How can we make crowdfunding work for much-needed science?
Two spheres of science are currently under stress: pure theoretical sciences on the one hand, and science for the poor on the other. They are stressed financially.
How can we design a mechanism that allows us, the people, to finance branches of science which we deem to be important? And would this be useful or rather redundant (redundant because in a democracy a government/parliament will put funds there where its voters want them to be put)?
I think in particular of the scientific efforts needed to combat poverty in developing countries. Two examples: (1) the development of tropical crops that resist drought or specific pests, in order to fight hunger. (2) The development of vaccines or cures for diseases that affect a large group of very poor people (obviously malaria, but also HIV, and other diseases).
Large corporations are not interested in investing in these solutions, as the market is "too small" in financial terms (even though in "people's" terms it is a huge market).
Which would be the building blocks of a successful crowdfunding strategy that may help solve this problem?