22 July 2014 10 Comments
I sometimes get the feeling that crowdfunding is considered the crass second-cousin of genteel, Category 1 research council grants.
The same way people can be ageist, racist, sexist, and all manner of other -ists, I think many academics are ‘grantist’.
The recently successful Hips 4 Hipsters campaign by Dr Mel Thomson (@Dr_Mel_Thomson) and her team from Deakin University was Mel’s second crowdfunded research project (after the Mighty Maggots last year).
In the aftermath of this year’s successful Pozible campaign, several tweeters lamented that she should be ‘reduced’ to having to ask for research money in this way. A few declared that it was an indictment of Australia’s skinflinted approach to research and innovation that forced this initiative.
While I do believe that current directions in research funding are disheartening, I found the responses interesting. I’m a staunch believer in the crowdfunding model, and an active contributor to various creative and research projects. Overall, our blog is pro-crowdfunding.
The ambivalent congratulations to Mel about the fact that her research was crowdfunded taps into several assumptions, many of them persistent in our current university/research sectors.
These are the three assumptions that I’ve found most commonly expressed about crowdfunding: