In the age of Kickstarter, tech-savvy scientists explore new ways to engage the public in their research.
When Docky Duncan started crowdfunding for his quirky research project, he didn’t think he was doing anything out of the ordinary.
“If a local rock band can be successful at crowdfunding, we figured a bunch of scientists should be able to as well,” the University of British Columbia psychology researcher says with a laugh.
But in taking the road less traveled – by scientists, at least – this crowdfunding experiment places Duncan and his colleagues at the forefront of an emerging trend that could provide a novel source of funding for budget-conscious universities, and increase public engagement in science along the way.
That crowdfunding seemed natural to Duncan, an undergraduate researcher in UBC’s Visual Cognition Lab, should come as no surprise. The 23-year-old California native is among the generation of scholars who have come of age since the creation of online funding platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, which has leveraged nearly a billion dollars across 52,000 projects since launching in 2009 in the US. More.