On the Complementarity of Crowdfunding and Traditional Grants

Aditya Rao

Note by Jai: Aditya is a #SciFund Challenge participant and he is pursuing his doctorate in cellular and developmental biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Check out his great #SciFund project: C-Cilia in Motion! You can find Aditya on Twitter at @nishantaditya.

For a lot of people their early exposure to “science” was through science fiction. This was a great thing for those of us who eventually became scientists because science fiction inspired us to think creatively, imagine fantastic things, “to boldly go where no man has gone before”…  And to have bad grammar.

The vast majority of people, however, only ever got the distorted, dramatized, exaggerated view of science. This view, that ‘science = laboratories filled with glowing lights and colourful, bubbling solutions in complicated looking glassware‘, is very misleading to the general public. It doesn’t give a true account of what a scientist does or how science progresses. This is where initiatives like The #SciFund Challenge would be VERY useful. These initiatives will bring in real scientists with real experiments and will force them to explain their work to a broad audience. This sort of exercise in public communication will help fuel public interest in science and, more importantly, give them an insider’s perspective on the vocation of science.