This post has been inspired by the Reading Nature project and my interactions with its researcher Riccardo Guidi from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
The coming decade is expected to see major breakthroughs in medical research, like the personal genome sequencing (analyzing genetically-carried diseases) and developing personalized medicines to counter its effect. Several startups as well as renowned biotech companies, those involved in genome sequences have already received 100’s of millions in funding from venture capitalists and large fund pools.
While genomics is witnessing a boom time, there are increasing amounts of research projects that are finding it hard to get funding or traction from the general public. The challenge for researchers are a plenty, including:
(1) Not being-known to socialize much, more so with the general public, researchers find it hard to communicate the importance of their research.
(2) Tax-payers rightly seek more transparency, which includes wanting to know the kind of projects where their money is being invested in.
(3) While scientific journals are designed for the scientific community, the common citizen, including children, require more outlets that shared research information in easy-to-understand terms.
(4) To help funders realize that many research projects take a longer time that, for instance a web startup.
(5) Many research projects turn out to be unsuccessful in the end and that in most cases, the learning alone is crucial for future research.
And so we ask, is crowdfunding good for science research?