SciFund Challenge: The Aquatic Projects

I cannot say it any better than Jai and Jarrett so in their own words

The #SciFund Challenge is an experiment – can scientists use crowdfunding to fund their research? The current rate of funding for science proposals in the U.S. is ~20%. The current rate for crowdfunding statues of RoboCop in Detroit is 135% – to the tune of $67,436.  Perhaps Scientists can do better by tapping this reservoir of funds from an interested public. See here for our call to arms! The #SciFund Challenge is also a way to get scientists to directly engage with the pubilc. Crowdfunding forces scientists to build public interaction and outreach into their research from day one. It’s a new mechanism to couple science and society, and one that we think has a lot of promise. See here for more on this secret agenda of #SciFund.

I cannot express how brilliant this idea is.  A funding link already exists between the public and the scientists in which taxpayer dollars fund the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and others.  In this model the public is removed form the science they support.  Too many middlemen…the government in the channel between the public and science and the media between science and the public.

A variety of aquatic biology projects exist in SciFund the current challenge. Hipster Goliath Crabs, a project that brings together zombies and lakes, CSI coral reef, fish dropping beats in the Amazon, lake soundscapes, corals weathering the storm, picky corals, castration by crab, saving a reef through education, keep humans out of my fish vagina, and boinking seahorses all need your funding!

So stop reading this and head over now!

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.