December 12, 2012

"Disrupting" the Scientific Establishment?

This series of videos [1] is for my academic scientists friends frustrated with the traditional funding streams [2]. Part of my continuing series on alternative funding models. The first is a cartoon-laden introduction to crowdsourcing (as a concept) called: "Crowdsourcing: what is it?".

The second video speaks more directly to the disruptive potential of crowdsourcing [4] on traditional academic research power structures [3]: "Disrupting conventional funding models".

The third featured video profiles the SciFund challenge [5], and provides insights into how crowdsourcing is effective as a practical tool: "Crowdfunding for Academic Research".

Finally, there is an example from the UK called Open Science Space (an IndieGoGo project) run by Peter Cubbin. In the video, he explains one proposal for how "open-source" funding fits into the scientific enterprise.

So the questions are raised: is this a viable alternate path forward? Do such models have the potential to "disrupt" how academic science is done and rewarded [6]? Please feel free to discuss and share.


[1] All contributions courtesy various YouTube contributors.

[2] NIH, NSF, DARPA, etc. While the predominant way to fund science, these models do not work well for every type or research or project.

[3] And markets for research and researchers (scientists). But more on that in another post.

[4] Actually, the disruptive innovation here is the enabling technology (e.g. the internet).

[5] Currently in Round 3 (the initial round began a few years back). I direct you to the call to arms, put out by Jai Ranganathan and Jarrett Byrnes.

[6] This is somewhat of an aside, but there has been much talk about academic elitism (e.g. money and attitudes) and its perpetuation recently in the blogosphere and news media. See the following two articles for a taste of this zeitgeist:

"Is Michigan State really better than Yale?" (New York Times)

"Ph.D.'s From Top Political-Science Programs Dominate Hiring, Research Finds" (Chronicle of Higher Education).

No comments:

Post a Comment