Dan Reus of the creative instigator/outfit Openly Disruptive ("the future will be what we make it") tossed me this note: I thought you might like to see the mention of you and Project Calliope in a recent post by our local alternative news weekly: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/rftmusic/2011/08/dan_reus_outerspace_music_kickstarter.php
I love a good narrative, and it was neat seeing a different perspective on when Dan&I met to talk picosatellites. What we share, I think, is a recognition that, just like DIY hacking lets you mod how a technological device works, hacking or rerouting around conventional economic and employment models for creating technology lets you modify culture.
In this process, I noticed Dan has added a bevy of projects to OpenlyDisruptive. One of them, "STEMSpeak" looks like it might have overlap with Marc Kuchner's 'Marketing for Science' efforts. Marc's work (which I've written about before) is about 'how to shine in tough times', and he's doing a book tour. His concept is that scientists need to stop relying on their institute or academic pedigree as expressing their worth, and instead need to build their own personal brand.
Add into this Forbes' article on 'System D', the shadow economy of cash and innovation and barter and gray market and edge innovation that may be the second largest economy in the world. I think things like Openly Disruptive, citizen science, and self-marketing are the academic counterpart to that economic model.
Put simply, there's no particular reason why scientific work needs to be connected with academic, corporate or laboratory work. Amateurs have (especially in astronomy) always contributed greatly to science. The recent decades of 'employed labs full of scientists' are a fairly recent invention, and in some ways (as funding decreases) I think we need to go back to science's roots of personal inquiry and self- (or patronage-) funding.
Ironically, I write this while now employed as a professor at Capitol College. A position I achieved because I was able to both brand myself as a scientist rather than rely on my institute, and because I decided to build the Calliope picosatellite on my own. Turns out building a picosatellite is appealing to an engineering school, who would have guessed?
The motto of Capitol College is "find a way or make a way". This applies not only to engineering, but to career paths and lives.
Until next update,
Launching Project Calliope, sponsored by Science 2.0, in 2012
Satellites at The Satellite Diaries, Space sciencee at the Daytime Astronomer