Mission and History
Leverage Research aims to support scientific progress by helping researchers understand and improve methods of discovery, particularly in young or underdeveloped scientific fields. We believe that a nuanced understanding of each stage of scientific investigation can allow for the development of much more effective scientific research programs.
Leverage was founded in 2011 as an experiment to bring together researchers who were interested in figuring out how to improve the world.
Researchers were encouraged to pursue their own research agendas with their own methods and form collaborations as they saw fit. Between 2011 and 2019 we conducted investigations in many subdomains of epistemology, psychology, and sociology with varying degrees of success. Through trial and error we learned some surprising things about how to do early stage science.
The Leverage Research team is now working on projects to promote effective early stage scientific research. To do this we directly investigate how early stage science works, attempt to do early stage science ourselves, and support promising early stage research projects.
Research Fellows Program
Hosting independent researchers working outside of existing scientific research programs. We help Fellows design and conduct their investigations, and in turn they help us learn about methodology by providing case studies in early stage research. We select Fellows on the basis of the importance of their topic of interest, their track record of self-directed research, and their willingness to continually work towards improving their research methodology.
Early Stage Science Research
Investigating historical examples of scientific discoveries that lead to the creation of successful research programs. We are particularly interested in understanding how some scientists make discoveries by developing their own (sometimes extremely elaborate) research methods and tools. We explore the intellectual, political, and technological factors that can cause or prevent these discoveries.
Exploratory Psychology Research
Conducting an early stage investigation in the field of psychology. Our current focus is refining and testing the key research methods developed during the initial Leverage Research experiment. We are working on developing collaborations with interested researchers in academic psychology and cognitive science to help us continue our investigation.