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What is decentralized science? – Crypto Briefing

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Key Takeaways

  • DeSci leverages blockchain for democratized funding and open access publishing.
  • Challenges for DeSci include regulatory issues and institutional resistance.

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Decentralized science (DeSci) is an emerging movement that aims to revolutionize scientific research by leveraging blockchain technology and Web3 principles. At its core, DeSci seeks to address longstanding issues in traditional scientific practices around funding, publishing, and collaboration.

The traditional scientific ecosystem faces several key challenges. Limited access to research funding, coupled with lengthy grant application processes favoring established researchers, has discouraged scientists.

Peter Higgs, the British physicist who proposed the Higgs boson (sometimes also called the Higgs particle), said in 2013 that he believed no university would employ him today, given the current milieu around academic systems, simply because he would not be considered “productive” enough. Higgs died earlier in April this year, leaving behind a legacy for particle physics.

It is this same drive for productivity in the academe that precedes another problem with scientific publications: expensive paywalls. Access to scientific journals is heavily paywalled, relegating research to a closed circuit of privatized knowledge. Although there are projects such as Sci-Hub that support open access rights to information, most major platforms for scientific research are either paywalled or accessible only to those with institutional affiliations.

The “publish or perish” adage applies as well to another issue with scientific publication: there is a lack of incentives for researchers to openly share data or reproduce work from other scientists, simply because such work is not rewarded by the current system.

Intellectual property disputes among researchers and universities backing their work also hinder innovation. Instead of spending more time actually doing their work, scientific researchers have had to tackle these disputes as well.

With the application of blockchain technologies, these…

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