launches first group of crowdfunded science projects is proud to announce that today it has launched its first class of crowdfunded science and research projects.  On Petridish, science-lovers can connect directly with cutting-edge researchers to help them launch new projects and make exciting discoveries.  Now, anybody can be a part of science history by backing a worthy project.

The projects range widely across discipline and include submissions from Astronomy, Biology, Climate Science, Geology, and Ecology.  They are:

Unraveling the mystery of gelada monkey melodies

By: Morgan Gustison (University of Michigan)



Capturing the first sounds of deep sea creatures 

By: Ashlee Lillis (North Carolina State University)




New species of ants in Madagascar 

By: Brian Fisher (California Academy of Sciences)



Help us find the first exomoon 

By: David Kipping (Harvard University)




The mystery of tiny algal spores 

By: Kevin Miklasz (Stanford University)




Climate refugees: Don’t let their culture melt away 

By: Rachel Aronson (University of Washington)



Tracing the route of the green sea turtle in Peru 

By: Maria Wojakowski (Stanford University)




Explaining extinction with the butterflies of Peru 

By: Geoff Gallice (University of Florida)


The wolves of Isle Royale 

By: John Vucetich (Michigan Technological University)


Backers in these projects will receive insider access and updates on the research project over time as new discoveries are made.  They can also receive exciting rewards such as naming rights to new species, acknowledgements in journals, visits to field sites, wall maps, vivid photographs suitable for framing and other fun souvenirs.

Over the course of March, additional projects will launch as part of this first class.  We will also be featuring interviews with the researchers on our blog at

About Petridish was founded to help researchers raise money for important and interesting research projects.  In the current environment, funding for science and research is increasingly hard to come by; yet, basic discovery, research and innovation are more important than ever to our economic well-being.

On Petridish, researchers post materials about themselves and their research, and the public can discover projects that are exciting to them.  In exchange for contributing to the project, backers receive insider updates on the research, naming rights to new discoveries, and other exciting souvenirs from the work.   Now anybody can be a part of science history and contribute to a new discovery.

You can learn more about us, and back or post a project at

Open Science: Bringing Science to the Public

We are at a crossroads right now:  as we enter a new era of Open Science.  A great article in the NYTimes recently discussed new willingness of scientists to engage the public in research, earlier in the scientific discovery cycle.  Organizations such as the Open Society Foundation Open Science Initiative, are gaining momentum.

Michael Nielson is one champion of the Open Science movement, not to mention a leader in quantum computation.   In his book Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science Nielsen talks about how online tools are transforming science today, holding the potential to speed up scientific discovery.    To realize the maximum potential of these online opportunities, he argues in this book, science needs to be OPEN.

Nielson defines Open Science as:

Open Science is the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be openly shared as early as is practical in the discovery process.

Here at Petridish, we are excited about this new era of open science.  Our goal is to change the culture of science by engaging the public in new ideas from the start.  But while science is opening up, at the same time, researchers are constrained by a lack of money.  As the US struggles with budget cuts in the wake of the financial crisis, Science funding is on the chopping block.

In response, offers scientists a critical resource: crowdfunding. Crowdfunding has transformed the way ideas and projects get funded in many areas, but not yet science. is here to change that.  Now scientists have a dedicated community and platform to promote research, educate and engage the public, and raise money all at once.  Join forces with researchers to make new discoveries happen.

Fund science and explore the world with renowned researchers

We’re excited to announce!  Petridish is a new community through which science-lovers can participate in new discoveries and scientists can raise funding for their projects.

The internet is an amazing force for pooling the small actions of many to make a large impact.  Crowdfunding has transformed the way ideas and projects get funded in many areas, but not yet for science.  We’re here to change that.

Over time, we’ll bring you exciting scientific and academic projects and allow you to join forces with researchers to make new discoveries happen.  In exchange for your contributions, you’ll get insider access to progress on research you are passionate about.  You could also receive rewards like souvenirs from the field, beautiful maps, original photographs, or even acknowledgments in journals and naming rights to new species.

Our goal is to change the culture of science by engaging the public in new ideas from the start.

We’re launching soon, so please join our mailing list, and follow us on facebook & twitter so we can notify you of the latest developments.