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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, now living in "Portlandia"!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crowdfunding Basic Science Research

A month ago, I diverged from my usual outside-the-box Austen-drenched subject matter to write about some outside the  box science being practiced by my eldest son, Ethan:

http://sharpelvessociety.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-new-kind-of-science.html

Well...I am back with an update on his science crowdfunding project, with the hope that those of you who read and enjoy my unconventional anti-elitist approach to literary criticism will be in sympathy with his unconventional anti-elitist approach to scientific research as well. Over 1/2 of my readers are from  outside the US, but I encourage you to read along as well, because science, like everything else, is increasingly becoming a global matter, and so you're involved in what he's doing as much as my American readers!

So here, then, is the text of  the email I sent to a group of old school chums of a mostly liberal and libertarian persuasion a few moments ago, which I hope  will strike a chord with you as well:

 My son Ethan's debut crowdfunding event went off pretty well two weeks ago (and I am happy to report that I survived the trip to and from NYC with my neck brace on so that I could attend his event, as well as the Jane Austen conference later that weekend where I got to exchange a few words with Cornel West, also a hardcore Janeite, and otherwise satisfied my endless craving for all things Austen).

Ethan has now collected nearly 1/3 of his target amount of $25,000, and so is still on track to meet that goal within the remaining 30 days, as you can track here, as I do 2-3 times every day, like following the score of a Heat game or Federer match in progress....

http://www.rockethub.com/projects/11106-crowdsourcing-discovery

....and, I think even more impressively, he's doing it Obama-style, with over 100 contributors (over 1/2 of whom he had no prior personal connection to whatsoever) to date. So he's getting the word out far and wide, and starting to become a public figure in cutting edge science circles.

As an example, here's an article that is just appearing in The Economist (both the online and the print edition), that gives him some very prominent and positive mention:

http://www.economist.com/node/21564824

So he's at a critical juncture, where he needs to sustain this early momentum so as to keep raising his profile, so as to keep raising more money from fresh sources, etc etc, and that's why I am back here telling you about what he's doing, in the hope that some more of you (beyond those who've generously donated so far) will find his Quixotic quest worthwhile to donate to, and/or (equally helpful) pass this email on to friends or family who might also be interested in promoting positive change in the  way science is done in this country.

Ethan is genuinely impressing me by wearing out his virtual shoe leather pursuing leads literally around the world--- he is scheduled for a trip to SF next week, and then another one to London in mid-November, during  both of which he'll be speaking publicly and networking privately at various science and crowdfunding events, all to raise public awareness about the possibilities of crowdfunding as a new wave of social activism in the world, to do for ourselves what we perhaps can never again count on government to do for us, in this Paul Ryan-infected world.

So there...I've gone on long enough, but if I've piqued your interest, and you want to at least watch the cool 3-minute Waking-Life style video at his crowdfunding website, which is, again....

http://www.rockethub.com/projects/11106-crowdsourcing-discovery

...then I've accomplished  my goal, and I thank you all for your continued indulgence.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress.....

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

2 comments:

Arnie Perlstein said...

Ethan is on the verge of passing the $10,000 mark today, why dontcha go there and be the one to put him over the top!

Arnie Perlstein said...

Here is the link to a panel discussion held earlier today in London in which Ethan's project was a major focus, and in which Ethan acquitted himself well!:

http://www.nature.com/spoton/spoton-media/spoton-london-2012-video-crowdfunded-science-new-opportunities-or-dangerous-echo-chamber/