SciCast, Crowdsourcing Science and Technology Forecasting For Policy

SciCast is a crowdsourced forecasting platform for science and technology run by George Mason University. It is based on the idea that the collective wisdom of an informed and diverse group is often a better predictor than the judgment of a single expert.


Part of the Forecasting Science and Technology (ForeST) Program funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), SciCast questions are generated by its participants, as well as ForeST teams at Inkling Markets, George Mason University, BAE Systems and SRI International. KaDSci LLC helps scientists and policymakers formulate questions for SciCast, and Gold Brand Software, LLC is the systems integrator.

SciCast is the largest S&T forecasting effort we know of, crowdsourcing in real-time from a pool of thousands of scientists and enthusiasts.  Popular topics include Bitcoin, the search for MH370, chess, alternative energy, space sciences and honeybee colony collapse.  We also have a richly connected set of questions on Top500 computer speeds, and another set on open problems in theoretical computer science.

SciCast should also appeal to policy-makers as a tool for gathering information, or even asking a conditional question: what would be the effect of doing X versus Y? Participant discussion includes  useful comments and links helping to justify edits made in the market.

SciCast is open to participants 18+ to enroll, pose questions and forecast.

We’re currently running the SciCast College Bowl, an open team-style competition to find the best forecasters are in science and technology. People wishing to enter the competition can join a team representing the college of their choice and win individual and team prizes for accuracy in their forecasts and other activities.

Last week, SciCast live-blogged and video-streamed the first Dicty World Race, a race among the fastest and smartest slime molds.!/contact

Anamaria Berea has a PhD in Computational Social Science from George Mason Univeristy and has been working on prediction markets and forecasting problems for the past three years within the George Mason University team that is leading the SciCast project.



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