About this Research Topic
Science faces challenges from funding to reproducibility. Blockchain technology is maturing beyond its financial origins at the right time to bring more signal and less noise to science. Blockchain is a tool that allows a distributed, immutable ledger of data transactions to be shared across a system of users. The ledger reconciles automatically based on an agreed upon data governance protocol and can include automated data processing (smart contracts). It does this without the delay required with a trusted intermediary. This provides a “trustless trust” among users that what the ledger recorded really happened, whether it is a financial exchange, or the methods used and hypothesis tested in a given experiment. The good it can do for science ranges from administrative streamlining or accelerated grant and regulatory review to improved quality, transparency, and contribution tracking in research and science publications.
Blockchain is not a one size fits all approach. It will take scientists who know the pain points, data, and workflow to help design solutions across each discipline and phase of science. That is where you come in. From Astronomy to Genetics, Neuroscience to Public Health, experts in every area are needed to help determine how it may help their field in order to realize the value it can bring to each branch of science.
We are looking for manuscripts describing both empirical experience as well as theoretical applications to any field from the experts and the technology partners that may assist. Descriptions of how blockchain can be applied to science, the good it will do for advancing knowledge, and the value it can bring is the main focus of this research topic. Information on the challenges in each field is encouraged: limitations on data standards, complexity of data and workflows, along with regulatory, administrative, cybersecurity, and other hurdles. Some of the details you include may help to inform the IEEE “Standard for the Framework of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Use in Healthcare and the Life and Social Sciences” Project (https://standards.ieee.org/project/2418_6.html#Standard).
Neuroscience is a field that advanced rapidly from the early adoption of internet technology. Blockchain has the potential to bring the same level of advancement and good to those science fields that aren’t afraid to experiment with it early. We look forward to hearing from the early adopters and forward thinkers in the scientific community.
Keywords: science, research, blockchain, data, distributed
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.