Crowdsourced Funding for Scientific Experiments

Congratulations to Dr. Ethan Perlstein at Princeton.

ethan perlstein

In addition to doing innovative science, he has been innovating on aspects of science touching the Internet and Funding.   His lab raised over $25,000 on the crowdfunding site RocketHub for their basic research project. Ethan and his collaborators at Columbia are studying the subcellular distribution of radioactive amphetamines in mouse brain cells. The best part is they will conduct the whole process in the open over the next few months, with data sharing, online lab meetings and proactive public engagement.   His work was written up in Forbes last week and he provided a provocative guest blog below.

From the desk of Dr. Ethan Perlstein:

Last weekend I and my team, which includes Professor David Sulzer of Columbia Medical School and lead experimentalist Daniel Korostyshevsky, successfully raised over $25,000 on the crowdfunding site RocketHub for a basic research project in psychopharmacology. The funds will be used to determine where radioactive amphetamines accumulate in mouse brain cells at the molecular level using an experimental technique called autoradiography.

In contrast to most drug and addiction research that happens behind closed doors, we will conduct our research out in the open, with real-time data sharing and crowdsourcing of data analysis. We will convene regular online lab meetings, and provide other content streams for the public to stay current and engaged with our project as it unfolds over the next few months.

To learn more about us and our project, please read the project synopsis here, which will fully fleshed out in the days and weeks ahead in blog posts on my lab website.

And to learn more about our successful grassroots crowdfund drive, please see the latest installment in a series of posts on crowdfunding metrics.

Most recently, our project was covered in Forbes, but was also mentioned in The Economist, Wired.com, Scientific American and Mashable.