A place for new, powerful ideas

Instill Science is a small, inclusive community for researchers to discuss science.

Inspired by “science twitter” and other independent communities like Indie Hackers, dev.to, Hacker News, Substack, Stack Exchange, and countless Discourse and phpB forums, Instill Science aims to remain as a place for scientists, by scientists.

Starting with bacteriophage and phage therapy research, as the community and forum system powering Phage Directory, if successful, we hope to eventually expand to other science communities and beyond.

We'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions: instill@phage.directory

Thanks for being a part of our journey!

A community tool for scientists, by scientists

We started Instill as a way of exploring how to help Phage Directory's community of researchers, from all walks of life and all parts of the world. The Phage Directory community is a network of phage researchers from more than 80 countries. We have spent years thinking about how to build tools and make resources — like sequencing and mentorship — available for as many of our members as possible.

We’re scientists too! We are currently actively running Phage Australia a translational bacteriophage therapy and research center at Westmead Institute of Medical Research, in Sydney. Learn more about our day-to-day work at phageaustralia.org.

Ask a Peer

Sometimes you just need a pair of eyes to and someone to sound off on your ideas. This could potentially save months of frustration and failed experiments.

Collaborator Search

The phage world is very diverse, and it can be hard to find experts to collaborate with — Instill is where you can find that Campylobacter transcriptomics expert.

Instill Goals

Mission: To create a rich, nurturing and vibrant community experience for science talk, starting with bacteriophages and microbiology. Our long-term mission is to replicate our success into more research topics, and beyond!

2023 Goals:

  1. Integrate Instill into Phage Directory’s main website and our newsletter, Capsid & Tail. We aim to move community requests, job postings, and links (phage news, new research papers, etc.) to Instill. This way, Capsid & Tail will have a place to discuss each post and link!
  1. Integrate the Phage Directory members list with Instill. We want to move many conversations and asks away from our Slack and into Instill — this is so they become more searchable and evergreen. This will be a process as we work out bugs, kinks, and possibly scaling issues.
  1. Build a vibrant community with lots of conversations! We have many ideas about using Instill for journal clubs, show & tell, micro publications, collaborator searches, and more. But we’ll make sure our community wants it first!

The Future for Instill

Instill as a Platform: A Micro-Community Tool

Taking lots of cues from aforementioned forums and micro-communities like Indie Hackers, dev.to anf Forem, Hacker News, Instill as a platform aims to remain a small “micro-community tool” to power small but mighty conversations.

The “platform” itself aims to be as light as possible, currently fully running on serverless infrastructure (Vercel, Cloudflare Workers), and powered by Airtable.

This is why Instill is slower than most forums, since Airtable is a much slower database. Using Airtable sounds ridiculous, but this allows us to deploy new spaces and instances quickly. Airtable’s interface acts as a moderation tool as well. Airtable also doesn’t scale, since they have a 100,000 record limit! At some point we’ll support extensions for Supabase, Cloudflare KV or D1, maybe even Sequin sync, LiteFS, PocketBase or Notion. But as they say, do things first that don’t scale, so hence, here we are.

We have lots of ambitions and ideas, but we’re taking things slowly. Our ambition is to remain small and light-weight, as a much smaller version of Discourse or Discord, and we want to grow it in the direction the phage (and academic) community needs it to grow!

Instill Project

A meta-space for discussing anything Instill, including blog updates, feature requests, questions, and bug reports.

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Hello World!

Article jan-zheng ∙ January 6, 2023 0 comments
Hello World!


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