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    Posted on Sep 23, 2013

    6 Reasons Why You Need To Check Out Georgia Tech Starter

    Georgia Tech has rolled out a new crowdfunding platform. It is the first peer-reviewed crowdfunding platform for science and engineering research in the world!

    Funding for science and engineering research has been cut recently, and will continue to be cut for the foreseeable future.

    It made us upset too.

    Thankfully there are a lot of smart people at Georgia Tech

    They got together, and they came up with a great idea! The idea is called Georgia Tech Starter. You can check it out here.

    1) Georgia Tech Starter is a new way to fund scientific research

    They are the world's first peer-reviewed, university-based crowdfunding platform for science and engineering projects.

    This means more science for everyone!

    2) Projects undergo a stringent approval process, known as peer review.

    Georgia Tech Starter is the first of its kind to apply a mandatory peer review process for applicants. Peer Review is the evaluation of work by subject matter experts in the same discipline, and constitutes part of the regulation that the scientific processes relies on to maintain high standards.

    Only after experts in the same field as the project have given the proposal their stamp of approval, do we give the project the opportunity to be funded on Georgia Tech Starter. Through peer review, they make sure that every project has the potential to succeed before it even hits the website. Supporters can have confidence that the outcomes proposed by these scientists and engineers are attainable with the funding goals they set because they wouldn't post them if the Georgia Tech experts didn't also think they would be successful.

    3) Georgia Tech Starter is not-for-profit.

    Lots of crowdfunding websites want to take your money. Georgia Tech Starter doesn't.

    What makes Georgia Tech starter different is that it is non-profit, so the funded research dollars do no go into a corporation's pocket (it's even tax deductible!). On top of that, gifts go farther. Georgia Tech is a world class institution with state-of the art-labs. This means that they already have the space and fancy equipment that is needed for some researchers. The projects there won't need as much money to furnish a lab, witch means that they have more money to actually DO things.

    4) Scientists can engage with the world as they never have before.

    Georgia Tech Starter is a novel approach to funding scientific research that encourages community engagement with the scientific process. Contributors gain greater access to projects through project updates, and are able to engage directly with scientists doing the research. In this way, the public can witness core tenets of the nature of science: the importance of designing experiments, of taking careful data, of collaboration, of peer review, etc. Following successfully funded projects can help educators meet some of their K-12 science curriculum requirements, in a fun way that inspires the next generation of scientists.

    5) There are rewards.

    While project creators cannot offer tangible rewards (anything with actual monetary value), they can and do offer "intangible" rewards. They can write you into their software, name a potential drug after you, invite you to a meeting via the web, name a dataset after you, send you a digital print of the days' findings, etc. These are parts of the scientific process, and are things that money can't buy.

    6) Giving to projects is not just giving Georgia Tech money. It's giving a researcher the extra resources they need to expand the body of human knowledge one step further.

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    Investing in scientific research is like a down payment on technologies that may exist in 30 years. What will our future look like? Now, we can all help shape that vision!

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