The Eureka Fund, based in San Francisco, is one of a handful of new nonprofit organizations that aim to finance small-scale, independent scientific research through online contributions, reports the New York Times. Created to give the general public an opportunity to pay for scientific research that is not fully supported by government or private sources, these organizations are part of a fledgling movement to take the idea of “crowdsourcing” and crowd financing to scientific research—although the notion of citizens financing public research that ultimately could produce profits raises questions. Two other web sites—, based in St. Petersburg,...

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