A recent and exciting trend in scientific innovation is the “crowdsourcing” of challenging problems, where the challenge is presented to the general intelligent public in the hopes that a solution may emerge from the interaction of dozens or hundreds of different perspectives. In September, for example, fans of the video game Foldit successfully found a plausible structure for a retrovirus, a challenge that had eluded the biochemists; the published article names the scientists and the gamers as co-authors.
The journal Nature recently announced a joint project with Innocentive, a company that organizes and manages several other open challenges on thorny scientific problems. Prizes range as high as $100,000, not to mention the prestige for you and your institution. Check out the current challenges and bookmark the page!
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