Decentralized Science (DeSci), much like decentralized finance (DeFi), is a recent development in the push to decentralize science principles.
It’s a movement within the realm of using new technologies like blockchain and Web3 to advocate for a paradigm shift in scince. It’s adopting decentralization principles over centralized ones that, to a large extent, only succeed in stifling scientific progress.
Decentralized science and human progress
The world as we know it keeps changing with technological and scientific advancements, many of which have helped shape human interaction, development and generally how we live.
However, it’s not always that what starts as a noble science-related development or tech revolution has ended up working to the best of humanity. Most of the problems, so to speak, lie with the massive centralization that has over the years engulfed science.
For example, the science world has too much power concentrated within the control and purview of very few journal publishers, private organizations and government-controled bodies. These, in one way or the other, centralize everything – be it in how funding is secured and used, access to research and data or even collaboration.
These are fundamental negations that emerge from centralized approaches to science – and thus the push for a more decentralized science space.
Some of the benefits of Decentralized Science
One of the top gains achieved via decentralized science is the elimination of meritocracy, with scientists able to work more freely and with broader support for their projects.
While scientists still adhere to set standards, access to aspects such as research and peer-reviewing are more widely accessible via democratized channels.
For example, the DeSci project VitaDAO provides access to DAO funding initiatives and targets early-stage projects focused on longevity. It’s one of the areas with limited funding and siloed access, but with open financing, more can be achieved in the area of human health.
The Science DAO is another blockchain-based initiative supporting decentralized science via a decentralized incubator and accelerator platform. Here, scientists, innovators and investors collaborate on projects in medicine, nutrition, renewable energy and natural science, with funding available through decentralized governance.
There has been tremendous growth in the world of science since the dawn of time, with human life generally benefiting from advancements made over time.
However, centralization has not helped open up the space to what could be exponential growth. This could change with the emergence of decentralized science – which is seeing more movement amid further adoption of blockchain and Web3.
By and large, smart contracts and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are democratizing funding and collaboration, while non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are helping promote IP ownership. Much more is being achieved via various blockchain projects.