Crowdfunded science

giant red ant

Calling all armchair scientists! is a new site that allows you to help fund a science project, then follow along with the project team as it progresses. As with the successful site Kickstarter (which funds arts-related projects), backers reap a multitude of project-related rewards that range from updates and photographs of research in progress, to stones from far-away countries, even the possibility of naming a new species.'s CEO and founder Matt Salzberg is a former VC who always had a passion for science. When crowdfunding started to became popular, he recognized that it could work equally well for scientists, who often lack the capital to complete or even begin research projects. The model also connects people to science in a very direct way, with a broad range of projects to choose from and ongoing communication with the research teams as they do their work.

"We're trying to make science participatory," says Salzberg. "This is literally research that wouldn't happen without your support." The individual project pages host information about the projects such as biographies of the teams, what specifically your money will help fund, and impassioned testimonials from the scientists themselves about why their research is important.

If you're a scientist looking to get a project funded, let them know. The site is currently in beta and actively looking to add more projects.

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