Who will fund research in a libertarian world?

Entrepreneurs, perhaps? Excerpts:

Gerald Rubin is looking for someone who can take a picture of a thought. To do it, he and colleagues are harnessing the powerful force of cold, hard cash -- Howard Hughes' cash, to be exact. They are building a new $400 million laboratory in the green countryside outside Washington, D.C. and hope to attract the brightest and most unconventional minds in science to find a way to look into a person's brain and see what it is doing.

"We are (like) a biotechnology company whose product is new knowledge and which has infinitely patient investors," Rubin told reporters on a recent tour, comparing the foundation to a corporation...Rubin said the plan is to do away with tenure, and publish-or-perish mentalities that he says can block collaboration and long-term thinking.

What if you could take a picture of a brain cell at the very moment it recorded a thought? Trying to do this will require the expertise of neurobiologists, physicists, molecular biologists, chemists, geneticists, instrument designers and computer scientists. Those who are interested will hear a beguiling call: "We'll give you money, lots of money, and we won't ask too many questions," Rubin said.

The foundation's deep pockets allow considerable flexibility. "In a typical university, you have to convince a third party of what you want to do," Rubin said. "We are not going to take a penny of money from anybody else."

The laboratories were designed with nothing specific in mind. "We looked and looked at every instrument scientists used and asked, 'What's the biggest one' and then we made the rooms big enough to hold it," Rubin said.

The campus includes a 96-room hotel and apartment complex. The aim is to encourage sabbaticals, short-term collaborations and casual visits.

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This sounds like such a fun

This sounds like such a fun project. I would love to read their results.


But how are you going to motivate them beyond just the fun of being in on the action? How much are you going to pay a fellow of this foundation? And for what?

[...] These guys desire to

[...] These guys desire to take a picture of a thought, as it is formed, in a brain cell. Via Patri Friedman over at Catall [...]