User:Daniel Mietchen/Notebook/Open Science/2012/03/31
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My plans for SciFund 2
MRI of crowdsourced pathological fossils
Fossils are rare, and fossils with pathological alterations even more so. For this reason, studies of pathological fossils stand to benefit disproportionately more from non-invasive means of investigation than do studies of more commonly available forms. Part of my PhD research was devoted to the application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to fossils, both normal and pathologically altered ones (cf. https://vimeo.com/album/134427 ). In this project - to be conducted entirely in the open - I plan to invite the community of fossil collectors and paleontologists to propose specimens whose scientific study could benefit from non-invasive imaging. The proposals would be discussed in public in terms of their relative merits and of the suitability of MRI to help address the open questions posed by the specimen, and the crowdsourced budget would then be used to buy measurement time from suitably equipped and located MRI labs.
I expect way more specimens to be proposed than what budgetary and technical constraints allow to scan, so the SciFund project is also intended to serve as the preliminary evidence to be submitted alongside a proposal within a more classical funding scheme.
The project is now up and running at http://www.rockethub.com/projects/7513-what-happened-to-your-fossil-let-s-find-out .