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How does the culture of science change and improve? Many people have identified shortcomings in core social processes of science, such as peer review, how grants are awarded, how people are selected to become scientists, and so on. Yet despite often compelling criticisms, strong barriers inhibit wide...

How does the culture of science change and improve? Many people have identified shortcomings in core social processes of science, such as peer review, how grants are awarded, how people are selected to become scientists, and so on. Yet despite often compelling criticisms, strong barriers inhibit widespread change in such social processes. The result is near stasis, and apathy about the prospects for improvement. People sometimes start new research institutions intended to do things differently; unfortunately such institutions are often changed more by the existing ecosystem than they change it. In this essay we sketch a vision of how the social processes of science may be rapidly improved. In this vision, metascience plays a key role: it deepens our understanding of which social processes best support discovery; that understanding can then help drive change. We introduce the notion of a metascience entrepreneur, a person seeking to achieve a scalable improvement in the social processes of science. We argue that: (1) metascience is an imaginative design practice, exploring an enormous design space for social processes; (2) that exploration aims to find new social processes which unlock latent potential for discovery; (3) decentralized change must be possible, so outsiders with superior ideas can't be blocked by established power centers; (4) ideally, change would align with what is best for science and for humanity, not merely what is fashionable, politically popular, or media-friendly; (5) the net result would be a far more structurally diverse set of environments for doing science; and (6) this would enable crucial types of work difficult or impossible within existing environments. For this vision to succeed metascience must develop and intertwine three elements: an imaginative design practice, an entrepreneurial discipline, and a research field. Overall, it is a vision in which metascience is an engine of improvement for the social processes and ultimately the culture of science.

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