How to Build a Bad Research Center

This paper contains my advice on building and running research centers based on being involved in a dozen of them over nearly 40 years. In keeping with my past advice pieces on talks and careers, where the goal was to be informative and entertaining, I first lay down eight commandments to create a bad research center before describing how to do the opposite: multidisciplinary, five-year centers that rely on biannual retreats and shared open space to guide the research. Be forewarned that to persuade readers of the benefits of this approach I see no option but to cite impact on research results and on student and faculty careers I have witnessed in my decades at UC Berkeley. (Hint: the impact was positive.) My intent is to publish this piece in a journal, but early feedback is that it will have to be less satirical and a lot shorter, hence this technical report to share the full history.