Wimps, Silvio, and the Masses.


Since last I blogged, those pesky neutrinos travelled faster than light, the fine structure constant varied spatially, 67 wimps turned up making dark matter a slightly lighter shade, and our favourite Italian comedian Silvia resigned as he tries to bring down the EU, after the Greeks crack (to use my most venerate cycling parlance). Has the world gone mad?!

Fortunately some clever people are thinking ahead to the time when us physicists won’t have any funding to play with. Yes, the time is coming when the worlds governments won’t have enough spare cash to spend on us, so we’ll have to look elsewhere. Enter crowdfunding, and the #SciFund Challenge. Their mission: to fund 49 science projects purely on public donations. So far they have raised over 40 thousand US dollars of hard earn cash in just 13 days! Its an interesting idea in many ways, the public has to find the projects engaging and important enough for them to even think of giving their money up. Why donate to science when you could help fund the water well project in Africa for example? It’s really a challenge of communication, about convincing people of the value of doing science. Lets see how this new model of funding takes off.

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