Legal priorities research: A research agenda

Abstract

What are the greatest risks and opportunities for humanity, and what is the role that multidisciplinary-informed legal research can take? How can we prioritize so as to increase the chance of a flourishing and long-lasting future of humanity? How can we cooperate most effectively with those whom we will never meet, but whose lives lie in our hands? Choosing to address these questions and prioritizing carefully among them may be one of the great opportunities of our time to positively change the human trajectory, and is the guiding theme of this agenda.

Our research agenda is divided into three parts. In the first part, we argue that cause prioritization in legal research is both important and neglected, provide an overview of our philosophical foundations, and describe our methodological approach. In the second part, we present our current focus areas (namely, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, institutional design, and meta-research), identify promising research projects, and provide an overview of relevant literature. In the final part, we discuss two cause areas for further engagement (namely, space governance and animal law).