Futures Market in Cosmology

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Adam Amara
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Futures Market in Cosmology

Post by Adam Amara » July 19 2005

Seeing polls in cosmocoffee on 'what is dark energy' was a bit strange and to be honest I'm not sure these polls are useful. But, after thinking about it a little I realised that there clearly is some information in the polling, but it isn't being mined very well. Now, I'm not a big expert but from what I can gather markets can be highly efficient at extracting loads of little bits of information from many sources. Ok, its not a fisher matrix but it seems to work in the real world.

This may have been suggested before but I can't find a discussion in the suggestions so here goes. This may go against the ethos of "the purity of science", and I'm not sure if the community is big enough BUT why not set up a futures market for cosmology? People could trade on things like the cosmological parameters and cosmological constant vs varying w. I'm sure some body out there is more of a financial/market wizz then I am so should be able to say if this is technically possible or not. Assuming it is feasible would people be interested in trading in science?

Adam

Sarah Bridle
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Futures Market in Cosmology

Post by Sarah Bridle » July 20 2005

Quite a whacky idea Adam! Not sure I know enough about how futures work to comment much. But I'm assuming that you can make money by correctly guessing the right model.

What if David Spergel were to put millions on zre=17? How would this affect our reception of the WMAP2 results? Seems a bit worrying re "conflict of interests".

On the other hand, could it be a great way to fund future experiments?

Adam Amara
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Futures Market in Cosmology

Post by Adam Amara » July 20 2005

Hi Sarah, I'm glad I'm not disappointing you on the wacky ideas front. As far as David Spergel putting millions on WMAP results,
i) I suspect that with any well developed betting system, as more people bet the odds change, so I suspect the system will balance itself out.
ii) Are you advocating some kind of penalty again insider trading?
iii) My feeling is, if this is a way of sneaking out some information about the second year data, then you've just given a very strong reason why we should have markets.

I'm not sure, there might needs to be a regularity body that makes pots of money. If this happens then I totally agree that this could be turned into a revenue stream for things like future projects. Where you can have a good idea of what you should fund from what "shares" are doing well. Obviously lensing shares would be doing well at the moment.

Adam

Hans Kristian Eriksen
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Re: Futures Market in Cosmology

Post by Hans Kristian Eriksen » July 20 2005

Adam Amara wrote:Seeing polls in cosmocoffee on 'what is dark energy' was a bit strange and to be honest I'm not sure these polls are useful.
Ehhmm... Are those supposed to be taken seriously? If so, I should probably stop messing around... (I'm still the only one who answered "Yes, 15 sigma" on the Kolb et al. theory :-))

Adam Amara
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Futures Market in Cosmology

Post by Adam Amara » July 24 2005

I'm still the only one who answered "Yes, 15 sigma" on the Kolb et al. theory
That's point isn't it? Thinking the theory is right to 15 sigma is fine, the question is "are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is?" - at least that's how the saying goes ;-)

Considering there are lots of pools in the astronomy community on things like the football world cup and the basket ball season, I don't see why futures is such a big stretch of the imagination.

Adam

Benjamin Wandelt
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Futures Market in Cosmology

Post by Benjamin Wandelt » December 07 2010

I'm all for it. If nothing else it would settle the Bayesian vs Frequentist debate (or what's left of it) once and for all.

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