What is Consensus? | Blockchain.News


Website: https://consensus.app
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  • Updated:3/3/2024
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Introduction to Consensus

Consensus is an AI-powered search engine that aims to make expert knowledge accessible and consumable for all. The platform allows users to search through over 200 million scientific papers without needing to use precise keywords. Consensus leverages proprietary natural language processing technology to understand user queries and return relevant conclusions from published research.

Key Features

  • Trusted Results - All conclusions shown are directly cited from peer-reviewed studies. Users can trust that the insights are backed by scientific research.
  • Instant Analysis - Consensus utilizes large language models like GPT-4 to summarize results on the fly. This allows users to get the key points without reading full papers.
  • Intuitive Search - Users can search in natural language by asking questions. There is no need to come up with specific keywords.
  • No Ads or Tracking - Consensus will never show ads or track users across the web. The focus is solely on providing quick access to scientific knowledge.

Use Cases

Consensus serves a wide range of users including students, researchers, clinicians, analysts, content creators, and health/fitness enthusiasts. Some example use cases include:

  • Students can quickly find evidence to support their papers by asking questions like "Does the death penalty reduce crime?"
  • Researchers can efficiently conduct literature reviews on topics such as "Does zip code affect maternal mortality?"
  • Doctors can get answers to patient questions such as "Is fish oil good for heart health?"
  • Analysts can find expert quotes for presentations by searching "What is the impact of climate change on GDP?"
  • Bloggers can source insights on topics like "What are the mental health benefits of mindfulness?"
  • Fitness enthusiasts can check the viability of supplements and routines, e.g. "Does NO3 improve exercise performance?"

Content Coverage

Consensus indexes over 200 million scientific papers spanning a wide range of disciplines and topics. Some of the major areas covered include:

  • Medicine - Disease treatment, nutrition, supplements, physiology, anatomy, and more.
  • Psychology - Cognitive science, mental health, social psychology, organizational psychology.
  • Neuroscience - Brain anatomy, neurological disorders, cognition, behavior.
  • Pharmacology - Drug development, drug interactions, medicinal chemistry.
  • Biology - Genetics, cell biology, microbiology, zoology, botany.
  • Chemistry - Organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, biochemistry.
  • Physics - Particle, nuclear, atomic, molecular, condensed matter.
  • Social Sciences - Sociology, political science, economics, anthropology.


Consensus focuses on credibility in several key ways:

  • Results are always tied directly to published, peer-reviewed research.
  • Sources are clearly cited so users can verify credibility.
  • No sponsored content or ads are displayed alongside results.
  • The search engine was co-founded by scientists and developed alongside domain experts.
  • Advanced security protects against scraping/republishing of content.
  • The company ethos centers around responsible use of technology.


Consensus was founded in 2021 by Eric Olson and Christian Salem. The founders previously competed as Division 1 student-athletes and valued consuming evidence-based research, but found it difficult to efficiently search through scientific literature.

The company is based in Boston, MA and has received funding from top AI investors including Night Capital, Kindergarten Ventures, and SV Angel.

The Consensus team includes engineers and scientists from organizations like Google, Amazon, and Waymo. The company culture is focused on using technology responsibly to benefit society.


Consensus partners with leading research organizations to index papers and improve the quality of results. Some of the key partners include:

  • Semantic Scholar - Leading academic search engine from the Allen Institute for AI.
  • JSTOR - Massive digital library of academic journals and primary sources.
  • The Biorxiv - Preprint repository for life sciences research.
  • Medarxiv - Preprint repository for medical sciences research.
  • The Lancet - Renowned peer-reviewed medical journal.


Consensus takes privacy seriously and implements several key policies:

  • Search queries are never logged or associated with user accounts.
  • Visits to the site are not tracked across the web.
  • Any collected user data is completely anonymized.
  • Personal information is never sold or shared.
  • Secure HTTPS encryption is used for all connections.
  • Minimal data is collected (just email/password for account creation).

Full details related to data collection, use cases, sharing, and user rights can be found in the Consensus privacy policy.


Consensus offers both free and paid plans to access enhanced features:

  • Free Plan - Users can search and view cited conclusions.
  • Plus Plan - $10/month or $100/year. Adds ability to read full abstracts.
  • Pro Plan - $20/month or $200/year. Allows access to full paper PDFs.

Academic/non-profit discounts are available on paid plans. See consensus.app/pricing for details.

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