About Us

Thinkable is democratizing science. It is platform that allows anyone to engage with and fund the research that matters to them.

Our mission is to connect the world with scientific research and fund transformative new ideas. We hope to spur collboration, spread knowledge and support the next generation of thinkers and innovators.

Thinkable is built by researchers and nurtured by developers, Nobel Laureates and the public. If you are interested in helping us open up the world of scientific research, please contact us.

Ben McNeil

Dr. Ben McNeil - Founder and chief scientist

Ben is a leading oceanographer and has been a researcher for nearly twenty years. After working as a research scholar at Princeton University and Paris IV, he now lives in Sydney, Australia with his family and is based at the University of New South Wales. The idea for Thinkable comes out of Ben's frustration over the lack of funding for basic research and a passion for blue-sky thinking.

Nigel Hennessy

Nigel Hennessy - Strategy and innovation

A trained mathematician, Nigel is a serial technologist with 25 years of experience in a range of industries including water, clean tech and ICT. Nigel has worked in Australia, the UK and the USA. He has successfully built start-ups from scratch and managed larget corporations including BAE and Southern Phones. Today, Nigel works closely with AusIndustry and was formerly a case manager for Commercialisation Australia.

Libby Lin

Libby Lin - Community and corporate

Trained as a philosopher and a lawyer, Libby is passionate about asking challenging questions. She is the honoree (chief 'no' officer) to Ben's crazy ideas. Libby has a background in technology commercialization, in particular funding and due diligence on science-based innovation from research organization such as Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) and a number of Australian universities.

Ernest Lie

Ernest Lie - Software engineer

Ernest is a self-professed code monkey. Previously, Ernest worked in Amadeus, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Ernst and Young. A graduate from UNSW School of Engineering and Computer Science, Ernest is passionate about back-end development, NoSQL, the newest C++ frameworks and open-source developments.

Barry Jiao

Barry Jiao - Software engineer

Barry is a bug exterminator. He graduated from the UNSW School of Engineering and Computer Science and is a mobile application and web developer. Barry loves designing beautiful stuff. If Barry isn't tweaking with the latest front-end framework, then he is working on the design of the interface of the Thinkable mobile application.

Our community will always support people taking the first few unknown steps along the road to research discovery since that is the magic and wonder of the scientific process. In our pursuit of supporting researchers cultivate and accelerate ground-breaking new research discoveries, there are some core values and ethics we hold dear at thinkable.org:



We fundamentally embrace people going down pathways never thought of before. These pathways may sound crazy or irrelevant, but the big discoveries come from people pursuing those unthinkable pathways.



We are not about supporting new buildings or new equipments. We are about supporting people first. Every extra day a passionate researcher is supported to explore new ground brings the next ground-breaking discovery closer for the world.



All new knowledge that pushes the boundaries of thinking is valuable if we allow enough time for others build upon it, innovate and create a new paradigm.



Thomas Edison once said 'I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that won't work'. If we we're not failing at testing our ideas, we're not innovating. Our community supports researchers taking risks in testing ideas, as without it, research and human progress slows down.


Ethical Research

There is a big difference between a crazy idea and an unethical idea. We strongly commit to the Helsinki Declaration on Medical Research to ensure the highest standard of research ethics are maintained for our researchers working on human subjects. Each researcher or organization who starts a research project must uphold these ethical principles.



Open and transparent research builds trust and impact with wider society. It also helps in progressing reproducibility of results that has become an emerging problem in science. We deeply value transparency in research including negative and null results, since it is the only way all knowledge can be transferred and built upon efficiently.

We’ve had a lot of help building our platform and community. Here’s a list of friends and partners who we’ve worked with that would recommend to anyone needing support for their research, technology or organisation.



Oakton has been one of Australia's leading consulting technology firms for 25 years. Oakton's team of dedicated developers and software architects helped to provide the core technology that powers the platform. Learn more here: http://www.oakton.com.au/


Noah Consulting

Noah consulting is a leading research & development tax consultancy in Australia, helping innovators and businesses with government incentives and opportunities when investing in R&D. Learn more or contact them here: http://www.rdtaxincentiveaustralia.com.au


Filshie Browning

Filshie Browning is a global communications and media advisory firm for science and research based in Switzerland, Europe. From science communications strategy, to media outreach to training, they help researchers and organizations with communicating science. Learn more or contact them here: http://www.filshiebrowning.com/

Advocates are a select group of engaging researchers, postdocs, students and science communicators who believe passionately in our values and our mission to democratize and share research more widely. Advocates help our team engage researchers, administrators, communicators and content at their own research organisations to help demonstrate the platform and help organize thinkable collections for their own research institution.


Become an Advocate?

If you are interested in becoming a thinkable advocate for special perks, please send us an email at support@thinkable.org with resume telling us why you are passionate about thinkable and how you'd like to help or be involved.