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Decentralised Science (DeSci): Revolutionising Research with Web3 Technologies

Published 19 Feb 2024

In a world where scientific progress is the key to solving humanity’s most pressing issues, one initiative stands out in its mission to revolutionise the landscape of research: DeSci Labs and the DeSci Foundation. Led by Philipp Koellinger, a passionate scientist committed to advancing the frontiers of knowledge, DeSci endeavours to harness the power of Web3-based technologies to transform the way science is conducted, published, evaluated, and funded.

At the heart of DeSci’s vision lies the concept of decentralised science (DeSci), a paradigm shift aimed at addressing the structural and fundamental challenges plaguing the scientific community. Koellinger believes that by making science more accessible, transparent, and efficient, we can unlock the full potential of human ingenuity and creativity to tackle global challenges.

The core principles of DeSci encompass various facets of the scientific process, from publishing and evaluating research to conducting experiments and analysing data. One of the fundamental challenges DeSci seeks to address is the lack of accessibility and reproducibility in scientific data.

Through the adoption of Web3 technologies like the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) and content-addressed storage, DeSci aims to make research data more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR principles, Figure 1) – thus eliminating redundancies and facilitating collaboration among researchers. Even though FAIR principles seem like fundamental principles, most of the time scientific data doesn’t fulfil these requirements.

Figure 1: Fair Principles


Koellinger is a passionate scientist: “from my perspective, at least, science is the greatest achievement of humanity. It’s our way of how we differentiate between right and wrong explanations about the world. It’s the source of technological progress and economic growth. But there are a lot of structural, fundamental problems in science that every scientist is familiar with that we’re trying to tackle with the technologies that we’re developing. There’s a growing recognition in the scientific establishment — among scientists, among institutions — that things are ripe for a change and that Web3 technologies have the potential to really disrupt things. We keep reinventing the wheel over and over again. Making data FAIR is a way out of that.”

Central to DeSci’s approach is the concept of research objects, comprehensive entities that encapsulate not only manuscripts but also code, data, and other relevant materials, creating a holistic view of the research process. By embracing openness and eliminating paywalls, DeSci strives to democratise access to scientific knowledge, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation.

Philipp Koellinger’s journey from economics to genetics reflects his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and making a meaningful impact on the world. As a former economist turned geneticist, Koellinger brings a unique perspective to the intersection of science, entrepreneurship, and innovation. His experience studying entrepreneurship has provided valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of pursuing groundbreaking research.

Through its partnership with the Protocol Labs Network, DeSci has gained access to a wealth of resources and expertise, empowering it to realise its ambitious vision for the future of science. The collaborative nature of the network, characterised by independent projects and constant innovation, aligns perfectly with DeSci’s ethos of openness and cooperation.

For Philipp Koellinger, the decision to leave academia and pursue DeSci was driven by a desire to effect meaningful change on a larger scale. By building a platform that enhances the practice of science and empowers researchers worldwide, Koellinger believes that the downstream consequences will be nothing short of transformative.

In conclusion, DeSci Labs and the DeSci Foundation represent a bold endeavour to redefine the scientific enterprise for the 21st century. By leveraging the power of Web3 technologies and embracing principles of openness and collaboration, DeSci aims to unleash the full potential of scientific discovery and propel humanity towards a brighter future.


Disclaimer: This Article has been prepared by Holon Global Investments Limited ABN 60 129 237 592. Holon Global Innovations Pty Ltd (“HGI”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Holon Global Investments Limited (together “Holon”). HGI is a Filecoin (FIL) Storage Provider and is positioned as a major player in the FIL decentralised data storage arena. FIL Storage Providers are rewarded in FIL for the provision of data storage capacity. Holon, its officers, employees and agents believe that the information in this material and the sources on which the information is based (which may be sourced from third parties) are correct as at the date of publication. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty of accuracy or reliability is given and no responsibility for this information is accepted by Holon, its officers, employees or agents. Except where contrary to law, Holon excludes all liability for this information.

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