Throughout the ages the internet has been a tool for generating revenue for countless businesses, charities and events. With the introduction of experiment.com, scientific research has entered the rat race to cash in to the millions of pockets that lurk the web every day. Scientific research is as a rule slow moving, due to the laborious and expensive nature of the research and experimental equipment, making grants for new research almost impossible to secure. What funding that can be secured often comes from private business sectors, which can lead to bias in the research’s results to favour the supporting company.(2008)
Experiment.com addresses this by being an open platform crowd funding website, where members of the public can choose to donate to certain areas of research that they think are important or interesting, thus helping advance the research of countless scientific groups that would otherwise have to wait a number of years.
The beauty and simplicity of the site is that there is little room for exploitation of the public’s generosity, with all the potential projects being carefully scrutinized and moderated to ensure legitimacy, and validation of the success of the funding is shown when results-either negative or positive- are produced and subsequently shared with the sponsoring members. Experiment.com has created a safe, trustworthy environment capable of advancing scientific research to greater levels than were ever possible without the aid of the public, free from any industrial interests or bias.
However, the site only remains successful with the continued generosity of the public. Without enough donations to reach the set goal within the established time period, the project in question will disappear in to the null zone, potentially halting its progress indefinitely.(Luan 2014)
Nevertheless, whilst it receives adequate support and donations, the site offers power to the public to decide what scientific issues are important. This leads to the development of research relevant to the wants and needs of the general public, rather than what academic boards and commercial sectors defines as pertinent.
(2008). “Who pays for Science?”. Retrieved 15/03, 2014, from http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/who_pays.
Luan, D. (2014). “Crowdfunding for Science.” Retrieved 14/03/2014, 2014, from http://www.experiment.com.