In DepthScience Funding

TED offers funding path, not just stage, for ‘audacious’ ideas

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Science  26 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6438, pp. 317
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6438.317

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The TED organization, whose slick video presentations have helped thousands of scientists and other thinkers share their ideas with online audiences around the world, is getting into the research funding game. Last week, the organization's Audacious Project announced its second cohort of grantees, including three scientific research projects. These projects—which involve building new designer proteins, fighting tropical parasitic diseases, and bioengineering plants to trap more carbon—each received tens of millions of dollars from donors. To some, this funding model represents an unheralded opportunity to scale up proven and promising research. Others worry that by bypassing traditional gatekeepers of funding, the best ideas might be missed.