Decentralization could help bring scientists in underfunded fields and locations to the table without requiring relocation or re-employment
The Nature science journal recently published an editorial in its Nature biotechnology section lauding decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) as a revolutionary new method by which researchers working in underfunded scientific fields can create communities around their work and raise funding that, otherwise, might not be available.
In a DAO-based research scheme, a project’s organization, fundraising, feedback, and pipeline from discovery to product/industry can all be handled by the same decentralized governing body.
Per the Nature article, the general workflow would also be streamlined compared to the status quo:
“Project proposals are sent to the DAO, and each DAO member is able to vote on whether a particular project should be funded. Members have tokens … to provide support and feedback to new project proposals. Research results are also provided to the DAO as projects continue, leading to further feedback and engagement. Eventually, the project will (hopefully) end up in an IP-NFT (intellectual property non-fungible token) — something like a patent, which is owned by the DAO and governed by all token holders.”
Funding can vary wildly from one scientific endeavor to another. During boom and bust periods, research into areas such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing might receive huge boons from Big Tech, government and follow-on investors, while sectors that may have been well-funded previously, such as longevity and those that have been traditionally underfunded, like women’s health issues, for example, may find funding increasingly difficult to secure.