Rhetorical is a group of active scientists with academic publications spanning the fields of machine learning, cognitive science and political behavior, and we value the high standard of evidential accountability that academic research provides. In forming a non-profit, we aim to create a research environment that produces this same level of methodological rigor while being more incentive-aligned to the requirements of public advocacy. Specifically, we aim to:
- Prioritize empirical work that is most actionable/useful, even when this lacks the theoretical novelty that is preferred by many academic social science journals.
- Prioritize actionable/useful empirical work ahead of profit-maximization.
- Permit and encourage research with explicitly electoral outcome measures (including messaging research regarding candidates and parties) whenever these outcomes are commonly agreed by our advisory board to be in the public interest.
- Carefully consider how and where any developed methodology should best be shared, weighing the benefits of open publication with the risks of harmful misuse.
- Use resources efficiently, minimizing the funding overheads of university administration and the time costs of submission to long-format academic journals.