Blockchain For Science Con 2019 : “New Deals”

Soenke Bartling
Feb 5 · 7 min read

To use only a few words: the field matures — less hype, way more substance.

The people attending 2019´s Blockchain For Science conference were driven, knowledgeable and full of realism. It was the 2nd International Conference on Blockchain for Science, Research and Knowledge Creation after the 2018's edition. The presented projects were substantial and partially in Alpha and Beta-stage… Meaning they really work and they did not only present a vision. Attendance shifted from free-researchers and free-floating minds towards more institutionalized researchers and scientists. The attendance level was at one-half of last year’s conference. We really stepped into the valley of “getting-ready-to-get-things-done” with Blockchain and Web3 applications in science.

New deals: Crypto-economy for science

When a new technology is being adopted, people tend to bring old concepts to the new technology. I think we saw that in the form of publishing, peer-reviewing and “social networking”-type of blockchain projects. All good projects — and they certainly have their points in creating a silo- and centralization free future of science. However, one should look beyond these that are already well implemented in Web 2.0-world. They do not fully use the potential that blockchain technology can offer. Blockchain allows high-value transactions at almost no cost — ideal to create new (token) economies and value-flows around knowledge creation and sharing. Being it bullet-proof attestation of micro-publications (e.g. artifacts.ai) or novel ways to invest in research projects or IP (e.g. molecule.to). Novel economies can create novel incentive structures to organize the science commons that can be experimented with (e.g. block.science).

See talks:

Blockchain for Science Funding, Paul Kohlhaas, Molecule.to

Reimaging the Science Commons, Michael Zargham, Block.Science

Cryptoeconomics For Science Workshop / How-To / Hands-on Discussion, Devon Krantz, Linumlabs

Recap of Cryptoeconomic Summit/ Cryptoeconomic Journal, Wassim Alsindi, Managing Editor of the Cryptoeconomic Systems journal & conference series

New deals on data

Novel incentive structures can be created around blockchain tokens that can e.g. represent some shared data. The combination of novel incentive structures and novel economic models incl. curation markets and token bonding curves can lead to new ways to curate research data. In the long run, novel concepts to organize the trust around data access and privacy may allow completely new ways to handle research data.

See talks:

Ocean Protocol for (research) data, Markus Jones, Ocean Protocol

How the convergance of Blockchain and artificial intelligence will benefit healthcare researchers, Konstantin Pandl, aifb@KIT.edu

Reuse of research data through blockchain-based automated quality curation, Simon Tschirner, HAW

New deals on infrastructure

One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the Max-Planck Digital Library initiative to build a consortium chain for a researcher named Bloxberg (Bloxberg.org). The current status and outlook were discussed. A great project - especially for established research institutes to get acquainted with Blockchain and the associated visions — all guided by a known and well-establish institute. Research institutes should consider joining this project. However, it is clear that there won’t be THE Blockchain for Science as it will make sense to clone concepts for local chains, corporations or collaborations.

Max-Planck Digital library is working on the integration of its blockchain into our current legal and regulatory framework. In the opinion of many, integration of blockchains into the current legal system gets too little attention from the tech fascinated community. But a bulletproof integration is one of the key factors to blockchain adoption, especially in the highly regulated science world. And Max-Planck as well as molecule.to are ice breakers at this forefront.

Backend Keynote: On Max-Plancks-Digital Library Bloxberg Blockchain For Science initiative, status and outlook, James Florian Lawton, Max-Planck Digital Library

Backend Keynote: On Max-Plancks-Digital Library Bloxberg Blockchain For Science initiative, status and outlook, James Florian Lawton, Max-Planck Digital Library

Current status on the regulation of Cryptoassets, Tokens and how to move forward, Dr. Nina Siedler, DWF, Board member of INATBA.org

Workshop / Hands on: Integrating the Blockchain into Research & Publishing Workflows, Jason Rollins, ARTiFACTS.ai

Two very interesting decentralized infrastructure talks were given on the afternoon of the second day. Self-sovereign identity can be used to attest anything from researcher origin, certificates, academic titles and so on. And last but not least the very interesting and new ISCC concept that could provide unique identifiers to digital objects that can deal with some degree of uncertainty (which traditional hashing of content cannot). Both concepts work without (ridiculously expensive) centralized databases. ORCID, DOI, and such alike — brace! :)

The path to self-sovereign identity (SSI) in research, Lambert Heller, TIB Hannover

ISCC Similarity hashing for digital content identification in decentralized environements, Titusz Pan, ISCC

Scientists from CODE, Fraunhofer, Max-Planck, KIT, Hamburg University of Applied Science and scientists from international institutes as far as Moscow, Madrid and California attended and mixed well with blockchain enthusiasts

Blockchain for research money tracking

Blockchain could revolutionize one of the most sensitive things in research: Research money distribution. The current grant distribution system, reporting, and accounting take up a lot of overhead resources in the research space. A blockchain system would seamlessly integrate distribution, tracking, accounting, and actual cash-flow into one system, while at the same time provide blockchain-bullet-proof transparency. A technology assessment study (MITRE) came up with the same results (Link).

Bloxberg and other consortium chain blockchains would be a great platform for grant money tracking and resource distribution. However, it is almost certain that there won´t be just one blockchain eco-system, but many.

See talks:

One Year of Real World Experiences with Blockchain For Funding Science, Alex Shkor, Founder deip.world

Prices of this year's conference

In tradition to last year´s conference, two prices were selected by an independent jury. The ‘serendipity price’ is given to projects that are very innovative and try to open up new grounds, while the ‘serious business’ (see internet meme) is given to projects that get stuff done today and can be used even by dead serious (:)) scientists quite soon. We are thinking of introducing another price category for next year's conference for early-stage projects: ‘brace brace’.

Congratulations to the winners!

Blockchain For Science will stay independent

Speaking of institutes we want to emphasize that Blockchain For Science is independent from traditional institutes, science stakeholders and it will stay independent from traditional science funders. We believe that this is a necessary prerequisite for being completely open towards new science organization forms that will certainly at least at some points question the positions of traditional players and stakeholders. Furthermore, it will contribute to our credibility, but it doesn´t make our job always easier … :)

Abstract submission for the conference proceedings

When you need the abstracts of the conference in a firmly referenceable way they can be submitted to the Frontiers research topic until March, 28th of 2020. Or find the submitted abstracts here: ipfs

And onwards: Blockchain For Science CON 2020

We are looking forward to see you all again in 2020 — the conference will be held during the Berlin Science Week again, the dates and preliminary location will be announced shortly.

We conclude with a great announcement: Devon Krantz of Linumlabs will join the core organization board of the conference.


In an overview:

The static conference webpage on ipfs, and on www.blockchainforsciencecon.com

New deals on Science Funding

Blockchain for Science Funding, Paul Kohlhaas, Molecule.to

Reimaging the Science Commons, Michael Zargham, Block.Science

One Year of Real World Experiences with Blockchain For Funding Science, Alex Shkor, Founder deip.world

Recap of Cryptoeconomic Summit/ Cryptoeconomic Journal, Wassim Alsindi, Managing Editor of the Cryptoeconomic Systems journal & conference series

Cryptoeconomics For Science Workshop / How-To / Hands on Discussion, Devon Krantz, Linumlabs

New Deals to cross worlds

Introducing blockchain to academia: why scientists are so hostile and wary — and what can we do about it, Artyom Kosmarski, Laboratory for the Study of Blockchain in Education and Science

Decentralizing peer reviewing to increase transparency, quality and reliability, Elena P ́erez Tirador, decentralized.science

Blockchain for STEM: Strategies for extending a decentralized science infrastructure for universities in Asia, Wong Woe Fuh, ies

New deals on Data

Ocean Protocol for (research) data, Markus Jones, Ocean Protocol

How the convergance of Blockchain and artificial intelligence will benefit healthcare researchers, Konstantin Pandl, aifb@KIT.edu

Reuse of research data through blockchain based automated quality curation, Simon Tschirner, HAW

New Deals on Publishing

Backend Keynote: On Max-Plancks-Digital Library Bloxberg Blockchain For Science initiative, status and outlook, James Florian Lawton, Max-Planck Digital Library

Frontend Keynote: How Researchers benefit from Artifacts and Bloxberg, Dave Kochalko, ARTiFACTS.ai

New deals on Decentralization and infrastructure

DLT4RTD — Distributed Ledger Technology for Research & Technology Development, Prof. Jens Ducree, Director of FPC@DCU — Fraunhofer Project Centre for Embedded Bioanalytical Systems at Dublin City University

Current status on the regulation of Cryptoassets, Tokens and how to move forward, Dr. Nina Siedler, DWF, Board member of INATBA.org

Workshop / Hands on: Integrating the Blockchain into Research & Publishing Workflows, Jason Rollins, ARTiFACTS.ai

Keynote: Personal data & Blockchain & Privacy laws & Regulation, Michelle Tsing, Futurist, Entrepreneur, Founder, Attorney

The path to self-sovereign identity (SSI) in research, Lambert Heller, TIB Hannover

ISCC Similarity hashing for digital content identification in decentralized environements, Titusz Pan, ISCC

Conference webpage

www.blockchainforsciencecon.com

ipfs

Blockchain For Science

Blockchain For Science, Research and Knowledge Creation

Soenke Bartling

Written by

Blockchain For Science. Basic medical imaging scientist. Opened up science in Web 2.0 and is now trailblazing the Web3 for science.

Blockchain For Science

Blockchain For Science, Research and Knowledge Creation

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