With dwindling government funding for science, my friends and fellow graduate students are using creative ways to fund their research through kickstarter. This method not only allows them to get the funding they need for important conservation research, but it also allows the public and funders to be a part of their work. Check out their blog and their first post below. If anything, be sure to click on the kickstarter link below to see their awesome video!:
We are very excited to announce the launch of our Kickstarter fundraising page!
Kickstarter is a website that helps projects get started with donations from all over the world. We have set a goal to reach $10,000 by June 30th, 2012. Funding is awarded all or nothing, which means if we don’t reach our fundraising goals, we get nothing. So please consider donating if you are interested in supporting science and conservation.
Why are we using Kickstarter? Traditionally, scientists try to get grants from organizations like the National Science Foundation. When applying for these grants, researchers often make lofty claims about how they will share their findings with the public after all their research is over and typically fulfill these promises by making some public presentations. But these presentations usually aren’t widely accessible. Relatively few individuals attend these presentations, so the findings of most studies are shared with a limited group of people.
When we first heard about Kickstarter, we thought it would be an amazing opportunity to truly share our experiences as scientists with friends, family, and science supporters around the world. With the advent of social media, we can now conduct this social experiment to see if we can support scientific research through the combined funding of many people via the internet.
As scientists, our new challenge will be to incorporate science education and public outreach as an integral aspect of our entire research journey, from start to end. We will keep our funders updated about our research developments with regular blogs, photos, and videos. And we hope our funders will become more informed citizens about the ecological world as they follow us in our quest.