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Science Technology

Microryza Brings Crowd-Funding To Scientific Research 40

Zothecula writes "Crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter have proven popular for groups and individuals looking to get a consumer product, movie, music or video game project off the ground. Now a group of researchers and scientists is adopting a similar crowd-funding model to raise money for scientific research projects. The Microryza website, which launched this week, lets the public get behind research they care about and maybe help it get out of the lab."
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Microryza Brings Crowd-Funding To Scientific Research

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  • awful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:26AM (#39692587)

    We need to get away from this mindset that it's OK to let rich people have more of a say in charity (which includes academic research) than poor - it simply doesn't work.

    There's a reason China's winning while the West's in the shitter: long term, high investment projects such as academia, infrastructure and industry are lifted up and celebtrated by Chinese government, while America and the UK have little interest in helping anyone but the banker. You tax and then you assign the money to projects which will help the country.

    (and those who do not want to live in society, are welcome to reject *all* its advances and protections)

  • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:33AM (#39692623)

    I was actively excited when I read TFS. Looking at TFA, though, there's something that I don't like the sound of at all:

    Importantly, the researchers retain 100 percent ownership of their project and its results and get to choose how much material they disclose. While backers will generally like to keep apprised of project developments and findings, researchers aren’t obliged to provide updates.

    They want money from crowdsourcing, but they want to keep their findings to themselves? I'm not on board with that at all. If science is funded by the kindness of 1000 enthusiasts, it isn't acceptable to claim that the results are strictly yours to do with what you want. If you want money from the public, you have to accepts that the results belong to the public. Or at least you should do, in my opinion.

    Usually we let groups get away with claiming "ownership" over information on the basis that they need rewarding for their risky investment. If you take away that element, and they're not investing themselves, what right do they have to keep the information to themselves? To keep it away from "competitors"?

    I wouldn't give a penny to a project without at least some show of faith that they're doing the research for the good of the world, and not for themselves.

  • Re:awful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:39AM (#39692669) Homepage

    Yes, but now Im a bit put off by whether or not the sites are administrated well enough for them to take responsibility for de-trolling their site. I could end up either having my project removed for being stalked or having a project I fund disappear due to the ineptitude of those running the circus.
            Whats my motivation again?...

  • by Epell ( 1866960 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:55AM (#39693119)
    It has a lot to do with intellectual right policy in many research institution.
    The researchers don't really own their findings themselves. If the finding is lucrative, the university/institution takes a huge chunk of the money.
    If microryza forces the ownership to be shared with the funding sources/share all findings with public, then they have to sit through a whole lots of legal meetings for each institution they ever get involved with. Nobody wants that.

    Believe me, researchers will share their findings when time is right.
    Each publication is one extra line on their CV afterall.
  • Re:awful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymus ( 2267354 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @12:25PM (#39693735)

    Actually, yeah, we do. We need to quit trying to make research provide immediate monetary value and let research just be research.

  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @01:49PM (#39694323) Journal

    More importantly, how to make sure that they really work on that project if they are not required to give updates, nor final results? So you make a new project "I want to investigate [some interesting question], I need $100000." Then after you got the $100000 you remain silent, except maybe after a while claiming "I've solved the problem, but I've decided to share the result with nobody." Meanwhile you enjoy the new flat you've bought with that money.

    So how to make sure there really was research going on with the money if you are not required to give any updates on it?

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354