How Decentralized Science (DeSci) lowers the Cost of Innovation and Implementation by@dimitrymihaylov
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How Decentralized Science (DeSci) lowers the Cost of Innovation and Implementation

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In the last few years, we have seen several use cases of the blockchain. From gaming to education, nothing has been off-limits for this revolutionary technology. Today, we see it emerging into more significant and nuanced fields across the spectrum. DeSci, or Decentralized Science, is one of the trends that has seen blockchain moving into the critical field of scientific research and development.

What is DeSci?

DeSci is an example of practical blockchain usage in order to establish a public infrastructure for creating, funding, crediting, reviewing, storing, and distributing scientific knowledge fairly and equitably. It’s an ecosystem where scientists and research contributors are incentivized for sharing their studies and knowledge. It then makes that knowledge publicly accessible to anyone across the Web.

DeSci is based on the fundamental ideology that scientific knowledge should be accessible and available to anyone, and the process of any scientific research should be transparent. It’s a rather revolutionary Web3 movement that can transform the legacy practices of scientific research and funding within academia. It also facilitates the work of innovative companies by providing them with direct contact with the best scientists.

Why do we need decentralized science?

The field of science is often restricted and controlled by bureaucratic laws, intermediaries, and unnecessary friction that delays funds and prolongs the development process. These hurdles often restrict faster innovation.

A recent example of this would be the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. Some countries developed the vaccine’s formula faster, but it wasn’t communicated or shared with everyone. Countries and organizations with lower funds and resources couldn’t access the innovation faster, which most likely could have saved a lot more lives during the pandemic.

Research is quite time-sensitive. Whether it's vaccines, new medicine, operational technology, or medical trials - in today’s age, science requires speed and momentum. This is not possible with the current limitations and hurdles laid out by centralized institutes. There’s also the fact that some research findings are often censored by governments, tech, and production giants to serve their own benefits and controlled processes.

Most importantly, the biggest restriction or inequality is observed in the funding process. Achieving funding itself is a rigorous process for any researcher. Grants and private institutes frequently offer insufficient funding which limits the scope of scientific research. More often than not, funds are allocated to researchers that are closely associated with the funding parties, rather than based on the merit or importance of a project. On average, a scientist or researcher spends 50% of their time writing proposals for funding. The whole effort is wasted when funding is not granted or is insufficient.

Moreover, the government has the definitive power to cut down funding and allocate the budget elsewhere. For instance, the UK reduced research and scientific funding by £120 million last year, causing many scientists to abandon their entire life’s work.

All these profound issues call for a better solution, where scientific research and knowledge will be accessible to everyone, researchers won’t lose their incentives to intermediaries, and funding opportunities will be extended.

Tech companies and production giants such as Pfizer or Qualcomm will also benefit as a result. They will have direct contact with scientific groups that perform and conduct the required research.

This is where DeSci comes in.

Where is the money in DeSci?

DeSci creates a decentralized and distributed model for scientific research, where information is transparent and publicly accessible, and funding can be derived from a wide range of diverse sources, including DAOs, quadratic donations, and crowdfunding.

The privatized publishing industries eat up enormous amounts of profits from scholars and scientists. By integrating smart contacts, DeSci allows scholars to directly interact with the reviewers and audience, without the need for any intermediary. This increases the incentives for the researchers.

Most importantly, DeSci revolutionizes the legacy funding process. Using autonomous decentralized applications, scientists can team up to find their projects. Research rights or contributions can potentially be monetized through NFTs, which can help to fund the studies and strengthen sustainable scientific communities.

It also creates a more effective model for crowdfunding, as the distribution of funds is determined by the public using mechanisms such as quadratic donations or DAOs. The market size of private investments specifically in Science and Technology was valued at over $17 billion in 2019. The inclusion of DeSci can significantly increase this market size and allow more private investors to enter this field without any regulatory interference.  As for direct orders from production companies, DeSci platforms reduce the cost of innovation for them, which positively affects competition between players. This will ultimately lead to improved quality and accessibility of end products for consumers.

Freedom, accessibility, and research collaborations

As all research data is stored on the public ledgers of the blockchain, it's accessible to anyone from around the world. This allows researchers to spread their work without any censorship or centralized control over scientific data. Moreover, researchers can leverage the blockchain to collaborate with peers from across the globe - allowing more scope for developing a dynamic team.

On top of that, DeSci allows scientists and researchers to be incentivized for any academic activities. They can train and mentor young professionals, participate in peer reviews, and share their knowledge and information. All of these value functions can be rewarded through non-fungible tokens. Consequently, those NFTs can also serve as verifiable evidence that a researcher has contributed significantly to science. So, they don’t have to spend years ramping up their publication numbers to build credibility. They can simply achieve it by performing value-added activities and earning NFTs.

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In conclusion, the full acceptance of DeSci in the global scientific community can create a significant shift in research accessibility and funding - as knowledge will no longer be stored in private repositories. DeSci creates a sustainable model where scientists receive the true value and credit of their work, and knowledgeable data is available for anyone across the world.


Dr. Dimitry Mihaylov HackerNoon profile picture
by Dr. Dimitry Mihaylov @dimitrymihaylov. Dr.Mihaylov fuses AI and engineering to enhance efficiency in the fields of tech, heavy machinery, and biopharma.
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