Hello bitcoin blockchain and its intrepid explorers,
I am a scientist and would like to propose something of an experiment. If it succeeds, it may change how science is done. If it fails, well, a negative result is still a result. Whatever the case, hopefully we will all learn something.
First, a little about myself. I'm probably best described as a theoretical physicist and a computer modeler. I have a Ph.D in physical sciences, over 20 years of professional scientific experience, and a substantial number of peer-reviewed publications, including in Science and Nature. I'm involved in fairly high-profile work, but I think I can do a lot better, both in terms of doing cutting-edge science and sharing results with everyone.
To illustrate the problem, please allow me to describe how the process currently works in my field. Suppose I have an idea for a new direction in my research. I would talk it over with my colleagues, put together a project team, and write a research proposal for submission to the relevant funding program of a relevant U.S. government funding agency. The proposal deadlines only happen once a year, so if I just missed one, tough luck – I would have to wait a year. The proposal itself is a substantial document, typically at least 50 single-spaced pages, describing in detail the proposed research, every member of the research team and their background and experience, budgets from every institution involved, and detailed justifications of every item in the budget. It takes weeks to prepare, and when finally submitted, it takes six months to a year to get an answer. Part of the reason why it takes so long to review proposals is because the government needs to assemble large teams of experts, at a time that works for everyone, fly them to a central location, provide a lot of supervision and support services, and then review the results by multiple levels of government bureaucracy.