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Slides from #SciFund talk at NCEAS Ecolunch


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Here are the slides to accompany the video of me talking at the NCEAS EcoLunch about the results from round 1 of #SciFund. The video can be found at

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Slides from #SciFund talk at NCEAS Ecolunch

  1. 1. Engagement Leads to Crowdfunded Science Jarrett Byrnes and Jai Ranganathan National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
  2. 2. Science Funding Rates Declining stimulus Data from:
  3. 3. Public Science Literacy Needs Work
  4. 4. Academys Attitudes Towards Outreach Not So Good In scientists own words, science outreach is a bleakprospect with limited room for improvement. Seventy-fourpercent of respondents list one or more significantimpediments to their ability to do science outreach, yet lessthan half have concrete ideas for how science outreach couldbe improved. Ecklund et al. 2012 PLoS One
  5. 5. Little Reward Structure for Outreach Scientists also perceive that they are rewarded little forscience outreach work, especially in the tenure process. Ecklund et al. 2012 PLoS One
  6. 6. Science Communication Exploding Online
  7. 7. Science Communication Exploding Online
  8. 8. 135% of goal!!
  9. 9. #SciFund & Engagement •  What is Crowdfunding? •  Engagement & Outreach: The Keys to the Crowdfunding Kingdom •  The #SciFund Challenge •  Lessons and Benefits of Engaging via Crowdfunding
  10. 10. What is Crowdfunding? The solicitation of small donations from alarge number of people for specific targetedprojects.
  11. 11. Anatomy of a Crowdfunding Proposal 1.  Goal •  accomplishment 2.  Time Limit •  urgency 3.  Proposal •  clarity is key 4.  Video •  accessibility 5.  Rewards •  engagement
  12. 12. From a Simple Proposal SpringsHundreds of Millions of Dollars
  13. 13. Huge Universe of Crowdfunding Site
  14. 14. A Few Dominant Platforms
  15. 15. Arts Crowdfunding Exceeds Government Funding >
  16. 16. Many Crowdfunding sites JUST for Science
  17. 17. #SciFund & Engagement •  What is Crowdfunding? •  Engagement & Outreach: The Keys to the Crowdfunding Kingdom •  The #SciFund Challenge •  Lessons and Benefits of Engaging via Crowdfunding
  18. 18. The future?
  19. 19. How did Palmer Do it?
  20. 20. It Takes Time to Crowdfund a Discipline Waananen 2012 NY Times
  21. 21. Millions of Dollars Are Possible… Waananen 2012 NY Times
  22. 22. Built-in Audiences are Crucial Waananen 2012 NY Times
  23. 23. Science Can be Crowdfunded at High Levels Organization with a long history of Outreach
  24. 24. The future?
  25. 25. Culture of Science Fears Outreach I m not sure you want most of the people that I know here to go out and try to talk to the public. They re [the public] gonna say stop spending my tax dollars on this person! Yet only two respondents (2 percent of the sample) suggested training scientists how to be better communicators. Ecklund et al. 2012 PLoS One
  26. 26. Starting at Ground Zero with the Public "When somebody doesn t believe what you are doing is trueor has any value, then trying to explain to them what you aredoing, you re starting from this cultural foundation that is acomplete disconnect." Ecklund et al. 2012 PLoS One
  27. 27. How can Science Make Crowdfunding Work? Engagement is key If you build it, they will come.
  28. 28. #SciFund & Engagement •  What is Crowdfunding? •  Engagement & Outreach: The Keys to the Crowdfunding Kingdom •  The #SciFund Challenge •  Lessons and Benefits of Engaging via Crowdfunding
  29. 29. An experiment: can scientists use crowdfundingto communicate their science and to raise money for their research?
  30. 30. The point is not just cash, but engagement.
  31. 31. Who: 49 scientists crowdfunding for their science When: November 1 - December 15 How much: $3,500 (median ask), $500-20,000 (range) Where:
  32. 32. Who is #SciFund?
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Other Means of Engagement & Community Building Twitter: #SciFund Facebook Page SciFund Google group
  35. 35. Post-#SciFund Data 1. Rockethub server logs 2. Public web statistics (e.g. Youtube hits) 3. Survey of participants (80 questions)
  36. 36. #SciFund by the Numbers •  Covered by CNN, Forbes, Scientific American, NewScientist, MSNBC, and many other news outlets in USand internationally •  $76,230 raised •  ~1200 donors •  10 projects fully funded •  average project yield: $1556 •  max project yield: $10,171(170% of original goal)
  37. 37. Round 1: $76,230 over 45 Days
  38. 38. Small Donations Drive #SciFund
  39. 39. The #SciFund Numbers Game: Contributors R2=0.86
  40. 40. Two Roads to Success R2=0.85 1.  Friends & Family 2.  Eyeballs •  Pre-goal (size) •  Post-Goal (color)
  41. 41. Your Scientific Fanbase and Project Views R2=0.78
  42. 42. Creating Content  Fanbase R2=0.34
  43. 43. The Secret to #SciFund: Engagement Online Scientific Project presence fanbase views 1 blog post / 1 Twitter 110 project month follower views 53 Twitter 1 project 1 contributor followers view Donor Money for Funding contributions research target met Average Average 20 project contribution raised views $55 $1,600 1 contributor Friends and family 50 Facebook friends 1 contributor You need to build a scientific fanbase! It is not possible to be an overnight success!
  44. 44. #SciFund Engagement •  What is Crowdfunding? •  Engagement Outreach: The Keys to the Crowdfunding Kingdom •  The #SciFund Challenge •  Lessons and Benefits of Engaging via Crowdfunding
  45. 45. If you build it, they will come
  46. 46. If you build it, they will come
  47. 47. How Can I Crowdfund my Science? •  Build an audience for your work - Crowdfunding, Blog, Tweet, Science Cafes, etc. •  Get trained in outreach - Media social network training •  Work to change academic culture policy - Hiring promotion practices - Collaboration with media arts departments
  48. 48. A version of the 1000 True Fans Model Interest in your research Super-engaged fans that contribute $ to your research Larger number of fans that don’t contribute, but are still impacted by your science message Number of fans
  49. 49. Larger Benefits to Crowdfunding •  Build bridges between science society •  Enhanced science literacy •  Science incubator for new projects •  Metric to assess scientists ability to connect •  Look at it as funded outreach training
  50. 50. reaching out with science message for its own sake Broader Scientists public research cash via crowdfunding
  51. 51. Collaborators: Barbara Walker, Zen Faulkes Participants in Round 1: Aditya Rao, Ali Swanson, Andi Wolfe,Andrea Lucky, Barbara Walker, Breanna Putman, Chip Cochran,Daniel Karp, Daniel Mietchen, Debi Kilb, Diane Kelly, Eric Abelson,Eric Basham, Holly Menninger, Jarrett Byrnes, Jeffrey Bodwin, JenniferSchmitt, Jessica Carilli, John Gust, Jorge Mederos, Kalani KirkHausman, Katelyn Cavanaugh, Kelly Lyons, Kelly Weinersmith, KevinFomalont, Kristina Killgrove, Lee Worden, Levi Lewis, Lindsey Peavey,Luis Valledor, Luke Frishkoff, Marisa Alonso Nuñez, Marisa Tellez ,Matthew Hutchins, Matthew S. Leslie, Melia Nafus, Rebecca RashidAchterman, Robin Freeman, Ross Whippo, Scott Chamberlain,Shermin de Silva, Steve Herbert, Susan Tsang, Timothy Bonebrake,Walter Weare,Yoav Ram, Zen Faulkes
  52. 52. Round 2 is Ongoing! Projects: Blog: Twitter: #SciFund