The scientific community looks at NFTs as an alternative to finance their research
Scientists also want to take advantage NFT fever. These digital tokens came with the promise of revolutionizing art and collecting, but they are also beginning to be used for scientific discoveries, innovations or publications.
In mid-June it was Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web (WWW), who was targeting NFTs. He is not the only engineer and scientist who has seen in these tokens a possibility to create a unique identifier for his work and sell it as historical collectibles.
From Nobel laureates to CRISPR pioneers
For Berners Lee, NFTs are “the most appropriate form of property that exists” to represent the code that created the basis of the internet that we know. To accompany the auction, an animation of the code visualization will be included, as well as a copy of the manuscript “Information Management: A Proposal”.
The PDF is freely accessible from the CERN website and part of the animation we leave below. However, that NFT will be the official representation of that historical code. And it will be because Berners Lee himself has wanted to establish it.
Equivalent to code on the web, other scientists are beginning to look at NFTs as a way to obtain economic benefits for their innovations that have changed the world. Some additional beneficiaries to possible awards or recognitions.
The creation of these NFTs is raising thousands of euros in auctions, something that scientists are taking advantage of and not always for their own personal interest, since On many of these occasions, the money obtained goes to finance future research. or make donations, as described Nature.
On June 8, the University of Berkeley auctioned a NFT based on documents related to the work of James Allison, cancer researcher and Nobel Prize winner. It was a pioneering movement, as it was organized by the university itself. In total, the NFT was auctioned for more than $ 50,000.
Conducted on the Foundation platform, the NFT was sold for 22 ETH, equivalent to about $ 50,000, based on its value at the time. During the process, the University of Berkeley was left with 85%, which will be used for future research. The buyer in this case was at home, as it was a group of 31 alumni of the university that included members of a group of defenders of the blockchain.
Also in mid-June, the US Space Force started a sale of NFTs with augmented reality images from satellites Y renowned icons, such as astronaut Neil Armstrong.
George Church, the renowned Harvard genetics professor who pursues to be able to rejuvenate, has also started sell a genome NFT. The researcher who helped create the Human Genome Project has now embraced these tokens through his startup. Nebula.
Some are already working on creating standards for the creation of NFTs within the scientific world
The debate about NFTs in the scientific world is equivalent to that in art or other disciplines. There are criticisms of the NFT for being a mere speculative instrument and there are those who defend it as a way to strengthen the link with the discoverers, encourage the scope of these works or be a new fundraising method.
Some defenders of this technology bet that the NFTs of these historical works follow a pattern and advocate for define a standard that allows scientific papers to be easily identifiable using your NFT. Among the characteristics that should be configured are the original title of the work, links to databases such as DOI or PubmedID, a enlace IPFS to work and a ISCC code.
The minimal payload for NFTs for science papers: As defined by @soenkeba, @EtzrodtMartin, @skywatcher1975, @gflaesch. A meaningful image (like the authors, a key image of their results or both together). Title separated, should be the original title to uniquely identify the paper
– soenkeba @soenkeba March 12, 2021
The Nobel Prize, Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of CRISP, will also see how her work is referenced in an NFT. Although the University of Berkeley is analyzing to what extent your patent may be affected.
In the case of NFTs related to genetics, these tokens can also serve to facilitate monitoring and traceability of in which hands the information of that genome is foundBe it a pharmacist who wants to work with that information or if you have ended up somewhere else for research. The NFTs here are presented as a neat way to monitor where such sensitive information ends up.