The traditional way of doing science

The current paradigm of scientific practice, sponsored by institutions responsible for developing and overseeing the sciences, is built upon a well-defined methodology rooted in the scientific method. This method provides a solid framework that allows any researcher to delve into the realm of scientific inquiry. The process typically begins with the formulation of a question or problem, followed by the development of a hypothesis, the conduct of experiments to test that hypothesis, and finally the presentation of the results for scrutiny by peers in specialized journals. This peer-review phase involves other researchers evaluating both the experiment and its results to ensure their validity and reliability before publication. The findings thus published become part of the established body of scientific knowledge, accessible to the scientific community at large for evaluation, reproduction, or further research.

At its essence, the methodology of contemporary science is grounded in rigorous analysis, hypothesis testing, experimentation, and peer validation. This structured approach aims to make scientific discoveries reliable, reproducible, and contributory to the common pool of scientific knowledge.

However, in an increasingly complex world, where interests intertwine between ethical development goals and economic and political approaches, scientific processes transcend the idyllic sphere of theories and hypotheses to delve into human dilemmas of right and wrong. This complexity engenders a method of doing science centralized in institutions, with its own lights and shadows.

This is why contemporary scientific research faces various challenges that undermine its effectiveness and credibility. Among these challenges are funding problems, lack of interdisciplinary focus, and difficulties in the replicability of experiments. These obstacles hinder scientific progress and limit the scope and applicability of the results obtained.

Regarding funding, statistics reveal a concerning reality. For example, according to OECD data, in 2020, the average investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP among member countries was 2.4%, with countries like Italy, Greece, and Mexico investing less than 1% of their GDP in R&D. This shortage of financial resources becomes even more evident in scientific institutions in developing countries, where chronic lack of funds can be so acute that even basic operating costs are difficult to cover.

Inequality in access to research funding is also a concerning reality. Reports from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the U.S. indicate that in 2019, only around 21% of research proposals submitted received funding. Furthermore, studies conducted in the UK show that only a small percentage of applicants for research grants in social sciences manage to obtain funding compared to other areas.

The impact of these challenges is reflected in the scientific community in the form of financial stress and significant barriers to research. Surveys conducted by scientific journals such as Nature and studies in countries like Australia highlight the burden that the lack of funding represents for scientists and their projects.

Socially and economically, insufficient investment in research and development has palpable consequences. Reports from the European Commission have found a direct relationship between investment in R&D and long-term economic growth. Lack of funding in critical research areas can lead to a lack of development of effective medical treatments or solutions to urgent problems such as climate change.

The challenge of interdisciplinarity in scientific research is another crucial aspect. Recent studies reveal that only a small percentage of published research articles come from interdisciplinary teams, with figures ranging around 6% between 2000 and 2015, according to research by the journal Nature. Furthermore, analysis by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) shows that less than 10% of research grants awarded in 2019 were for interdisciplinary projects.

The lack of collaboration between disciplines is also evident, with only around 14% of scientists collaborating with researchers from other areas, according to a study by Stanford University. Funding for interdisciplinary projects remains scarce, with less than 5% of research budgets allocated to such projects, according to a report by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Finally, the replicability of scientific studies poses a significant challenge. Studies published in journals such as Science and Nature show that only a relatively low percentage of scientific studies can be successfully replicated, with figures ranging between 10% and 39%, depending on the field of study and the methodology used.

21st-century science must aspire to overcome these challenges to ensure that scientific knowledge remains a driver of progress and development for humanity.

Introduction to Decentralized Sciences (DeSci)

In response to the limitations of the traditional scientific approach, decentralized sciences have emerged. This approach represents a radical change in the way scientific research is conducted and knowledge is shared. Decentralized sciences seek to decentralize the research process and eliminate traditional barriers that have hindered scientific advancement.

Decentralized sciences, also known as DeSci, are a movement that seeks to transform scientific research by implementing decentralized technologies such as blockchain. This approach aims to build a public infrastructure that finances, creates, reviews, accredits, stores, and disseminates scientific knowledge fairly and equitably. In decentralized sciences, transparency, open-access scientific research, and peer review from multiple sources funded with public and cryptographic funds are encouraged. This movement aims to increase social engagement and collaboration in the scientific field by allowing scientists to openly share their research and make scientific knowledge accessible to all. DeSci is based on the premise that scientific knowledge should be accessible and that the research process should be more decentralized and distributed, making it more resistant to censorship and centralized control.

History of Decentralized Sciences

Since the dawn of humanity, scientific knowledge has been a treasure guarded by a few powerful institutions. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, this knowledge was confined to large empires and centers of learning such as the Library of Alexandria or universities in Europe. However, despite some advances in areas such as mathematics and natural philosophy, access to this knowledge was restricted and controlled.

The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution marked a transcendent change in this dynamic. Great minds like Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler challenged established authorities and undertook independent research. The printing press, with its ability to disseminate knowledge more widely, facilitated the spread of ideas and discoveries beyond geographical and cultural boundaries.

With the advent of the industrial era and modern science in the 19th and 20th centuries, there was an explosion of new scientific disciplines and research centers around the world. Universities and laboratories were established in various regions, thus fostering the decentralization of scientific knowledge and innovation.

However, it has been in the digital age where decentralization has reached new heights. The arrival of the Internet and digital technologies has significantly accelerated this process. Online platforms such as GitHub have allowed research to be shared quickly and accessibly, promoting open science and collaboration among scientists worldwide.

The emergence of decentralized sciences can be traced back to the first experiments in decentralized collaboration in the 2000s. However, the concept began to gain prominence with the popularization of blockchain technology starting with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. Since then, there has been a growing interest in applying the principles of decentralization to scientific research.

In this digital environment, the term "decentralized science" gained prominence. Coined by David Weinberger in his work "Too Big to Know" in 2012, this concept reflects how scientific knowledge is decentralized in the digital age, thanks to the availability of online information and collaboration through the network.

Why DeSci is Revolutionizing the Way Science is Done?

Decentralized sciences offer several advantages over traditional scientific approaches. Firstly, they allow for greater transparency and open access to scientific information. Additionally, they foster interdisciplinary collaboration by eliminating institutional and geographical barriers. They also facilitate the replicability and verifiability of results, increasing confidence in the validity of scientific research.

Some key benefits include:

1. Democratization of Research: Decentralized sciences aim to involve all of society in the research and development process, as opposed to the traditional model controlled by the state or large investors.

2. Transparency and Collaboration: DeSci enables broader and more transparent collaboration in scientific research by removing intermediaries and promoting open data verification.

3. Innovative Funding: Decentralized funding through technologies like blockchain and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) is revolutionizing the way scientific projects are funded, democratizing science and making it more inclusive and accountable to a global community.

4. Access to Data and Information: DeSci leverages the permanent properties of blockchain to securely store data and information accessible to researchers, facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Interdisciplinarity and Decentralized Sciences

Interdisciplinarity plays a fundamental role in decentralized sciences by fostering the convergence of different disciplines to address scientific problems comprehensively. Some specific examples of this interdisciplinarity include:

Collaboration between Computer Science, Political Science, and Information Sciences to address issues related to decentralization and administration in the scientific domain.

- Integration of knowledge in intellectual property, smart contract programming, and NFT art design fosters a new way of encapsulating scientific value in tokens that can be transferred, certify ownership, and have multiple other uses to transform static value into a dynamic asset to interact with.

- The relationship between philosophy, language, and blockchain as tools that break disciplinary barriers and foster a vision of collaboration and data exchange to integrate knowledge in a global environment.

Here are some examples of disciplines that connect and illustrate how interdisciplinarity in decentralized sciences allows for a more holistic and collaborative approach to addressing contemporary scientific challenges.

Blockchain, Web 3, and Sciences

The integration of blockchain into sciences, as in the case of decentralized sciences (DeSci), is revolutionizing the way scientific research is conducted and knowledge is shared. This decentralized technology offers a range of significant benefits for the scientific field, such as transparency, direct collaboration between researchers, verification of scientific data, tokenization, and democratization of scientific intellectual property, and the creation of transparent and secure research environments.

The implementation of blockchain in sciences allows for secure data sharing and storage through distributed systems, ensuring the integrity of scientific data, which is essential in sensitive areas such as health. Furthermore, the decentralized nature of web3 facilitates collaboration among scientists in projects without intermediaries, streamlining the research process and reducing costs. Additionally, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) play a crucial role in enabling more transparent and democratic funding in scientific research projects, accelerating research and empowering patients in controlling their own health data.

Web3, on the other hand, facilitates the exchange of resources and knowledge among scientists worldwide. Through decentralized platforms, researchers can share data, methods, results, and resources securely and transparently, fostering collaboration and innovation in the scientific community.

New Business Models Associated with Science

Decentralized science, represented by DeSci, is generating new business models based on the tokenization of research and the creation of decentralized markets for science. These innovative models democratize access to funding and enable the monetization of scientific knowledge. Tokenizing real assets on blockchain, such as stocks, real estate, and artwork, facilitates their exchange and transfer securely and efficiently, opening opportunities for early participation in innovative projects and decentralized fundraising for entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the transparency and traceability offered by blockchain in business models associated with science improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and streamline processes, resulting in greater trust for both companies and consumers in the authenticity and quality of products.

Decentralized Markets for Science or Decentralized Scientific Crowdfunding: Decentralized markets for science are digital platforms that allow for the purchase, sale, and licensing of data, patents, research results, and other scientific assets in a decentralized manner. These platforms use smart contracts and blockchain technology to facilitate secure and transparent transactions between researchers, academic institutions, companies, and other actors in the scientific ecosystem. This democratizes access to funding and the monetization of scientific knowledge, allowing a wider range of people to participate in the scientific economy.

Art and NFTs Associated with Science

The intersection of digital art and decentralized sciences has led to a fascinating expression of creativity and knowledge through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), particularly in the scientific field. NFTs are unique and indivisible digital assets recorded on the blockchain, ensuring their authenticity and ownership. Here are some ways in which NFTs associated with science are expanding the dissemination and impact of scientific research:

NFTs provide a platform for creatively and accessibly visualizing scientific data. Scientists can turn complex data sets into digital artworks that can be sold as NFTs, allowing the public to interact with science in an innovative and engaging way.

There are also applications in education and scientific outreach, where NFT-inspired artists can create educational and scientific outreach audiovisual tools. From artistic representations of scientific concepts to recreations of historical discoveries, these NFTs can help capture the public's interest in science and promote a deeper understanding of complex scientific topics.

NFTs can also be used to recognize and reward scientific research. Scientists can create NFTs representing their scientific achievements, such as significant discoveries, prominent publications, or significant contributions to their field. These NFTs can be sold or auctioned as a way to value and support the work of researchers.

Crypto: An Interdisciplinary Ecosystem Serving Decentralized Sciences

The crypto ecosystem is driving innovation in decentralized sciences by facilitating crowdfunding for research projects and tokenization of scientific assets, democratizing access to scientific research and participation in the knowledge economy.

Web3 or crypto communities are inherently interdisciplinary due to the nature of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, spanning a wide range of fields and disciplines. This interdisciplinary nature stems from several factors.

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are complex systems that require expertise in areas such as computer science, cryptography, mathematics, economics, and game theory to fully understand. As a result, Web3 communities attract individuals with diverse skills and specializations. Additionally, blockchain has applications in various sectors, including finance, health, logistics, energy, and governance, among others. This means that Web3 communities attract professionals and experts from different fields who are interested in exploring how the technology can be applied in their respective sectors.

The Web3 space is constantly evolving, with new protocols, projects, and applications emerging constantly. This dynamic nature fosters collaboration among people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to solve technical challenges and develop innovative solutions. The underlying philosophy of decentralization and transparency in the Web3 ecosystem promotes open collaboration among individuals and communities. This means that traditional barriers between disciplines tend to dissolve as people work together to achieve common goals and solve shared problems.

Mushroom Protocol: The Vanguard of DeSci in Latin America

The Mushroom Protocol is a prominent example of a project in the field of decentralized sciences in Latin America. This protocol is designed to foster collaboration and collective funding of scientific projects in the region, promoting scientific and technological development in Latin America.

The Mushroom Protocol is a Web3 platform that bridges the gap between the blockchain world and Biotechnology, providing a new form of non-traditional funding. The Mushroom Protocol works to decentralize funding in science and provide a channel for free capital funding for scientists and biotechnology startups in Latin America.

The protocol allows investors from around the world to fund science through a biotechnology-based research tokenization system, using intellectual property as collateral. Users can access BioTokens (dynamic NFTs), generated from the value of research intellectual property by exchanging their crypto assets for NFTs and using them to finance, exchange, vote, or earn in our decentralized funding ecosystem.

The 5 Pillars of the Mushroom Protocol Ecosystem

Increase in science funding in LATAM

Funding remains a challenge for many scientists in LATAM. Our goal is to facilitate access to new funding sources by offering innovative solutions through blockchain technology and promoting collaboration between investors and entrepreneurs.

Equity-free funding

We offer an alternative Equity-free funding option that allows scientists and startups to raise funds without giving up ownership of their company. This way, they can continue to make decisions without the pressure of external investors and focus on their long-term growth.

Decentralized funding for science

Decentralizing science funding allows innovative projects to receive support from a broader community of global investors. This increases funding opportunities and promotes scientific research worldwide.

New investors in biotechnology

We allow any user to invest in biotechnology, democratizing access to investment opportunities in a key sector for the future. In this way, we foster innovation in biotechnology and promote a more sustainable future.

DeFi for biotechnological development

We promote investment in biotechnology through the implementation of DeFi, allowing investors to generate returns through Staking, Farms, Vaults, and other decentralized financial products. All this allows investors to have greater control over their investments and provides them with greater opportunities.

Conclusions and Future Perspectives

Decentralized sciences represent a revolution in scientific research by offering a collaborative, transparent, and accessible approach to the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge. As this field continues to evolve, new opportunities and challenges are expected to arise that will further transform the way we do science in the future.

Many of the challenges facing science today are interdisciplinary and require integrated solutions. Web3 communities can provide a conducive environment for addressing these complex problems by leveraging a wide range of knowledge and skills. By bringing together people with different perspectives and skills, Web3 communities can address issues more holistically, considering a variety of factors and possible solutions. The interaction between disciplines can lead to cross-innovation, where ideas and concepts from one field are creatively applied in another. This can lead to new approaches and discoveries that would otherwise not be possible.

Undoubtedly, the interdisciplinarity behind blockchain technology and in Web3 communities is a driving force behind innovation and progress in a variety of fields, including science. By bringing together people with different backgrounds and perspectives, these communities can effectively collaborate to address the most important scientific challenges and develop solutions that benefit society as a whole.