Crowdfunding Comes to Basic Scientific Research. . .Are Derivatives Next?

The Economist reports on a new wave of innovative approaches to funding basic science.  In addition to offering “naming rights” to people or organizations funding scientific discoveries, sicence-oriented crowd-funding sites are proliferating:

Although the crowdfunding of science is not raising the sorts of sums sometimes attracted by those with ideas for things like video games, it has already spawned a couple of specialised platforms of its own. Petridish is one. Another is called Microryza. And academic institutions are starting to follow the lead taken by the [California Academy of Sciences ]. The University of California, San Francisco, has made a deal with a site called Indiegogo that will allow the university’s charitable status to make money donated via Indiegogo tax deductible. It will launch the first such project later this month.

That’s not all.  Over at Economic Principals, David Warsh reports that some folks at MIT are looking to funding biomedical research through securitization. You can read his piece here.

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