What is Decentralized Science (DeSci)?

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DeSci (Decentralized Science) is an approach that enables sharing scientific data and research more openly and transparently by using decentralized technologies such as blockchain and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. The decentralized science movement is designed to eliminate existing barriers to access and participation in scientific research and centralized control of data and research.

One of the key benefits of decentralized science is democratizing access to scientific data and research. Traditional models of scientific research often rely on a small number of researchers or organizations controlling access to data and research results. This limits the ability of other researchers, especially researchers from minority groups or developing countries, to participate and contribute to scientific communities. Decentralized science, on the other hand, distributes data and research among many participants, allowing anyone with an internet connection to access and contribute to scientific communities.

DApp: discovering decentralized applications

Uses of DeSci

Funding: The traditional model for funding science requires individuals or groups of scientists to submit a written application to a funding agency. A small group of trusted individuals scores applications and then arranges interviews. It is known that this model is very vulnerable to biases, personal interests and the policies of the review panel, as well as the long-time evaluation process. With DeSci, these processes can be progressed quickly and more democratically.

Publishing: Academic publications and publishing processes contain many problems today. Academic articles and scientific publications are managed by publishing houses controlled by a small group, and the public often cannot access academic works. For individuals who want to publish science articles individually, publication fees generally reach thousands in US dollars. While this provides enormous profits for a small group of publishers, it hinders the dissemination of science and knowledge. There is a critical gap in publishing for accessible scientific data with an established governance mechanism and incentive model. Blockchain is a suitable tool for creating such systems.

Decentralized applications: the next generation app development method

‍Data Storage and Access: Scientific data can be made much more accessible using blockchain. Thanks to distributed storage, it ensures that research data can always be preserved without being changed.

Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: Intellectual property rights are a big problem in traditional science. From academic research being stuck in universities or not being used in biotechnologies to being very difficult to value. However, the ability to protect ownership of digital assets (such as scientific data or articles) using NFTs on Web3 is one of the most important features of DeSci.

The blockchain: a decentralized, tamper-proof and secure database

How DeSci improves science

An incomplete list of key problems in science and how decentralized science can help to address these issues

Decentralized ScienceTraditional Science
Distribution of funds is determined by the public using mechanisms such as quadratic donations or DAOs.Small, closed, centralized groups control the distribution of funds.
You collaborate with peers from all over the globe in dynamic teams.Funding organizations and home institutions limit your collaborations.
Funding decisions are made online and transparently. New funding mechanisms are explored.Funding decisions are made with a long turnaround time and limited transparency. Few funding mechanisms exist.
Sharing laboratory services is made easier and more transparent using Web3 primitives.Sharing laboratory resources is often slow and opaque.
New models for publishing can be developed that use Web3 primitives for trust, transparency and universal access.You publish through established pathways frequently acknowledged as inefficient, biased and exploitative.
You can earn tokens and reputation for peer-reviewing work.Your peer-review work is unpaid, benefiting for-profit publishers.
You own the intellectual property (IP) you generate and distribute it according to transparent terms.Your home institution owns the IP you generate. Access to the IP is not transparent.
Sharing all of the research, including the data from unsuccessful efforts, by having all steps on-chain.Publication bias means that researchers are more likely to share experiments that had successful results.

Source: https://ethereum.org/en/desci/

DeSci Project Examples

Ocean Protocol: Ocean Protocol is a blockchain-based data marketplace, allowing individuals and organizations to share and monetize their data securely and privately. The platform allows for the “assetization” of digital data, and these assets can be bought or sold using Ocean Tokens. In this way, researchers and research organizations are rewarded with tokens for their contributions while sharing their data.

MolochDAO: MolochDAO allows researchers to develop and fund scientific research projects through DAO, also called decentralized autonomous organization. This funding model is based on a decentralized management model and provides a more efficient and transparent distribution of funds for scientific research.

Molecule: It is a platform that creates collaborative ecosystems where stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry can work together to accelerate the process of developing new treatments and delivering them to patients. It brings together leading researchers and funding, easily transforming the concept of intellectual property into an investable digital asset.

Decentralized science is an approach that aims to democratize access to scientific data and research, remove barriers that make participation in scientific communities difficult, and encourage the use of open source tools. The projects we mentioned above are just a few examples of how decentralized technologies can be used to popularize science. We believe that in the future, the DeSci approach can bring many innovations and convenience to our lives.

Would you like to create your own decentralized science project? Contact Enkronos team.

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