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Dare to Share: SCIEnCE's philosophy

Format for SCIEnCE Proposals – Wikify!

The future – Morphing PPP into SCIEnCE

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SCIEnCE Role Models 

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Proposal #1: Marked for Death

Proposal #2: Centralized Proposal Depository 

Proposal #3: Inducible tract-specific spinal cord injury

Suggestion #1: Take the 'preclinical' out of animal testing 

Suggestion #2: Public Contribution Rating

Suggestion #3: Crowdsource CRISP

Proposals Under Construction

Why SCIEnCE?

We need a more communal approach to generating the best hypotheses and experimental plans. See Dare to Share for a much fuller explanation of the advantages of SCIEnCE.

How can I post to SCIEnCE?

SCIEnCE has a companion site on Wikispaces, ShareScienceIdeas. You are invited to submit your own proposals on that site, and better yet, to add your input/suggestions on others' proposals by using the 'discussion' tab on individual pages of ShareScienceIdeas. New submissions should be in the form of NIH-style research proposals, MINUS preliminary data. The SCIEnCE community will then modify aspects of the experimental design and other components of the research proposals, leading to much-improved plans. See Format for SCIEnCE Proposals - Wikify for more details.

Is this just a science Wikipedia?

Absolutely not! Entries at SCIEnCE are meant to explore the unknown, not to document the known. This site will host (and eventually fund) a portfolio of community-developed scientific research plans, not serve as an encyclopedia.

Will I get credit for posting my ideas to SCIEnCE?

All entries and modifications will be stamped with username and date. Until the SCIEnCE system gains popularity, these entries won’t earn tangible credit in the traditional ‘PPP’ sense. But the principles (and the Public Contribution Rating incentives) behind SCIEnCE will draw more and more converts. Before long, journals, funding organizations, and universities will buy into the SCIEnCE system and use PCR scores generated from online-shared contributions to give tangible ‘credit’ in terms of pay, promotion, and prestige.

Who is behind this (so far)?

Right now, it's just me, N.Y. Harel. See my profile for a bit more. In the near future, all of us will be behind this. Like others in the small but growing Open Science community, I am motivated by both positive and negative ideals: The positive ideal of collaborative science leading to faster cures; the negative ideals represented by several people I have had the misfortune of working with over the years. Anyone who has worked with these secretive, paranoid jerks knows exactly what I'm talking about. The kind of jerk that has no concern whatsoever for the potential significance of their work to others, only of the potential significance of their work to their own CV. Science needs to change so that jerks aren't rewarded for their selfish behavior.

Who can submit to SCIEnCE?

SCIEnCE users should be willing to state their true identities and backgrounds in public. This would entail a short, free registration process. As far as qualifications/requirements, it's best to just leave things open to those who are willing to be open themselves. So, no degree requirements, etc.

How is SCIEnCE funded?

At this time, there is no funding. Please add your suggestions to this rather obvious list of sources to solicit:

    * Seed money from progressive foundations and philanthropists as mentioned in The Future: Morphing PPP into SCIEnCE.
    * Advertising revenue from companies looking to sell scientific products and hire scientific minds.

What is SCIEnCE's scope?

As a newborn site, the focus will mainly be on biomedical topics. But as the site inevitably grows and attracts new members, SCIEnCE will eventually become a repository of cutting-edge ideas categorized by scientific discipline.

What if a proposal on SCIEnCE resembles someone else's independent and private proposal?

These occurrences will most likely represent coincidence, and here’s why: Initially, there will be little incentive to steal ideas for posting onto SCIEnCE, because this approach doesn’t have legitimacy in the PPP system yet. Eventually, there will be little opportunity to steal ideas, since scientists won’t be hoarding them privately to begin with.
And with all due respect to ‘infringed’-upon labs, all the better. This just reinforces why we need to change the current culture of science. The more publicly these types of ideas are traded, the more effectively they can be pursued.

Will SCIEnCE lead to more 'secrets' getting divulged?

Secrets have been leaked in many ways throughout human history. Will this site add to the leaks? Surely. But it won’t be opening entirely new avenues – who hasn’t been involved in or witnessed drunken conversations between members of rival labs at conferences in which all manner of ‘secret’ information is divulged? Have you ever been handed copies of submitted manuscripts under review? These submitted manuscripts are confidential and should not be copied or distributed. But it happens every single day. Which leads back to the core point of SCIEnCE: when people share information and ideas about similar projects with similar goals, the pace of reaching those goals advances.

What if a student or postdoc posts his or her PI's grant proposal on SCIEnCE without permission?

This is one of the more worrisome scenarios. But it would probably be most damaging to the career of the person doing the posting. Rather than imposing some sort of draconian rule like getting a note from the PI before allowing posts to SCIEnCE, students and postdocs are strongly encouraged to pursue one of two options: either refrain from posting your PI's pending grant proposal, for your own good; or better yet, introduce your PI to SCIEnCE so that the PI gets a chance to buy into the concept.

What are the patent implications for products derived from community-developed SCIEnCE proposals?

Another great question, with no simple answer. SCIEnCE is currently consulting with a patent lawyer to learn more about this topic. Any advice from you is very welcome.

What if SCIEnCE becomes overrun with pseudoscience proposals?

Inevitably, there will be some proposals that most users judge to be trash. Of course, they laughed at Louis Pasteur once too. So, how to deal with these types of posts? One method would be to simply delete posts with the least hits from registered users over a certain period of time. However, there are many ways to deviously circumvent such a simplistic threshold. So, the PCR (and a rotating committee of SCIEnCE leaders) will take quality into account, as based upon user reviews, to weed out pseudoscientific trash.