Attention, scientists: got any friends who might want to make a donation to a broke biologist… or two or three? They can do so over at , a nonprofit organization which today is announcing three projects that you, your next-door neighbor, or anyone at all can help fund with the click of a mouse.
The idea behind FundScience is two-fold, says David Vitrant, the organization’s executive director: providing a novel system of support for young researchers with innovative ideas, and engaging the public more directly in science. Sure, people who want to support cancer research can make a donation to a foundation, but that money disappears into a black hole, and the donor remains completely disconnected from the science that money supports. “At some point it gets to researchers, but you have no idea who it is,” says Vitrant.