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Dec 6, 2012

Screw the grant process, scientists should go crowdsurfing

Young science researchers are often disadvantaged because funding agencies favour researchers with strong track records. Time to go online, says medical researcher Dr Timothy Moss.

Last week a young US medical researcher from Princeton University successfully crowdsourced US$25,000 to fund a research experiment that will test amphetamines (such as crystal meth) on the brains of mice.

6 comments

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6 thoughts on “Screw the grant process, scientists should go crowdsurfing

  1. Chris Jones

    As an ECR, I am well familiar with the situation. However, I suspect that the health sciences will benefit the most from crowdsourcing funds, as it bears a strong link to the hearts and minds of the taxpaying public. I somehow doubt that my field; agricultural biotechnology, would excel in sourcing the popular dollar.

  2. James Butler

    It is truly sad that governments are too busy bailing out banks, mega corporations and spending on useless wars and nation building other countries, when Our tax money should be going to important things like Infrastructure, medical research, curing cancer and advancing humanity into the future..

  3. Matt Hardin

    Another problem is that crowd sourced funds will not attract the kudos out respect that competitive grants like ARC or NHMRC. It is more important to university managers to get the grant than do work and have papers funded by other sources. There is little incentive to go for crowd sourced money; it just wouldn’t count for promotions etc..

  4. AR

    Seems like a good idea but pales beside the mega buck$ wasted over the last half century to find something crook to say about cannabis.
    Also, the retro god botheres, scientific obfuscationists & corporate shills have much deeper pockets to fuzz & obscure real research that might threaten their hegemony.
    An old saying from the hippie daze was “it’ll be a grand time when education, health & public housing have unlimited fund and the war mongers have to hild bake sales”.
    Jes’sayin…

  5. Mii

    @Chris Jones: Fear not. Perhaps a tale of your plight will bring tears to the eyes of a Monsanto Executive?

    @James Butler: True true. All politicians do is court the banal. I would love to hear the opposition do what you suggest, instead of offering the same bailing out banks, mega corporations and spending on useless wars as the Labor Party. Really, why don’t they merge with them and save us the money?

    @Matt Hardin: Time for a revolution. The Internet has freed up science the same way it freed musicians from the record companies, which is to say: not at all! Don’t expect change to come from the government. Flip the ARC the bird the old fashion way and head overseas, or the new way by crowdsourcing. Who gives a f* about ARC prestige if your research gets results?

  6. Matt Hardin

    With you in principle Mii but the consequences to the individual are very high – higher than most can stomach.

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