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Surprising Science

Outsourcing Science

When breast cancer researcher Dr. Elizabeth Iorns created a free online marketplace for outsourcing scientific experiments, the goals was to improve the efficiency of research. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Over the next five years, outsourcing will revolutionize scientific research, says breast cancer researcher Dr. Elizabeth Iorns. She has created a free online marketplace for outsourcing scientific experiments in hopes of making scientific research more efficient and giving researchers access to information across different fields of expertise. She came upon the idea when she realized she needed to conduct experiments that were beyond the scope of her expertise. After exhausting the personal contacts, she turned to the Web. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Just as outsourcing revolutionized the information technology industry during the 1990s and 2000s, Dr. Iorns believes outsourcing has the potential to revolutionize scientific research. But the processes will not be without its difficulties: “It’s hard to find providers, time consuming to communicate with them, hard to evaluate them and hard to pay them. Other industries have solved these barriers by creating a marketplace,” says Iorns. And she has done just that. Irons’ aims to facilitate more scientific discoveries by tapping into the best resources. 


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