A professor of economics is going to extreme lengths to continue his work as an academic.
Steve Keen, who is currently employed full time at Kingston University, is crowdfunding via the Patreon website to pay his salary because universities no longer provide the time and freedom they once gave to original thinkers.
Keen is trying to raise $10,000 (8,232) a month in order to partially step away from his full time duties at the university, so that he can dedicated his time to writing the third edition of his book, Debunking Economics, as well as writing new papers on the role of energy in economics and producing videos on his which has more than 10,000 subscribers.
“I have done everything till now with support from many colleagues, but with no support from official funding agencies,” he says.
“Almost all the money for economics research goes to develop the mainstream, even after it has failed so abjectly. That will continue to be the case.”
Since he was an undergraduate student, Keen has worked to develop “an alternative, realistic economics”. But he claims universities have been “starved of research funding over the years, and buried under bureaucratic controls”.
“They no longer provide the time and freedom they once gave to original thinkers like me,” Keen complains. “It’s so bad now that the best way for me to have the time and resources to build a new economics is to leave the University sector, and get supported directly by the public.”
Individuals who donate as little as $1 a month will get access to exclusive blog posts, videos and podcasts. Since he started the campaign, Keen received a pledge of $1,6087 a month from 177 patrons.