spend one more hour researching. So, by saving that researcher time, you can convert your time into their time. Suddenly, one of your hours becomes one more hour spent by the best researcher, working in the best field!
There are many ways you could do this. For instance, you could volunteer to become their PA (Personal Assistant) – something many top academics lack. Then you could save them time spent organising meetings, shopping, filing taxes etc. If you picked the right person, then at least some of this would result in more research.
The article doesn’t contain any examples of people who have tried this, let alone if it actually works.
Has anyone taken a ‘multiplier’ path? If so, how was it? Could you tell how much more research time your efforts enabled, if any?
Or, has anyone explored this area more fully than the article above?