Friday, November 23, 2012

Don't You Want a 3-D Model of Meth?

Respectfully stolen from E.P.
I know I do! But that's not the only reason I'm donating $25 to Prof. Ethan Perlstein's Crowdsourcing Discovery project. In the States, today usually marks the start of the fevered Christmas shopping season - 'Black Friday' - so if you can afford to drop $200 on a laptop, or $500 on a flat screen TV...why not $25 to support science?

I know the arguments:

"Others will give, so I don't need to"
"I don't like the idea of supporting research into illegal drugs"
"So little money ($25K) can't possibly make a dent into real science"
"I already give to other charities"

OK, I hear you, but let me try to convince you. When's the last time you spent $25 on a single purchase? I'd guess that you bought an article of clothing, maybe some DVDs, or perhaps a lunch out? So...why not science? This money goes directly to research. No middlemen, no agencies, just scientists, equipment, and radioactive amphetamines!

What's not to like?
Christmas Cactus, Nov. 2012

Take the long view: As scientific funding becomes tighter for early-career academics and Fellows alike, this funding mechanism will play an ever-increasing role in supporting risk-takers and entrepreneurs. Look at the winners thus far on Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or RocketHub. Watches? Albums? Clothes? I say it could just as easily be Microscopes, Cells, and Chemicals.

Just in case your thumb locks up from excessive scrolling, I've pasted the project link here one more time. And I'll give Ethan's group the final word:

"Short-term rewards: the thrill of discovery, for us and for you. 
Long-term rewards: the increased certainty of new, more effective mental health drugs and more accurate diagnoses for everyone."
**P.S. Even Derek's into this! Again, what's not to like?