fundscience

How would you fund science?

Some days ago, science funding made an important step towards arriving in the web era: Fundscience.org a non-profit platform dedicated to opening up science funding to the eyes of the interested publicissued its first call for submissions of research proposals (deadline for submissions: April 1). Both the number of grants available in this first round (up to 3; yes, three) and their volume (up to US$ 50,000, or packages of 5,000 CPU cycles) are small in comparison to what established science funders have on offer but the call's conditions contain the seed of a new culture in science funding, one in which funding decisions are made less and less behind closed doors.

Three avenues to support open approaches to science - the cases of funding, data acquisition and knowledge curation

Today, I received an email from the Open Society Institute's Information Initiative:

We'd like to ask you to think about two to three emerging opportunities for--or threats to--open society institutions and values that you are aware of which are not receiving sufficient attention and where a funder like OSI could usefully intervene. We encourage you to suggest issues that are still very much on the horizon; there need not be an obvious solution to the points you raise.

I know that the OSI had and has many interesting projects running (also in regions and cultures normally off the radar, including some of those dear to me) but I have often (not just jokingly) taken its abbreviation to stand for "Open Science Institute", and so I take the liberty here to shrink the space of possible replies by concentrating on openness in science, anyway the most prominent topic in my blog.

My intuitive response would be that several inefficiencies in our current knowledge creation and curation systems cry for a test run of open approaches. Not sure whether I can distill this down to three issues, but let's get started by listing some of the ideas, and I hope that you can then help me structure and adapt them appropriately. To facilitate the discussion, I will resort to Cameron's depiction of the research cycle: