Sean Manion: Reinventing Research using Blockchain

Talking about Blockchain with Sean ManionSean Manion, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Science Distributed, discusses blockchain’s potential effects on scientific research and the business associated with it.




On Scientific Integrity: When it comes to the scientific integrity issues, I think what I was describing of having that audit-able record really heightens your scientific integrity, and makes stronger the argument that any science that is done is valid science. We often hear on television people talk about fake news and the problem with that. Well, fake news, the news cycle is very quick. So fake news may or may not be a problem, but it is definitely a problem that quickly cycles its way out of our consciousness.

With science, if you have something that’s fake science or invalid science, that doesn’t go away for years or decades. It becomes part of the permanent record if it gets through peer review, so having that scientific integrity, having that ethical validation of the research is crucial. And I think that blockchain with that transparency, with that audit-able record for the data, gives you that higher level of ethics or higher level of scientific integrity conduct.

On the trendiness of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: We get caught up in the hype of what this can do, and I’m speaking about it in very glowing terms. But I think a valuable thing is to realize, and I’m gonna quote a sentence of my best friend Samson Williams here, that says, “You know, blockchain isn’t Red Hot. You can’t just put that stuff on everything.”

You have to see past the hype, and I think understanding that there is hype but also realizing that sometimes blockchain isn’t the right tool for the job. Or sometimes it’s not the only tool for the job but maybe it helps with some of the flow chain function. I think that is key to realize that there are potential challenges, downsides, and it may not be worth it in certain use cases. Looking at the business use case of what you wanna do, it’s not only can I use a blockchain for this, but is the application of a distributed ledger to the problem area going to be cost-effective and bring me what I need in the long run versus the other tools available?

This episode of The Inc. Tank would not be possible without:

Christina Elson, Host and Executive Producer
Stevi Calandra, Executive Producer
Jeff Stroud, Editing and Sound Design
Corinne Baker, Production Assistant
Jake Fechter, Production Assistant
Andrew Platt, Blockchain Consultant

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