I imagine that foldit attracts people with very different approaches to solving puzzles.
As a programmer, I can help to create recipes that will help others to test their hypotheses more quickly. The better I understand the chemistry involved, the more useful my recipes can be.
I imagine that researchers might tend to apply ideas systematically, while gamers can shake up things up by making conceptual leaps that are not yet scientifically confirmed (much like Dick Fosbury changed high-jump competitions). And researchers who are gamers, gamers who are coders, and coders who are researchers all add their own insights.
Two questions for the more successful of you:
- Would you class yourself in a completely different category?
- Where do people from different categories meet, to cross-pollenate their ideas?