Anatomy of a crowdfunding project

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Last week I had the rather depressing task of announcing the end of our recent attempts to start a crowdfunding project. As I explained, the project essentially ended because the perceived risk of the project was too great. However, despite this failure I am determined to provide as much information as possible so that anyone wanting to try this for themselves can learn from where we went wrong. I have already put up the majority of details on how the crowdfunding project was to be structured here and here (I also made a 4min video asking for money but I’m Continue reading

This was not a triumph


Our crowdfunding project is dead… As many of you know, over the last 4-5 months I have been desperately trying to launch a large crowdfunding project to raise £100,000 in order to fund 1 year of research into an oil spill sensor system. The key feature of the project was that I would be able to be totally open and share the story of research with a wider audience of people with an interest in science, as it would be 100% funded by generous donators. Not only that, but I also wanted to promote feedback from those funding the research Continue reading

Problems approving the approval of the approval

It's not dead it's pining for the fjords

Despite a number of sleepless nights and giving up almost all my free time over the last week, we will not be launching our crowdfunding project today. The reasons for this are many and complicated but I will do my best to explain. The project is ready to go, we have an advert, a video and a load of new blog content aimed at promoting it. I would have liked to have spent a little more time on the video but essentially it was good enough to send off last night. This was in order to coincide with the launch of Kickstarter Continue reading

Vortex rings – suggestions please

Schematic of vortex ring formation

My project over the last 3 years could be summed up as “getting stuff to stick to fibre optic sensors”. The sensors were kindly prepared by various other members of the group (best ones were by Rebecca) and I was then responsible for finding the right material to coat on to the fibre to make it sensitive to X. Exciting stuff, I know. Most of my coating work was done using a technique called Langmuir Blodgett, the first stage of which is preparing monolayers of material spread on a large trough of water. These monolayers are explained in slightly more Continue reading