Science Careers has returned to the Perlstein situation in a recent bit by Rachel Bernstein titled "Into the wild". They lead with "indie science" which as it turns out is a bit misleading.
The bit has nothing to do with indie science save as a sort of testimonial that indie science is a bankrupt, unworkable idea, just as I have always suggested.
Today, Perlstein is the CEO of Perlstein Lab—PLab for short—a for-profit, pubic (sic) benefit corporation he founded in 2014 that is housed in a biotech incubator in San Francisco, California.
All his research and discussions led him to decide that he should take on the more traditional role of biotech startup founder, but he hasn’t given up on “indie” science.
He brainstormed with his brother, a legal entrepreneur who became a PLab cofounder. He supported himself by consulting for a startup developing a science-crowdfunding platform, and he lived off savings he had been able to put aside during his postdoc.
As he was working to identify a profitable research direction, his thoughts “all crystallized around rare diseases.” This research area seemed to be a sweet spot where he could do intellectually exciting science that would appeal to investors as well.
Investors seem to agree that it’s a worthwhile approach: In 2014, he raised $2.2 million.
GREAT! So happy a scientist is able to pursue an entrepreneurial direction and can get investors to fund him to do it. Very happy for Ethan on this front.
Also happy to see the Science Careers update us on their previous love fest for the idea of crowd-funded indie science, although they could have pointed out more explicitly how wrong they were about this being remotely viable.
UPDATE: HAHHAHAHAHAHA, Perlstein misses the point. Per usual.
The ridicule of startups by some tenured professors comes from jealousy and lack of ability/desire to expose one's ideas to the real world.
— Ethan O. Perlstein (@eperlste) March 11, 2015
I love startups. Said so at the end of this very post that I hope he succeeds, as it happens. What I "ridicule" is the notion that crowd funded or "indie" science can work or be any sort of replacement for major public investment.