Please, not another manifesto

Co-written with Noah van Dongen.

A few years later, while browsing Twitter, one of us saw the preprint, “A Manifesto for Team Science”. This time though, the feeling was different. “Really? Another manifesto?” A month later, a colleague sends a link to a paper, along with a winky-emoji.

“Oh no….”

Soon enough, self control lost out to curiosity. Click.

Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto.” It was a comment published in Nature. 3 pages. 22 authors.

It turns out that it’s not just our field of meta-research that’s into manifestos. Do a quick google scholar search, and you’ll find more than 20,000 items with “manifesto” in their title and more than 1,500 items that have titles including “a manifesto for”.

There are manifestos for everything: growth econometrics, earth justice, ethnography, processual philosophy of biology, postmodern feminist legal proceedings, romance, cyberpunk, cyborgs, doomed youth, and people not being gadgets.

Given how prominent some manifestos become, you might start to think “hey, maybe I should write a manifesto too?”

Here, we present a set of graphical tools to help you answer this question. These tools produce robust inferences across a range of parameters and can be straightforwardly used by any scientist, at any career stage, in any field.

Decision tree

Word cloud

Linear regression

Poisson regression

Posterior probability that you should write a manifesto


Should you write a manifesto? The approach developed here suggests a clear answer:

Some plots generated with code modified from McElreath’s Statistical Rethinking.

Metascientist studying how to make science more efficient and reliable. New content on substack: