Phantagraphia Research Directive (PRD)
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The Phantagraphia Research Directive is a think-tank charged with applying scientific methods to the research and analysis of portals, the Multiverse, and alternate worlds. The PRD is dedicated to continued research and exploration to seek greater knowledge for knowledge's sake. They are an organized, methodical, scientific alternative to the Cartographer's Society and the Order of the Golden Bough.
The PRD provides grants to hundreds of scientists and researchers in a broad range of fields, so long as their work even tangentially applies to Multiverse theory or alternate worlds. Most of the scientific information available on Phantagraphia and the mechanics of alternate worlds is the direct product of PRD grants and funding, and the organization has made impressive strides in improving our understanding of the Multiverse.
Beyond providing grants, the PRD employs a staff of its own scientists, researchers, and administrators to collate and preserve data for the long term. The PRD is responsible for several peer-review publications covering many fields of science, and provides laboratory space and equipment to promising researchers for nominal fees.
PRD membership comes in several forms. Anyone can pay from a range of annual dues to be considered a "fellow" of the PRD and recieve regular publications, from a simple monthly newsletter to any of several regularly published scientific journals. The PRD also considers anyone who recieves a grant from the Directive to be at least an honourary member, for so long as the grant is active. The PRD also has a large number of paid employees, and at least the scientists and analysts it employs are considered official members (janitors, however, are just employees, and get no discount for any journals they may wish to recieve).
PRD leadership is managed by a board of directors consisting of 15 members. Board chairs are for life, lasting until a member of the board dies, retires, or commits an offence bad enough - such as intentionally falsifying data - to have the board vote unanimously to expell her. When a chair is vacant, the Board must elect a new board member within two years. Board members are usually selected from scientific members of the PRD who have made some important breakthrough or discovery, and candidates will be informed that they are being considered, so that they may withdraw their names from candidacy if they so wish. Though board members are all practicing scientists, technologists, and engineers, the duties of the Board leave little time to actually do any serious research, and the Board has a largely deserved reputation for being a bunch of dull old men who are ironically behind the times.
The PRD's official headquarters and primary labs are located in a futuristic donut-shaped building in the Swift Canton, known as the Torus. The Torus is resident-built, and designed to withstand any sort of City reconfiguration that might take place under or around it, but this has yet to actually be put to the test.
Most of the Torus is occupied by active labs, studying everything from paleontology to particle physics. Towards the center of the "donut" are the administrative offices, where Board members meet and sometimes work, along with a substantial administrative staff dedicated to processing grant requests and handling archive duties. Periodical publication and primary archives are both sited elsewhere in the City.
Official PRD documents and files are watermarked with a simple logo consisting of thick, stylized letters reading "PRD".