Now David Vitrant and Mark Friedgan are asking the public to donate directly to two projects that would be unlikely to receive funding from the NIH or NSF, not necessarily due to scientific shortcomings but to the junior status of the applicants.
In addition to funding the science of young investigators, Fund Science seeks to educate the public in a meaningful way on how research works, why it is important, and how the projects receiving public support are progressing. Right now, most Americans don’t associate the taxes they pay with the “research findings” publicized in the media … or how much invisible, untouted work goes on before the white lab coat figure shows up on the screen. Perhaps direct investment from their pocketbook will translate into being more invested in understanding how the sausage is made and in turn committed to its support. The Fund Science experiment itself should be of interest to the scientific community – and beyond.