Speaking of crowdfunding research (as we did yesterday right here), the Kickstarter model (which you may have heard of; it is a wildly popular site where people can seek funding, usually in small amounts from many, many people, for just about any creative project you can imagine) has come to science.
Whereas citizen science and the growth of tools for collecting and aggregating knowledge have led to more and more people playing tiny but vital roles in the gruntwork of gathering raw data for many kinds of scientific research (it really runs the gamut from biodiversity to astronomy), this might be the first time that people can fund scientific research. Bye bye sweating over grant applications, hello coming up with nifty prizes to award top donors? Well, maybe.
Experiment, formerly Microryza, is the new Indiegogo or Kickstarter of the scientific community--in the United States, that is (so far). Tulane University School of Medicine and Washington University seem to be the institutions most involved so far, and an organization called The SciFund Challenge, with the goal of supporting scientists to seek crowdfunding for their work, has some 24 projects on Experiment. You can check out the quality and variety of medical research proposals on the site for yourself, right here.
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