(From the #SciFund challenge website) The #SciFund Challenge is an experiment – can scientists use crowdfunding to fund their research? The current rate of funding for science proposals in the U.S. is ~20%. The current rate for crowdfunding statues of RoboCop in Detroit is 135% – to the tune of $67,436. Perhaps Scientists can do better by tapping this reservoir of funds from an interested public. See here for our call to arms!
The #SciFund Challenge is also a way to get scientists to directly engage with the pubilc. Crowdfunding forces scientists to build public interaction and outreach into their research from day one. It’s a new mechanism to couple science and society, and one that we think has a lot of promise. See here for more on this secret agenda of #SciFund.
The founders of the #SciFund Challenge are Dr. Jai Ranganathan and Dr. Jarrett Byrnes. We are biologists – ecologists, actually – and each spends too much time in the science online scene. Jai ran a weekly science podcast, called Curiouser and Curiouser for Miller-McCune magazine, and Jarrett is the big boss over at the science blog I’m a Chordata! Urochordata! On Twitter, you can find Jai at @jranganathan and firstname.lastname@example.org and Jarrett at @jebyrnes.