If you have never heard of Crowdwish, let me tell you a bit about it. It is an amazing site that grants wishes according to votes. Many deserving wishes have seen some sort of action put into motion. One “wish” is granted daily. Today’s winning wish is talked about below:
Today’s Crowdwish was ‘I wish we could crowdfund research into curing illness’
This is a really interesting idea and one that has yet to receive widespread adoption. Crowdfunding for business ideas on sites like Kickstarter and for creative projects on sites like IndieGogo is now a massive deal. In fact Kickstarter recently announced that a total of over $1bn had been pledged to date on the site, by over 14,000,000 people who have collectively funded over 58,000 start-up businesses and ideas.
Currently though, examples of Crowdfunding for medical research are few and far between. The rare Genomics institute in America is very committed to it; they have profiles of individuals on their site suffering from rare diseases, and the required research can then be micro-financed by groups of individuals. You can see some of their case studies here, and many children have already benefited from achieving their funding targets, and even exceeding them.
Elsewhere, experiment.com is very cool. Backed by partners including the University of Washington, it allows for crowdfunding across a whole range of scientific research – from finding a non-toxic alternative to Teflon, to an in-depth study of Bison fossils. There are quite a few medical research projects on here and, again, it is a fascinating site to look through, even if you don’t intend to contribute towards the research financially. As they eloquently put it themselves:
As a society, we are in a position to study, learn, and innovate more than ever before. Yet there is one major bottleneck: funding. In recent years, it’s become increasingly difficult for new ideas to get off the ground, especially the innovative and high-risk ideas with the biggest impact.
Since 2010, 80% of principal investigators spend more time writing grant proposals and 67% are struggling with less funding. ‘Big science’ has become synonymous with ‘budget cuts’.
This is about our ability to invest in our future. This is about Science for the people, by the people.
On your behalf, we’ve contributed $100 to this project.
It has been posted by a post-doctoral researcher at Yale University called Dr Walter Moss. He is investigating whether or not viral molecular structures (EBV) can cause cancer and sounds terrifyingly clever. You can see his pitch at https://experiment.com/projects/can-viral-molecular-structures-cause-cancer .
Posted on March 29, 2014