|Hyobanche sanguinea, a parasitic plant native to South Africa and the subject of Andi Wolfe's #SciFund project.|
Photo source: Winfried Bruenken, Wikimedia Commons.
Unrelated by also interesting, have you noticed all of the opportunities out there for crowd funding a project? Musicians and artists have been ahead of the curve on this trend; for example, I'm supporting the recording of The Guggenheim Grotto's next album over at PledgeMusic. And then there's a multi-year project of one artist seeking support on Kickstarter to complete a beautiful illuminated manuscript of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (h/t Matt Young at Panda'sThumb). So just a few months ago, a few scientists got together and wondered, "Hey! Where are our crowd funding opportunities. Will it work for science?"
You bet it will work! I would encourage you to check out Andi Wolfe's #SciFund project and support it if you can. Andi is a professor in the department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University that I just began attending this autumn, and the funding from her #SciFund project will support undergraduate research. (Also check our her lab's blog.)
I think overall that the #SciFund challenge will benefit scientists and the public. Scientists must strive to explain often difficult topics to a "why should I care?" public, flexing their PR muscles, and the public gets the opportunity to feel like they're a part of the scientific process. It's exciting and I can't wait to see what comes from it. Good luck, Andi!