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Discovery

Accelerating Research on Consciousness

Making progress on the science of consciousness by using adversarial collaboration and open science practices.

Consciousness is a foundational concept for understanding human nature, but 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.

Templeton World Charity Foundation’s Accelerating Research on Consciousness initiative (ARC) proposes a solution to these problems. Drawing on best practices in open science and adversarial collaboration, ARC promotes 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 theories through rigorous scientific and conceptual investigation. We hope this will accelerate research and increase the legitimacy of the remaining theories.

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What we seek to accomplish
1
Launch a pioneering grant-development mechanism. Using best practices in open science, ARC will facilitate adversarial collaboration.

2
Identify the most pressing empirical questions about consciousness and support innovative experiments to generate answers.

3
Promote rigorous empirical engagement with deeper questions regarding consciousness, as a core aspect of human nature, among the wider scientific community.
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Stories of Impact

Learn how ARC uses adversarial collaboration

Five groundbreaking projects will test prominent theories of consciousness.

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