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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Scientists Turn To Crowdfunding For Research

It’s a tough time for medical researchers in the U.S.

The percentage of research grants winning federal funding is at a low ebb, and Washington budget battles could result in less money in the future.

Some scientists are turning to crowdfunding — asking people online to directly support their research.

A cancer researcher in Seattle turned to his patients and their families to raise money for a new cancer therapy that he developed.

Now he’s expanding his search for non-traditional ways of supporting drug discovery, in hopes of finding cures faster.

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca joins us to talk about the growing practice of crowdfunding science.

Correction note: The audio for this story includes a misspeak about the percentage of research grants winning government funding. Only 18 percent of the grant applications to the National Institutes of Health were funded in 2012, compared to 31 percent a decade earlier.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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