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!