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Introducing Consensus

February 8, 2022 By Eric Olson
A group of people gathers around a laptop as they scroll through Consensus to gain access to evidence-based information.

The Problem

There is no easy way to get trusted, science-based answers to important questions.

You nodded your head, right?

Maybe you’ve felt this on a personal level when you tried to figure out if red-wine actually improves your cardiovascular health. Or maybe you were at work and you cited an iffy source to back your hypothesis about healthcare outcomes related to a given policy. And it’s a problem you’ve almost certainly seen on a big-picture societal level through the pandemic and beyond.

However, even though this is a widely agreed-upon problem, a true “best” (do not mistake “best” with “perfect”) source of information does exist to provide insights to science-related questions: peer-reviewed scientific literature.

The problem is nobody outside of the same folks who produce this data has the time, skill, or attention span to actually go through the research on a given topic.

How can we make progress on a solution to this generally accepted problem? What could help shift the information consumption habits of internet users searching for scientific information in the age of misinformation? At Consensus, we believe the only answer is to make getting information from rigorous, evidence-based sources as easy and consumable as a Google Search or a Quora query.

The Consensus Proposed Solution

Our goal at Consensus is to provide better evidence-based answers faster and easier than ever before. To accomplish this, we are building an ad-free, specialized educational search engine that uses natural language processing to provide aggregated scientific insights from peer-reviewed sources instantly.

We aim to provide a user a comprehensive view of the scientific evidence to their question with a click of a button.

Every feature we build has to be advancing our goal of either providing “better” answers, like designing metrics that measure the quality of the study an insight comes from, or easier/faster answers – summarizing jargon-filled pieces of scientific writing down to consumable content for users with varying levels of scientific experience.

We are using the latest advancements in artificial intelligence to democratize scientific insights and believe our platform can be both a great research website for students and can help bring properly sourced, peer-reviewed information to bar room debates and family group texts alike.

As one of our investors, Cameron Winklevoss, says: “Scientific truth, at scale.”

How We Got Here

As the evil, capitalist jock in a family of academic-minded scientists and teachers, I was yearning to scratch my inner science-loving itch.

This drove me to become obsessed with consuming science-related content during my college years. This could be anything from a neuroscientist on a particular podcast to going out of my way to pick up a copy of the monthly Scientific American. I noticed two distinct things happening due to my consumption of evidence-based information: it made me a better, more curious, more reasonable, happier, healthier person, and I started to sound way smarter in front of my friends (one arguably more important than the other).

However, consuming this information is hard. It’s time-consuming, it’s dense, and you have to hope that the content is centered around the topic or question you are particularly interested in.

Wanting access to this type of information at the tips of your fingers, on-demand, and easier-to-consume was the catalyst for Consensus.

This is what we hope to deliver to users.

Where We Are and What To Expect

We are proud to share that over the past seven months; we have completed a successful round of private fundraising, made two home-run non-founder hires, executed two data partnerships that allow us to host over 300M scientific papers to power our product, hired scientists to annotate thousands of scientific papers to train our algorithms and are on track to meet our goal of launching a BETA version of our product in Q2 ‘22.

Our ask to you all is to help us get the word out about Consensus. You can do this by sharing content like this across your social media channels and by adding your email to our waitlist to receive early access to our BETA product.

We hope you join us on this journey!

Learn More About Consensus

Sign up for our free BETA to get early access to all that Consensus has to offer.