Scientific knowledge is arguably the ultimate decentralized system, particularly as we have transitioned from analogue into digital.
By design and intention, the body of information forming scientific knowledge has the following characteristics: (1) in essence, it is not controlled by a central agent and is, by and large, individual node-independent; (2) through exposure to public scrutiny and constant challenge, no single contributor can appropriate any part of its value durably; (3) it is highly reproducible at theoretically close to zero marginal costs; and, (4) it is preciously valuable for a large and fast growing cohort of current and future users.
Unfortunately, its actual development praxis has been severely skewed, distorting some of these 'natural' characteristics over the years. And in fact, science today faces many woes. These include: (1) Information overload; (2) Access barriers; (3) Reproducibility issues; (4) Built-in biases; and, (5) Incentive misalignment.
Some authors have argued that the reason nobody has adopted a distributed ledger at scale, ten years after it was invented, is because nobody wants it.
At Iris.ai we disagree. We believe that, when key governance issues are adequately addressed and as smart contract technology naturally evolves over time, a functional, distributed, encrypted ledger will be of pivotal importance to collectively organize and foster the advancement of existing and future scientific knowledge.
Stay tuned for more updates on our efforts in this front.