Public: Scholarship
Mad Science Research Council   (+31, -5)  [vote for, against]
Get funding for your crazy idea

Research councils exist for all kinds of different areas - for instance the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). People wishing to research a particular area can apply to the relevant council for funding.

However, the amount of funding given to Mad Science research is a woefully inadequate proportion of the total. This is quite possibly because Mad Science is frequently an inter-disciplinary field.

Setting up the MSRC would make it more likely these crazy egg-heads could fund their frothing test-tubes and hare-brained devices. These funds could come from the state, or successful individuals & large institutions who have already succeeded in mad science, such as Kellogs.

Half-bakers - the MSRC will give you the cash injection you need to pursue your ideas.
-- -alx, Jul 26 2001

Official Monster Raving Loony Party
These people could help with lobbying for funds. [Aristotle, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The SI units of Madness http://www.halfbake...ea/Two_20Cats_20Mad
[lubbit, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Kevin Warwick
The mad scientist approved by the Royal Institution [-alx, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Biscuit Dunkers Unite
[Little_Crow, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Experiments which may have qualified for MSRC funding http://www.thetimes...-2001192276,00.html
"The mother-to-be is strapped to a circular table, which is then rotated at high speed to expel the infant by centrifugal force." [-alx, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004] Much more fun than -alx`s suggestion! [technobadger, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Warwick Watch
Much more fun than -alx`s suggestion! [Pallex, Jul 26 2001] Article on cloning
Politicians challenge character of mad scientists. [EvoketheTiger, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Mad Science Awards http://www.animalai...aign/vivi/aamsa.htm
Not cash awards for crazy ideas, unfortunately, rather some experiments that animal rights activists didn't like much. [-alx, Jul 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

2001 offbeat but true science roundup,620073,00.html
[lewisgirl, Dec 17 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Ig Nobel Prizes
Similar to [lewisgirl]'s link. These folks present the Ig Nobel prizes every year to "achievements which cannot or should not be reproduced". [cp, Dec 17 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

funding for mad research,709509,00.html
Baked?! [sappho, May 03 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Answers to important questions
like, "why is yawning contagious?" [psychobabble, May 03 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[8th]'s link
as a link. [angel, Jun 14 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]
I love this idea and I think this guy needs to apply for funding right away! [KEVLEX, Apr 03 2006]

I think National student organisations would approve of this. Will the government fund it?
I receive my ('woefully inadequate') living allowance from the EPSRC of which you speak. I believe that my research would probably transfer quite easily over to the MSRC, since it is an idiotic, never-gonna-work project. Why am I doing it? Well, I'm here now, I might as well finish. ...This attitude will never appear in MSRC students because they will all be completely wacko. They can also survive on very little money because they wear 20-year-old wool sweaters and jesus sandals, and they're all vegetarian.
-- lewisgirl, Jul 26 2001, last modified Jul 31 2001

If the government won't do it directly, I'm sure the military will be more than happy to stump up.
-- -alx, Jul 26 2001

nahh. some things really are just mad. What's that Patent Office URL again....?
-- lewisgirl, Jul 26 2001

Mad science is easily identified, as it is only practised by mad scientists.
-- -alx, Jul 26 2001

Just hold one there DrTunes! There is a considerable quantity of at least reasonably mad science still going on. The quality of madness is admittedly only somewhere in the region of 2-3 catsworth, such as "No really, what will the temperature be in 100 years time ?", but it's definitely out there.
-- lubbit, Jul 26 2001, last modified Jul 27 2001

One of my favourites is Kevin Warwick, who has a chip in his arm that lets him turn on lights, and assumes that it shouldn't be much more difficult to have chips to allow him and his wife to communicate in an essentially telepathic manner. See link.

[ps Nice link 7x7 cheers]
-- -alx, Jul 26 2001

Don't quality Mad Scientists need to have their ideas laughed at by the fools at the academy? Based upon every American International picture I've seen, it would seem so.

In which case, wouldn't this proposal undermine the emergence of mad scientists, by eliminating the "Fools! I'll (show and/or destroy) them all!" motivation so critical to innovation in Mad Science?
-- Uncle Nutsy, Jul 26 2001

I suppose one could pay for grants partially through publicity sales, if the science is mad enough. Of course, there is the danger of making the "science" part too little, so it would have to be watched rather carefully.
-- badoingdoing, Jul 26 2001

Perhaps, instead of (or in addition to) funding particularly worthy proposals through grants, the MSRC could loudly and publicly mock the selected proposal during a well-attended public meeting, causing the scientist to storm out and vow to prove them all wrong?
-- wiml, Jul 26 2001

Surely the fact that the scientists were being funded by the MSRC (and thus their work being officially proclaimed as mad) rather than one of their more orthodox counterparts would be enough to give the mad scientist that drive to succeed.
-- -alx, Jul 26 2001

Generally, mad scientists do very little for the public good. They embark on their endeavors with little concern of the impact, whether it be accidently unleashing monster on the populace or what not. I do not want to stereotype all mad scientists but by large they are very egocentric, thinking of their own glory in proving others wrong without considering any consequences. I don't think the public should fund this type of science.
-- EvoketheTiger, Jul 26 2001

I'm sure if people have been able to get grants for finding out the answer to important questions such as: "Why do cornflakes go soggy when you add milk", and "how long should biscuits be dunked in tea for", any mad scientist worth his sodium carbonate should be able to get a grant for anything.
-- Little_Crow, Jul 26 2001

Sodium chloride, you mean?
-- StarChaser, Jul 26 2001

Shall I remove any from your custard any lumps I find, master?
-- reensure, Jul 26 2001, last modified Jul 27 2001

The hovercraft, the clockwork radio, the cyclone vacuum-cleaner, the laser (etc.) were invented / developed by fairly archetypal mad scientists. I'm sure that a lot of potentially good stuff failed to get past the prototype stage because there was no ready source of venture capital. Have a pastry.
-- angel, Jul 27 2001

//Don't quality Mad Scientists need to have their ideas laughed at by the fools at the academy? //

I think where mundane science has its Ethics Committees to hum and haw over the potential ramifications and implications of, say, cloning embryonic brain-cells from aborted foetuses in order to treat those rich Alzheimer's sufferers rich enough to pay for the treatment, the MSRC should have its own select Aesthetics Committee set up to judge the aesthetic merit, or otherwise, of project ideas - on the basis of originality, practicality and utility (the less, the better), style, risibility, destructiveness, etc.. Since we already have the tabloid press and uneducated public to provide mockery and outrage at ideas which are either "pointless wastes of money" or "bound to bring about the destruction of the entire world as we know it", the Aesthetics Committee should concern itself only with ensuring that ideas are sufficiently mockable and outrageous. Such academic peer review will surely lead to disgruntled not-so-Mad Scientists storming off to their secret laboratories, swearing vengeance, thus encouraging even greater inventive lunacy amongst the scientific community.

"They said I wasn't mad enough, you know! I'll show them! I'll show them ALL!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!"
-- Guy Fox, Jul 27 2001

if no one laughs at your vision, it isn't big enough.
-- mihali, Jul 27 2001

[mihali] is that a quote from somewhere or did you make it on the fly? (I'm going to steal it.....)
-- Susen, Jul 27 2001

Thought a little more about this, and it's worth taking a cut. [mihali] Half a pie in the face for being bitten by the phrase bug! Oh, and if you think you're being overlooked, remember, optomists dream small dreams.
-- reensure, Jul 27 2001

I'm amazed nobody commented on the madness of many of the ideas I've posted on the HalfBakery. Truth to tell, when I was in the 8th grade, I conciously decided that I wanted to be a mad scientist when I grew up. I'ts been fun, but, as has been pointed out here, is kind of hard to finance. And if you don't think my ideas are mad enough, try THIS one:

How to build a Perpetual Motion Machine: (1) Figure out how God exists. (2) Duplicate the process.

Folks, any ORDINARY so-called "scientist" who believes in God is someone who believes in Perpetual Motion. This most especially includes all those "Creation Scientists". I'd dearly love to seem 'em try to wriggle off of THAT hook, line and sinker!

Now, since I'm a Mad Scientist -- what? still don't believe me? Go to above link to MADSCI.ORG and then get into the Search area, and type VERNON into the search field -- I have no problem with Perpetual Motion. See the topic posted elsewhere on the HalfBakery titled SoulStuff. You might even follow the link at the bottom....

P.S. I don't have enough data to actually attempt to construct a Perpetual Motion Machine. But I AM working on something that resembles a Reactionless Drive (see the two Gravity Waves posts for background information).
-- Vernon, Jul 29 2001

My Perpetual Motion machine will be used for Evil Purposes. Muahahahahaaaaa
-- thumbwax, Jul 29 2001

[Unabubba] My Mother still swears aeroplanes are 1/2b and couldn't possibly work, at least large passenger planes.
-- yunohu, Jul 31 2001

I once saw an inspirational poster that said: According to aerodynamics, bumble bees should not be able to fly... but noone told them that.
-- EvoketheTiger, Jul 31 2001

//' I'm amazed nobody commented on the madness of many of the ideas I've posted on the HalfBakery.'//
It seems that [vernon] hasn't been paying attention.
-- angel, Jul 31 2001

Rather than providing a grant which involves (as everyone has pointed out) a subjective judgement about exactly how mad any given project is, perhaps the MSRC should, instead, provide free lab facilities (plus a variety of interesting chemicals) in a suitably remote area. Anyone dressed in a lab coat can go and play there at the weekend. Anyone entering the area would, of course, do so at their own risk.
-- DrBob, Jul 31 2001

Rods Tiger, the bumblebee calculations failed to account for the fact that, while the bee has two pairs of wings, they don't beat in sync (they don't ALL go up and down together).

angel, I was referring the comments in THIS area, not other areas of the HalfBakery.

Dr. Bob, that does sound like a nice idea. But do keep in mind that Mad Science is not about chemistry only. One of the things holding up my "reactionless" drive is the lack of a suitable power supply: About 1000 amperes (but low voltage), having an A.C. frequency of 50+kHz....
-- Vernon, Jul 31 2001

surely all you need is a material with incredibly low resistance?
-- lewisgirl, Aug 01 2001

Hmm, I thought the bumblebee thing was because a) the flight model assumed that the wings remained flat, rather than twisting about their long axis during each stoke and b) no one realised the significance of the mini-vortices that form on each wing.
-- gravelpit, Aug 01 2001

[Dr. Bob] I fear your idea may lead to Vernon monopolising resources and running said institution into bankruptcy rather quickly.
-- -alx, Aug 01 2001

I believe an MSRC-funded research project into the aerodynamic capabilities of bumble-bees must surely be in order. Since the original calculations are patently wrong, it may well be that bumble-bees are in fact capable of not only supporting themselves but perhaps even small payloads. I believe that trained bumble-bees carrying small quantities of nitro-glycerine - or some other, even more volitile, explosive - could be used to carry out a series of assassinations. The plan would be:

1. Send a bunch of nectar-laden flowers to Dubya / Putin / Gadaffi / Blair / whoever.
2. Release the exploding bumble-bees.
3. Retire to a safe distance.
4. Wait for the fools to swat said bumble-bees, ha ha ha!

One by one, the entirety of the world's leaders shall fall to my evil plan and soon, soon, the world will be MINE!!
-- Guy Fox, Aug 01 2001

lewisgirl, my "reactionless" drive is a special kind of electric motor. It could easily have 100 separate circuit-paths for electricity to flow, and each such path could handle 10 amps with no trouble. So the ability to SUPPLY 1000 amps is the problem, not the motor's ability to use 'em. And supplying them at 50-kiloHertz frequency is the real ugly part...(the motor will swallow it all just fine, because "I have ways" to deal with hysteresis and inductive reactance, heh heh heh).

Guy Fox, you are giving Mad Science a bad name. It really is better for the science to be mad, than for the scientist to be mad. More fun, too, in my opinion. For example, the "I'll show them all!" part doesn't have to involve violence or destruction. Back in 1976 I wrote a (not so high-quality) short story about the first Viking lander turning on its camera, and there was a guy with a sign: "NOW maybe I can sell my portable faster-than-light matter transmitter!"
-- Vernon, Aug 01 2001, last modified Aug 05 2001

susen: sorry, but i'm just not that creative. it's stolen from a poster here at work. i read it every day but have never had a chance to use it, until now.
-- mihali, Aug 01 2001

The following quote appeared in an article about human cloning in today: "This House should not be giving the green light to mad scientists to tinker with the gift of life," said Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla. "Cloning is an insult to humanity. It is science gone crazy."

Having read this, I have again become concerned that the public has a general bias against mad scientists which might be hard to overcome. Of course, dissenters could always be taken care of with special bumble bees.
-- EvoketheTiger, Aug 01 2001

funny how he's learned to spell since being over at "Sci-fi date's"
-- lewisgirl, Aug 06 2001

Southern Gal and a Northerner are in ticket line at an airport. Southerner kindly says "Where you fixin' to fly to?" Northern Woman coldly tells Southerner she should not end sentences with "to". After a few moments Southerner says "Where you fixin' to fly to, Bitch?"
-- thumbwax, Nov 10 2001

I do like the pun 'Ig Nobel' mentioned in the link I just added. Makes me chuckle.
-- lewisgirl, Dec 17 2001

Career opportunities for Mad Scientists ? See
-- 8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

See the button up there --^ marked [link]?
-- angel, Jun 14 2002

Could you have an evil department of evil devlopment in the fields of evil? With the advancement of rabbits grafted with death rays and the like? You could arange day trips with schools and such! oh if only they had this when i was a lad.....
-- Loma, Sep 22 2005

random, halfbakery