The ProtoGenie research toolkit has been developed for researchers by researchers virtually without external capital. Consequently, it is highly tuned to the needs of researchers and has enormous undeveloped market potential. To realize this great potential to build a worldwide community of users, the makers of ProtoGenie have decided to open its doors to external capital. To look over ProtoGenie’s comprehensive business plan click here. To contact someone regarding your interest in investing in the bright future of ProtoGenie, click here.
The August 2015 issue of Scientific American presents a very interesting article about teaching science to children. The title is “Kids are Scientists Too.” The author Michael Wysession reports on the prospects of success of the large-scale initiative to improve the teaching of science to children called NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). According to Wysession, “This initiative is the result of a bipartisan, state-led effort at rewriting K-12 science performance expectations in a way that will not only engage and excite students but also allow them to learn science by doing science, as opposed to memorizing facts about science. Research in science education has shown that letting students participate in the multiple practices that scientists actually do enables the children not only to enjoy and value the science more but to do a better job of retaining the scientific content.” Obviously, research design is one of the very important things that children should learn early in their careers and ProtoGenie is the online support software that was built to teach this critical aspect of research. ProtoGenie gives students opportunities to learn the principles and practice of research through hands-on creation and execution of scientific plans and it is ideal for online courses and distance curricula related to science.
The need for empirical research is bubbling up everywhere. A major case in point is the theory and practice of law. ProtoGenie’s inexpensive, easy-to-use online authoring design for supporting empirical research makes it uniquely ready for applications in professions that do not have histories and cultures of empirical research and are just discovering the critical need for it. This is true in spades for the Law, where publications on this extraordinary event are appearing in law school reviews and other publications and where courses on empirical research are popping up in law school curricula across the country and the world. Evidence of the burgeoning interest in empirical research in the law profession is exemplified by an article appearing in the May 4, 2015 edition of the Harvard Law Bulletin by Elaine Mcardle entitled “New Empiricists.” Her opening line is “In law’s new frontiers, data may be as important as precedent.” Quoting a Professor of Law, D. James Greiner, she writes “While empirical legal studies is not at all new, it is experiencing enormous growth and is arguable the hottest area of legal thought today.” Regarding costs, Mcardle cites another source that says “although conducting rigorously devised and executed studies is expensive, the social harm of not aggressively investigating what works and what doesn’t must be weighed against the cost,
Support for empirical research in the Law poses a special challenge because by training, experience, and self-selection law professionals do not think the same as social scientists. In many cases. they are still skeptical of what they consider positivist science and are concerned that the philosophy of behavioral research is irrelevant or even antithetical to legal reasoning. Given their commitment to justice and truth in serving people, they are concerned about the validity and reliability of research results. At a more practical level, they are concerned about the cost of empirical research and about the skills that are necessary for sound empirical research.
ProtoGenie is uniquely prepared to meet these challenges in two ways. The first is the nature of PG itself, which was designed and developed to provide powerful and easy-to-use tools for empirical research at dramatically lower costs to users than other sources of research support. At the core of this design is online assistance in selecting the right research design and ensuring validity and reliability. The second way that PG is uniquely prepared to meet the challenges of support for empirical research in the Law, is in our intimate in-house knowledge of the law profession in the person of Professor Emeritus William Boyd, College of Law, University of Arizona, author of the seminal work on “computers in the law and law in computers” and major contributor to the design of ProtoGenie. This deep connection between empirical research and the legal profession is also served by Gail Boyd, attorney and special advisory to ProtoGenie.
Given our intimate knowledge of the law profession and its needs, we can expect that PG in the Law will become a major application of ProtoGenie and ProtoGenie will make a major contribution to the growth of empirical legal research.
Today’s front page New York Times covered the findings of a large study-of-studies called “The Reproducibility Project” published in the August 2015 Journal of Science where it was found that the results of more than half of social and psychological studies could not be reproduced. This is an extremely serious concern because the studies covered were considered to be part of the core knowledge of scientists and practitioners regarding the dynamics of personality, relationships, learning and memory.
It is painfully obvious that the scientific research community needs more and better replication research. The problem is that original studies themselves have become more and more expensive to the point that replication studies are unviable. The solution is less expensive, easier to use, and better quality research support software. This is what ProtoGenie is all about.
Pasadero develops technologies for people who are marginalized and poorly served by today’s top-down software engineering industries and academic disciplines. The ultimate aim is to enable these people to create software to serve their own needs as they feel and experience them.
Pasadero developed user interface technology and software for persons with visual, cognitive, developmental, and learning disabilities. This development produced the prototype called “Screen Director,” which was subsequently developed and widely distributed by Arkenstone, Inc. (Now Benetech) and by Freedom Scientific under the name “Wynn.” This target population also includes people who do not have large budgets for conducting research and evaluation. In this capacity, Pasadero is pitched to serve “distributed small science” as well as “centralized big science.”