The Genesis of the Idea for Socrates2Plato
Dr. Wei Xu, a PhD. in Pharmacology and Cancer Researcher, now living in Houston, Texas, had recently been reading more and more about the growing corruption with the peer-review publishing industry. As he read each additional article in publications like Forbes, Fortune, and The Economist about the crisis, where tens of billions each year were fraudulently misappropriated from serious, life-saving cancer research, while studies offering great potential often went unfunded. He knew something must be done.
He became even more determined to find a solution when he learned studies by Amgen and Bayer Berlin proved the problem was both global and massive. Something of a technology buff, Dr. Xu was avidly interested in emerging blockchain architectures, and by chance ran across the story of the STEEM blockchain platform which would allow the build-out of incentivized social media websites where the community could reward each other’s contributions with cryptocurrency tokens having immediate liquidity. To learn how this works and reaches self-sustainability, read the STEEM Whitepaper.
After a weekend studying the STEEM Whitepaper, and it’s follow-on STEEM Bluepaper, he saw what a perfect fit the STEEM Platform would make for a solution to the peer-review publication crisis, and called a friend, Charles ‘Buck’ Buchanan, a sales and marketing executive with a background in analytical systems solutions, also living in Houston. They had talked before about the problem, and Buck also felt there had to be a better way than the current, corrupt system of peer-review. While Wei’s major concern was the incredibly important research that was going unfunded due to misappropriation of massive funds to fake science, Buck was incredibly frustrated by the fact that innovative new ideas with the potential to provide leaps forward for society were being silenced because the ‘old guard,’ with their small incremental forward motion, was controlling the conversation by using their influence as ‘go-to’ reviewers for peer-review publications, to squeeze them out of the review process. This crisis has many victims they both realized.
From the first time Dr. Xu explained his idea, Buck was on board, and soon after, Dr. Xu brought in Jie Li, an accomplished senor software engineer at Google, to build out the Socrates2Plato website on the STEEM blockchain platform. Shortly after that, Dr. Xu and Buck began working in earnest on their Socrates2Plato whitepaper. Buck reached out to Randy Baker, CFO of STEEM, in Austin, and Randy connected Dr. Xu and Buck with their advisory team for any questions on the process. After several iterations they had the process for operationalizing the idea down, and the whitepaper was produced in August 2018 (Read the Socrates2Plato Whitepaper).
The next step, raising the funding necessary to prepare the Reserve Account and load it with Steem Tokens to allow instant liquidity of the Socrates2Plato “Sox” token for immediate exchange into other tokens or fiat currency (dollars, yen, yuan, pesos, etc.), would first require a traditional, non-blockchain website to launch a fundraising campaign for the Reserve Account funding providing instant liquidity, so Buck began a search for another partner who could take on that responsibility, and soon found their fourth founder, Jean Beaumont, media production specialist and developer living in Caracas, Venezuela, and work on this ‘explainer,’ publicity/promotion, and crowdfunding launch site was begun.
Our anticipated timetable is to launch a GoFundMe campaign in November 2018, raising startup funding, with 95% reserved to purchase Steem tokens earmarked for the Reserve Account Fund and the remaining 5% reserved for administrative, legal and accounting costs. The accounting of these funds will be publicly disclosed to the membership. We anticipate the release of STEEM’s Smart Media Token code to be released near January 2019, when Jie will begin work on modifying that code to allow Dr. Xu’s more robust scoring/reward module to work in his peer-review operational model (Read the Socrates2Plato Whitepaper for details).
After a brief beta test period, we hope to have the Socrates2Plato site launched and operational around September 2019. At that point, we anticipate closing this fundraising site and moving the domain to the blockchain peer-review platform, and begin to change the world of science – with your help. Because our need for your involvement doesn’t stop with a donation. For this to work, we need the word to spread to everyone in the field of scientific research as quickly as possible.
We need everyone in the field of scientific research to know this is coming, and have their papers ready for a September 2019 launch, with reviewers ready to start their work on the site, choosing papers they find intriguing, studying them, and contributing their insightful, informed, honest reviews, and in doing so rewarding those whitepaper authors, while earning tokens themselves. We also need EVERYONE to press their employers and institutions to consider donating to the Reserve Account Startup Fund. Encourage them to set up matching contributions for their employee’s donations.
This crisis affects us all in ways we can’t imagine. Your grandchild may die of a disease that could have been cured if only proper funding had reached the right study in time, thousands or millions could die because a study that could have averted a catastrophic crop failure was not funded, an economic paper with a prescient, but novel, perspective that could have minimized or prevented an economic disaster was never seen by anyone because it couldn’t find publication. That these specific calamities could have been avoided will never be known, but what we do know is that many, many problems would have been had proper funding reached the proper hands.
Please help us make that happen…for all our sakes!
Dr. Wei Xu
Dr. Wei Xu is a PhD. in Pharmacology, now living in Houston, Texas, with a notable background in cancer research, including projects serving as Principal Investigator, along with grants from organizations like the Susan J. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Buck Buchanan is a Houston based Sales Executive in Enterprise and Analytical Systems solutions, long interested in advanced research projects including Bioinformatics, Data Analytics, and Neuromorphic Processes, when he and Dr. Xu both became interested in Blockchain Applications.