Imagining the horizon of scientific discovery & collaboration.
In the past, Guy and I have written about how scientists need better marketing solutions and the potential for AI to assist as marketing service… We didn’t know it yet, but this was the seed that lead us to dreaming up a scientific collaboration network.
Turns out, the problem is much bigger than poor marketing solutions. It’s difficult to imagine a tech ecosystem without Git or StackOverflow, but that is what the vast majority of scientists experience today. Many are still using paper lab notebooks to keep their experimental data, methods, and protocols.
Without digital collaboration solutions, work can become isolating and cold — even hopeless at times, as dreams of working on ground-breaking research slowly fizzle out. It’s sad because at its core, science is collaborative and altruistic.
Day-in & day-out, millions of scientists are working in the lab and tirelessly trying to capture figments of the truth or pathways to a better future. Some are out there trying to find a cure to Alzheimer’s disease. Others are pioneering colonization methods for Mars, and others trying to make life healthier here on our planet. They are driven almost always by the compulsion to uncover truth, push the boundaries of what’s possible, and make an impact.
Theoretical physicist, Marcelo Glacier, puts it beautifully. “Science makes magic real. These powers do not emanate from us directly, but through our creativity and instruments. As such, science makes us into magicians through a synthesis of mind, body, and tools.”
It’s difficult work. Certainly, the research itself is incredibly difficult… But it becomes far more difficult when there are limited digital communities and resources.(Guy Rohkin has written about some of those pitfalls here.)
The majority of the estimated 9.5 million scientists are millennials. They are surrounded by and have become accustomed to socializing, learning, and sharing information online — except at work. Next to the tech industry, where digital communication solutions are a dime a dozen, it feels strange and illogical that a platform does not exist for ground breaking researchers in these highly valuable domains.
Talk to any scientist who does research for a living, and I’ll bet that they have some story about creating an elaborate workaround, all for a problem that they are certain has been solved before.
On top of that, there are many stories in the industry about a revolutionary invention almost not happening if it weren’t for said chance encounter. Serendipity works in two ways, either through meeting people, or suddenly stumbling upon information. This article titled, Serendipity in Science, explains the phenomenon.
Discoveries like Lysozyme (accidentally sneezing on a petri dish), or the founding of Google (Sergey Brin was the tour guide for Larry Page at Stanford), are great examples. Digital spaces and the internet are simply accelerating the rate of these collisions.
Scientists have suffered too long due to limited communication networks. The problems with publishing, peer-review, and commercialization pathways have been long observed and well documented. It’s the dark side of science that the next generation are surprised, then later jaded, and finally disenfranchised. Like many other industries that have been disrupted since the initial .com bubble, we believe we are on the cusp of a new scientific revolution — the old ways of privacy, latency, and protectionism are being phased out, and the new horizon of scientific research & communication is on its way.
We take our mission very seriously, and our mission is simple: to give scientists the power to build community and advance scientific progress. In lieu of that mission, we are calling on all scientists to help us construct a new digital ecosystem with integrity.
We know that the problems we are tackling are complex, and we know that the best people to help us are the highly thoughtful, process oriented, and passionate scientists that we have the privilege of serving.
We’ve carved out 3 initiatives we want to work with the community on to guide us. Those initiatives include:
- Moving away from archaic, centralized peer-review systems to decentralized & trusted community validation systems.
- From high barriers of execution to democratization of research and commercialization.
- From slow research & recognition cycles to faster times to discovery & innovation.
The next generation of scientists are responsible for solving some of the most important problems for humanity’s future — their ambition and ingenuity needs to be protected. So here we are creating a call to action. We need all scientists to work together with us to help re-imagine the future of scientific research and collaboration.
Researchers can sign up to Sci Find and begin sharing their experiments. Whether or not the experiment is publishable does not matter… Any experiment or latent knowledge can be shared on Sci Find.
We believe all science is worth sharing. Thus, with every reproduction and methodology that is shared on our platform, more scientists will become empowered to do their research effectively.
Sign up. Start building your research community in more ways than one.
Share your feedback with us in our forum. Join us for our monthly town hall sessions.
We don’t believe we have all of the answers just yet, but we know that by relying on our friends and fellow scientists, we can come together to create the digital ecosystem that science deserves.