Tu told IFLScience that the WCG was born out of an experiment back in 2004, and initially focused on the health side of things. The success of the initial trials then led to projects on “drug discovery, HIV, along with neglected tropical diseases, Ebola, Zika – a lot of work on cancer as well.”
“We’ve seen our volunteers really rally around these projects in the past,” Hindo adds.
“When the WHO declared Zika a global health crisis, we had volunteers and researchers coming to us and saying ‘What can we do to help?’ We now have a hugely successful Zika crowdsourced program that’s still running today.”
Applications for the new climate change initiative are open until September 15, and the winners will be given access to this rather remarkable crowdsourced supercomputer this coming autumn. So if you’re a researcher with a penchant for saving the world, click here and send in your proposal.
As in the past, all the raw data is open access, and the research will be made publically available to anyone.
“When we receive proposals from scientists, we often come back to them and say: this is great, but we want you to think bigger – thousands of times bigger,” Tu explains.
“Our message to scientists is: think big, and we’ll support that.”