Why science needs blockchain

Distributed and free scientific knowledge

No doubts here, humankind owes all of it’s technical advances to academia and it’s strict set of official and unofficial rules. Those rules were crafted and polished in order to archive:

  1. Reproducibility via detailed methods description.
  2. Distribution via publishing in accessible journals.
  3. Incremental advance in research — you don’t have to start all experimentation from the scratch, you can rely on data already available.

There are many other goals, that are analysed and described in special field — theory of science. Anyway, my point is clear — we fail to archive all 3 of this goal today. Science is as corrupted as any other domain of life and is dominated by money, not a noble quest for knowledge. And a noble scientist has to survive and adapt to be able to follow his passion.

What is bad about science today

Ok, I may be wrong and my not-so-great science experience dictates my opinion here, but I took my blue pill while doing PhD. Here’s some things that I discovered (if you work science, skip this part — you know it better than I do).

  1. All scientists are forced to play the dick-measuring contest using their H-index (mathematical score of how big of a scientist you are) that is directly related to Impact Factor score of journals that print your research. This score heavily impact your ability to get funds, get promotions, get decent living.
  2. Naturally, cooler journals would like to have cooler paper published with results that are more ground breaking, more meaningful.
  3. As a human being, whose life comfort depend on journals, scientist sometimes manipulates the data, don’t disclose some of the results, etc.

Another, critically important part of the story — nobody wants to publish negative results. Researcher gets amount of negative results (you tried and it didn’t worked out) that is tens or hundreds of times more than that one attempt when you found that right way to do that synthesis.

Knowing 100 wrong ways no to do the experiment could have saved days and weeks

Those results are non-publishable.

There are many other things that I can list on — commercial companies rely on publications in credible journals for their PR, they sponsor those researchers, results are being manipulated, etc.

And thing that pisses me off totally:

THE PAY-PER-VIEW JOURNALS

Have you ever tried to read a full-text of an article and was stopped by a 29.99$ per article ? Yes, as a profane your access to the world knowledge is highly limited. You have to be a part of the research institution, that pays INSANE amount of money to provide access to scientific publications for their employees. And even then your access is limited, as only top institutions can afford to buy subscriptions to all journals.

Ok, so as citizen of Earth you have no access to major reservoir of human knowledge. There are sneaky ways to obtain it, the easiest one is sci-hub and libgen — pirate websites that are beeing prosecuted and followed by law enforces at many countries. Not so many people talk about it — science isn’t as popular as torrents with new pop albums.

Anyway, THAT IS WRONG.

Science is a way to progress the world, not separate people on scientists and non-scientists. I think that:

  1. Every human beeing has right to access all accumulated knowledge for free.
  2. Every human has right to publish any kind of research and make it available.
  3. All data accumulated has to be non-destructable, distributed and protected.

That is exactly what blockchain can offer. Publishing articles of all levels and quality, anonymous peer-review system or publishsing with no review, database owned by humanity, not by journals, clear and transparent way to measure the number of citations, mentions, and downloads.

Sounds great, but world of science is extremely slow in terms of adopting new approaches. BTW, is there anybody who wants to code this ?

Best of all,

Alex