Supporting our vampire bats through crowdfunding

Here’s the link:

The vampire bats are arriving soon. But we do not know yet whether we will be getting a large grant from the National Science Foundation. That means I will be in charge of all animal care at least until next year. Combining animal care with experiments and observations will be a lot of work; I am already planning to set up sleeping arrangements at the university to avoid making the commute back home when I’m too tired. I recently started a crowdfunding campaign in collaboration with to help me raise funds to purchase blood, material for building cages, and hopefully, for hiring other staff to help me!

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is similar to microfinance and crowdsourcing. The most popular example is Basically, people pitch their projects to a global online “crowd” to raise preliminary funds to get their projects off the ground. Some projects have raised up to $2 million by aggregating many small public donations. was founded by Harvard alum and science enthusiast Matt Salzberg, and it is the first online crowdfunding platform for scientists.

Science is publicly funded because it leads to knowledge that improves society. But most of us love science simply because it’s awesome. Science provides us with facts and perspectives that are fascinating, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing– that change the way we view the world. At, science enthusiasts can support research projects they think are interesting, get inside updates, develop personal engagement in a research project, and basically be a part of exciting new discoveries, some of which they might not otherwise even hear about. is getting a lot of press in places like Scientific American, Discover, Wired, Huffington Post, even the journal Nature. Perhaps this is the first step in a more transformational change for how the web might open the relationship between scientists and the public.

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