Metascience reading list  

Metascience is roughly defined as the science of doing science. This reading list is intended as a guide to those who have heard of the field and want to learn more — covering topics such as the problems metascience aims to address and what concrete projects and ideas look like. 

This is my best shot at a comprehensive overview of relevant introductory readings in the field. If you think I missed any, please ping me

At a glance: 

Metascience - Wikipedia 

Developing the science of science by Heidi Williams and Paul Niehaus 

Shortfalls of the current scientific system: 

What problems does metascience aim to address? 

Market Failures in science, Milan Cvitkovic

In a chart, Jose Luiz 

Academia and Startup Constraints, Ben Rienhardt 

Science is getting harder, Matt Clancy

Science is getting less bang for its buck, Michael Nielsen and Patrick Collison 

Scientific Funding: 

Scientific Funding enables research to get done. How does it work?

Mini-series: funding people, not projects, Nintil 

Encouraging high-risk high-reward research at NIH, Chiara Franzoni and Paula Stephan

What We Learned Doing Fast Grants | Future, Patrick Collison, Tyler Cowen, Patrick Hsu 

Understanding science funding in tech, 2011-2021, Nadia Asparohouva 

What concrete projects look like: 


New models for funding and organizing science, Nintil 

Metascience - Institute for Progress 

Centers or Institutions: 

Most are visible here: Overedge Catalogue by Samuel Arbesman 

Center for Open Science

Some academic labs: 

Meta Research Innovation Center at Stanford 

Center for Science of Science and Innovation 

Science for Progress Initiative | The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab 

Further and related readings: 

Limits and Possibilities of Metascience, by Nintil 

Idea machines, Nadia Asparohouva 

Early stage funding markets for science: an analysis, Nadia Asparohouva 

Interplay between funding orgs and research management, Ben Reinhardt 

How Life Sciences Actually Work: Findings of a Year-Long Investigation, Alexey Guzey 

A Vision of Metascience, Michael Nielsen, Kanjun Qui 

Are ideas getting harder to find? 

Original paper, Holden Karnofsky and Matt Clancy have also discussed this. 


Good Science Project is an excellent substack focusing on improving the funding and practice of science. 

The Atlantic has a great newsletter on Progress Studies, and occasionally touches on Metascience related topics

Matt Clancy (substack) consistently writes interesting pieces relating to the economics of innovation, which heavily overlaps with metascience