The Decentralized Science Stack
The process of scientific discovery has been transitioning over the past decade from manual physical investigation towards increasingly digitized and automated solutions for collecting, sharing and analyzing data. The culmination of this transition is currently underway with the seeding of thriving decentralized Web 3.0 infrastructures that empower the formation of digital citizen science communities that can crowdsource funding, peer-to-peer cloud resources, and intelligence to solve outstanding scientific challenges. The Decentralized Science (DeSci) stack is a set of software toolkits for community coordination, high-bandwidth peer-to-peer sharing of massive datasets, access to cloud computing resources, and self-sovereign data management. The most pressing trinity of challenges for scaling the DeSci stack include: 1) integration of decentralized identifiers (DIDs) with standard data operability schemas to alleviate the burden of researchers attending to personal data regulatory-compliance, 2) catalyzing and nurturing the network effect required for self-sustaining decentralized digital communities, 3) assessing the maturity of existing scientific automation techniques in the context of porting over into decentralized web infrastructure. Integration with successful Web 3.0 digital communities poses the potential to distribute funding for open source projects, target priority development challenges with hack-a-thon bounties, and establish a pipeline for seasoned Web 3.0 developers to engage with scientists and streamline the development of DeSci infrastructure.