Living Knowledge Network – London Hackathon


The current science world is grown from legacy structures – hey, we are doing good science and science is a pivotal part of our society and in most of our daily lives. So no reason to be all pessimistic.

However, myriads of media breaches, incompatibilities and locked-away-data gives us the notion that it could be different. Many claim that the blockchain revolution offers great potential for Science and Knowledge creation. Immutable data trails, novel means to research money distribution, privacy-assured data handling and even crowdfunding methods arise – just to name a few.

Might be all true, however, we will take it a step further:

We are envisioning a system that will contain the whole research cycle in one closed-looped system. From data acquisition, post-processing, storage, calculation, scientific reasoning as well as incentivisation and research funding – all in one system.

As a starting point, we take abstractions from bitcoin and while its miners assure the integrity of the blockchain the guardians of the living knowledge network will assure that science is kept honest and meaningful, all also with the knowledge token that will incentivise participants. However, we understand that verifying transactions on the bitcoin blockchain is much easier than verifying science – but various implementations and abstractions could lead us there and we must start somewhere right, and we want serendipity to happen…

With this hackathon we want to bring the science interested (blockchain) tech community together with data scientists, networks and other developers and hope to create engagement and to win talent for the living knowledge network. There will be talks some talks (PC, MAC, LINUX), install node.js, git and other standard developer tools. We’re looking for tech talent from all levels of capability – what’s important is your passion for creating the future of science and knowledge creation!

Date: Weekend 1 st to 3rd of December

Organized by James Littlejohn, Sönke Bartling, Roman Gonitel

Location: WeWork Shoreditch


Friday (public meetup preprogram):

19:00 Meetup with talks @ 3 crowns pub

Saturday Sat 2nd of December:

09:00 Start, Registration

09.25 Breakfast (self-paid), intro round

10:00 Opening remarks

10:05 Intro into Blockchain and into Blockchain For Science (Sönke)





Network infrastructure


Intro to challenges by:

  • Future of Collaboration  (Roman)
  • Future of Peer review (Sönke)
  • Network Data Science (James)
  • Knowledge Token (All)

11:00 Team Formation

11:25 Team Registration – Start hacking!

13:30 Lunch (self-paid)

16:00 – 16:15 Talk: “Cryptoeconomy for Science” – Bazil Azmil

16:30 – 16:45 Talk: “Permanent Public Infrastructure for Verifiable Research Data” – Denis Parfenov

21:00 Dinner (self-paid)

Sun 3rd of December:

10:00 Arrive 

10:30 Talk: “Blockchain-Enabled Open Data Framework for Collaborative Research” Martin Etzrodt

13:00 lunch (self-paid)

16:00 Pitching session begins

Community voting through Knowledege tokens

17:00 Winners announced

17:10 Closing remarks

17:30 …  Networking, drinks and nibbles


The core part of the solution to the challenge must be written over the weekend

Please check your code into a repository (Github, Bitbucket etc) with an open source software license of your choice

When you’ve assembled your team, please let us know your team name, participants, which challenge you’re entering, and your code repository URL

You retain your IP

Teams & Pitching

We have a 2 hour slot for pitching with 10 minutes for the judges to convene

We’d like you to give a 5 minute pitch and/or demo, and allow 2 minutes for Q&A

If you don’t have time for a demo – screen shots are OK

Pitches need to be tight and punchy! Make sure you practice in advance

We can really only handle 15 teams if we want to keep to the timeline

We don’t want to set a minimum team size, but we would strongly encourage you to form teams of 4 people or more

Hashtag: #scienceblockathon

Slack: Join Slack (but all relevant announcements on this webpage!)

Acommodation sharing: Join slack

Hackathon Challenges

Challenge 1: Future of collaboration. 

Science is a collaboration.  How do we create a culture of permissionless participation showcased by the bitcoin community and protocol?  Open science has advanced open collaboration.  How can the use of peer to peer and blockchain technology propel this further to a spirit of collaborative generosity?

How can incentives be set up?

Challenge 2: Network Data Science

Data is becoming more open and accessible across the research community but most data still remains locked away or allows access to a privileged few.  Smart Contracts used as permission gateways is a proposed solution to this problem and at the same time empowers all in the network to take ownership of their data. How do decentralized storage protocols work and coordinate with smart contracts? Computations need to be performed, again new decentralized computation protocols are emerging, how do they bring new rigor to science?   

Challenge 3: Future Of Peer Review

Peer review was invented to provide science with a self checking and sceptical feedback mechanism on itself.  In a world of data driven computational science and a backdrop of a ‘reproducibility crisis’ how does science innovate new network validation protocols to provide new immutable evidence trails and guarantee rigour of results or claims? How can it be assured that peer-review supports outliers with new ideas/findings early and strongly?

Challenge 4: Knowledge Token

What does the future of science funding look like?  More generally how to we create a reward knowledge token that incentives all parties active in science to be rewarded fairly but at the same time provides a disincentive to bad actors contributing to the network of knowledge?

Our google drive folder

Our Slack #scienceblockathon2017


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