Unisexual Ambystoma

Unisexual Ambystoma

Thursday, February 14, 2013

NPR and the progress of science crowdfunding

As I was on the way to work this morning, I heard NPR's science reporter Joe Palka doing a story about a very familiar theme: scientific crowdfunding.

The impetus for this blog was my crowdfunding campaign from last year's SciFund challenge, and has been only one example of how crowdfunding has affected my scientific career. I've had much more practice explaining why my research is interesting and important. I've learned how to incorporate principles of marketing and design into the way I present my work to other scientists and the public. The coolest perk of all? It has to be meeting people from around the world who donated to my work and have now become partners for the journey of a research project.

Christmas presents for my SciFund contributors: a photo of their adopted salamander, complete with genetic information.

And what do you know, it looks like crowdfunding might be catching on. The campaign that Joe Palka describes, uBiome, just raised over $250,000
That's gonna buy a lot of pipette tips.

I would have told you last year that it would be impossible for a science project to raise that much money. That is big time grant money. So whether a scientist is attempting a massive project like uBiome or a smaller project like mine, there are folks out there who are willing to open their wallets and support the greater scientific good. What's not to love about that?

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