Aquarius

** Old posts being collated here ***

Fascinating hour this morning when I was lucky enough to join +Hangout Roundtable on a hangout with the current crew of the Aquarius undersea laboratory – http://aquarius.uncw.edu/

The link for the original post on Google plus is here or this can be viewed directly on Youtube. The following post appeared originally in my Google plus feed.



Evidently they have a funding crisis at present but hopefully something will happen soon – and this brings up the bigger picture – the funding of moderately expensive research infrastructure that is used for multiple projects. In my own field of medicine Governmental funding has reduced to almost nothing and commercial concerns, typically ‘Big Pharma’, have filled the gap. Perhaps exerting too much influence in the process.

But is there a better way?

Traditionally such projects as Aquarius were the province of Governmental agencies. Perhaps social media is now powerful enough that projects such as this can effectively and creatively engage the public directly and secure funds. A chilling concept to some in academia perhaps, but it does fit nicely with the notion of open access to scientific publishing and research.

Even from a purely educational perspective how many teachers would be able to come up with funds for a half hour or hour long interaction with facilities such as this as part of an immersive learning experience, without leaving their classroom. Maybe educational not-for-profit organisations should take a leading role and become facilitators of this?

This will require lots of thinking outside the square by all concerned. I wish them luck and am happy to help support in any way I can and by helping to spread the word.

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