Thursday, November 17, 2011

Screwed - in a Manner of Speaking

"I don't want to be joined to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis."

Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory

Sunday, November 6, 2011

FundaGeek - Crowdfunding for Science!

Are you a scientific researcher in need of funding for your project? If so great, read on …

Over the past couple of years, my frustration kept growing. I kept reading about it in publications like Nature, and Science and the mainstream press. It was depressing. I had to figure out a way to help the cause. I had to do something. Of course I’m talking about the dismal state of funding for scientific projects. With the U.S. budget crisis decimating NSF and NIH grants, it’s made basic research ever more competitive and challenging. Just look at what’s happening to the James Webb Space Telescope. We need the JWST to take over where Hubble left off, but how?

I thought and I thought about what I could do to help basic research to find a new funding paradigm, not to replace grants but to fill in the holes and keep important projects running. Then it came to me – crowdfunding for basic research! A year later after my brainstorm, FundaGeek just launched and is ready to help the cause.

FundaGeek is the first crowdfunding platform expressly for technical innovation and basic research. By promoting your project to social networks, you basically attract a large number of “micropledges” in return for simple rewards. There are many tips for how to do this on the site. People from all over the world can contribute small amounts in support of your research. At the end of the campaign period you collect the funding, and start the process all over again for a steady and consistent method of funding.

Once the project goes live in the FundaGeek project catalog and the funding floodgates open wide – the promotion process kicks into high gear. You’ve got to put in some work to attract the backers. The typical researcher probably doesn’t have time for this, but a grad student (or even a undergrad) savvy in the art of Twitter and Facebook can take the reins to help the cause of finding backers for the research group.

The timing is great for this new method of funding scientific research. I hope many of you Science Lifestyle Blog enthusiasts will check it out ( and get your project funded by the crowd.

[NOTE: this is why the posts here on the SLB have dropped off so much recently. I've kinda been busy!]