By Bryan Caplan
During the last five years, I put many of my concerns on hold so I could finish The Case Against Education. Now that the project is wrapping up, I’m doubling back. Many of the tasks are non-academic, like refinishing my childhood furniture. But I also have a list of topics I want – nay, need – to learn more about. For starters, I’m looking for high-quality systematic evidence-based work on the following:
1. The science of health – including but not limited to the net health effects of alcohol, antihistamines, sunscreen, and indoor air pollution, and the best ways of preventing diabetes and Lyme disease.
2. The science of diet. What does the best evidence say about healthy diet? To what extent are the effects simply mediated through obesity, versus other channels?
3. The science of sleep. I’ve always been a bad sleeper: trouble falling asleep when I was young, trouble waking up too early in recent years. Can science help me?
4. Personal finance. Is there anything I should know beyond, “Invest in internationally diversified low-cost index funds,” “Max out pretax and Roth options,” and “Save for college using 529 plans”?
5. College admission for home-schoolers. I’m not worried about home-schooling my kids through middle school. But I’m concerned that colleges will penalize them if they don’t attend a traditional high school. How serious are these penalties, and what if anything can I do to defuse them?
Know something excellent I should read? Know something well-regarded that’s greatly overrated? Please share in the comments.