Accelerating Research on Consciousness
We aim to make progress on the science of consciousness using adversarial collaboration and a range of other open science practices.
Although consciousness is a foundational concept for understanding human nature, it has been plagued by practical and conceptual challenges. There is little agreement on what anatomical structures and physiological functions produce consciousness. Scholars across disciplines can look at the same data and draw different conclusions. As a result, different theories of consciousness have become siloed and self-referential, creating a serious barrier to progress in the field.
We propose a solution to these problems. Drawing on best practices in open science and adversarial collaboration, we promote open and rigorous engagement among leaders of opposing theories. We do not expect to solve all the mysteries of consciousness, but we aim to foster progress by reducing the number of plausible and scientifically testable theories. We hope this will accelerate research in this field and increase the legitimacy of the remaining theories.
Launch a pioneering grant-development mechanism that uses best-practices in open science to facilitate adversarial collaboration.
Identify the most pressing empirical questions about consciousness and support innovative experiments to generate answers.
Promote rigorous empirical engagement with deeper questions regarding consciousness, as a core aspect of human nature, among the wider scientific community.